Sometimes, when we talk about past actions we say what we have just done, a very recent action. For this, "acabar de..." is used in Spanish.
Learn how to say "to have just done something" in Spanish
In Spanish we use this verbal structure to express "To have just done [something]".
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.
¿Ustedes acaban de hablar con el jefe?Have you just spoken to the boss?
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 Perífrasis verbal.
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