Acabar de + [infinitive] = to have just done / just did something

In Spanish we use this verbal structure to express "To have just done [something]".

Acabar (conjugated) de + Infinitivo

Have a look and listen to the following examples in different tenses:

Acabo de romper la mesa.
I have just broken the table.

Nosotros acabábamos de comer cuando Sara llegó.
We had just eaten when Sara arrived.

Usted acaba de comprar el viaje de sus sueños.
You have just bought your dream trip.

Los jubilados acababan de llegar a Benidorm cuando empezó la tormenta.
The retirees had just arrived to Benidorm when the storm started.

Notice how the preposition de always follows acabar. In Spanish, unlike in English, we do not use a participle (-ed form) but rather an infinitive after de.

Acabo de llegar.
Acabo de llegado.
I have just arrived.

Generally with this construction we use either El Presente or El Pretérito Imperfecto as you can see in the examples above.

See also La perífrasis verbal.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Los jubilados acababan de llegar a Benidorm cuando empezó la tormenta.
The retirees had just arrived to Benidorm when the storm started.


Usted acaba de comprar el viaje de sus sueños.
You have just bought your dream trip.


Acabo de romper la mesa.
I have just broken the table.


Nosotros acabábamos de comer cuando Sara llegó.
We had just eaten when Sara arrived.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 3 answers

Conjucations for acaba de

What are the rules for conjucating "acabe de"? Is it:

yo: acabo detu: acababas deel/ella/ud: acaba denosotros: acababamos devosotros: ?ellas/ellos/uds: acababan de

Asked 4 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hola Celia

The conjugation of acabar de is that of an regular -ar verb in any tense. We haven't mentioned anything related to conjugation in the lesson as it is an idiomatic lesson. The examples you see in the lesson are mixed, some in the present (acabo de) and some in the imperfect (acababa de). These are the tenses normally used in this construction. So if you want to say "someone has just done something" you conjugate acabar in the present:

yo acabo de/ tú acabas de/ él acaba de / nosotros acabamos de/ vosotros acabáis de/  ellos acaban de

If you want to say "someone had just done something" then you conjugate acabar in the imperfect:

yo acababa de/ tú acababas de/ él acababa de / nosotros acabábamos de/ vosotros acababais de/  ellos acababan de

We will add a note to the lesson to make it a bit more clear.

Gracias y saludos

Inma

 

¡Gracias Irma!

Conjucations for acaba de

What are the rules for conjucating "acabe de"? Is it:

yo: acabo detu: acababas deel/ella/ud: acaba denosotros: acababamos devosotros: ?ellas/ellos/uds: acababan de

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

If you want to say'I have just finished.." would you say Acabo de terminar...?And do you have to use a 'de' after terminar?

Asked 6 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Jessica

Yes, to express "to have just done something" we use the whole structure "acabar de +infinitive", so you need to conjugate acabar in the present and then add "de" plus infinitive.

For example:

"Acabo de hablar con Juan" (I've just spoken with Juan)

"Ella acaba de llegar a casa" (She's just arrived home)

I hope this helps,

Gracias y un saludo

Inma

If you want to say'I have just finished.." would you say Acabo de terminar...?And do you have to use a 'de' after terminar?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

I'll be right with you...