Using haber to say would have [done something]

In Spanish, to express that someone "would have [done something]" in the past, we use the auxiliary verb haber.

Haber [ìn the conditional simple] + participle of main verb

Have a look and listen to the following examples:

Yo habría invitado a menos gente a la fiesta.
I would have invited fewer people to the party.

Él no te habría querido tanto como yo.
He would not have loved you as much as me.

Ellos dicen que habrían invertido su dinero en algo diferente.
They say that they would have invested their money in something different.

¿Qué habrías hecho tú en mi lugar?
What would you have done in my situation?

While in English there is the extra word would, in Spanish we do not have an extra word, we just conjugate the auxiliary verb haber in the conditional, to mean "would have".

Also remember that compound verbs cannot be split by other words, such as pronouns, or adverbs like no.

These are incorrect:

  • ¿Qué habrías  hecho en mi lugar?
  • Él habría no te querido tanto como yo.

These are correct:

  • ¿Qué habrías hecho tú en mi lugar?
  • Él no te habría querido tanto como yo.

 

Note on hubiera/hubiese

Sometimes haber in the conditional form (habría, habrías...) can be replaced by haber in the imperfect subjunctive form (hubiera/hubiese, hubieras/hubieses...). However habría cannot replace hubiera/hubiese in phrases that trigger the subjunctive. Here are some common examples:

Si hubieses llegado antes te hubiera llevado en mi coche.
Si hubieses llegado antes te habría llevado en mi coche
If you had arrived earlier I would have given you a lift.

A Antonio le hubiera gustado estudiar medicina.
A Antonio le habría gustado estudiar medicina.
Antonio would have liked to study medicine.

BUT

Structures that require the subjunctive must use the subjunctive and not the conditional. For example, verbs that express emotion trigger the subjunctive:

Me alegró mucho que te hubieran/hubiesen seleccionado para ese papel. 
Me alegró mucho que te habrían seleccionado para ese papel.
It made me really happy that they had selected you for that role.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¿Qué habrías hecho tú en mi lugar?
What would you have done in my situation?


Yo habría invitado a menos gente a la fiesta.
I would have invited fewer people to the party.


Ellos dicen que habrían invertido su dinero en algo diferente.
They say that they would have invested their money in something different.


Él no te habría querido tanto como yo.
He would not have loved you as much as me.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 4 answers

NicoleB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Haber hecho

Hello,

I have come across this: "haber hecho" as in: 

"After having done this... Después de haber hecho esto... "

and searched here for this structure and found this lesson, but not this form for "haber hecho" nor did I find anything  online except one site calling it an idiom.

I was wondering what part of speech "haber hecho" is, I can't find it as a tense and have not been able to find its grammatical term.  I don't think this is an "idiom".  Thanks for your help in claryfing this.  

Nicole

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Nicole

This is called "El Infinitivo compuesto". We've got some information in our site. Have a look here.

Inma

NicoleB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hola Inma y gracias,

For some reason here was no link in your reply, so I entered the term in the search with no luck - it gave this: 

"We could not find any lessons about "El Infinitivo compuesto", our content and technical teams have been informed."

Could you please resend the link?  Thank you. Nicole

InmaKwiziq team member

Sorry Nicole, I think I probably didn't attach it propperly. Try again here.

After the information, at the bottom, you will find some lessons using el infinitivo compuesto.

Inma

InmaKwiziq team member

mmm, no, I think there is actually something wrong with that link. Let me have a look and will come back to you.

Haber hecho

Hello,

I have come across this: "haber hecho" as in: 

"After having done this... Después de haber hecho esto... "

and searched here for this structure and found this lesson, but not this form for "haber hecho" nor did I find anything  online except one site calling it an idiom.

I was wondering what part of speech "haber hecho" is, I can't find it as a tense and have not been able to find its grammatical term.  I don't think this is an "idiom".  Thanks for your help in claryfing this.  

Nicole

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