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Learn tardar conjugation in Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto

tardar means: to take time
Click to see all conjugation charts of tardar in every tense

In this Spanish conjugation lesson we will learn how to inflect the verb tardar in the Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto tense of the Indicativo mood. It means we will see step by step how to create and translate forms of each grammatical person.

How to translate Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto to English

Notice that the English phrases provided below next to each conjugation are not direct translations from Spanish to English. They are usually the closest general equivalents. The example differences are:
  • In Spanish conjugation, there is the form usted in the third person singular. But this person does not translate to the English third person singular. It translates to the so called formal you and uses the inflected form which is most often represented as he/she/it in English conjugation charts.
  • Similar situation happens in the third person plural, where ustedes translates to the English plural formal you but uses the form which corresponds to the they form in English.
  • Tenses are used differently in Spanish and English, so the actual translation should always take into account the context and focus on translating the meaning, not just words.
  • In both languages each verb may have multiple meanings and not every meaning translates directly to the other language. Here also, the context and focusing on the particular meaning helps to create the most accurate translation.


Step by step instructions

Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto is a compound tense (Spanish: compuesto). It means that all of its inflected forms consist of two words. In Spanish language, there are also simple tenses, where each conjugated verb form is one word long.

In a compound tense the endings of the auxiliary verb change, not the endings of the main verb, which is the case in Spanish simple tenses.In the compound tenses, every person’s form consist of two parts:
  • A conjugated form of the auxiliary verb haber. In case of the Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto de Indicativo tense, we use the Presente de Indicativo (Present) conjugation of haber
  • Past Participle, which is always the same in every compound tense for a given verb
Check out the conjugation charts and this haber conjugation lesson to learn how to conjugate the auxiliary verb haber. That’s a separate topic, so for brevity we’ll focus on the parts derived from tardar only in this lesson.In order to create the Participio form, we need a stem and an ending. We use the stem of the infinitive of the main verb, and a single ending, which depends on the conjugation group of the main verb. So we have to start by splitting the infinitive into a stem and an ending. It’s easy to do – just remove two letters from the end of the infinitive form and you have the ending – one of -ar, -er, -ir. What’s left is the stem.So in case of the verb tardar it’s easy to see that:
  • the stem is: tard-
  • and the ending is: -ar
Based on the ending of the infinitive we can tell that tardar belongs to the -ar verb group. This group, in turn, uses the -ado ending in its Participio form. Putting all that together, our Participio is: tardado.

And now, as we understand how both parts used by this tense are created separately, let’s move on with creating the final conjugation forms.
In order to create the first person singular form, we need to take the first person singular form of haber conjugated in Presente de Indicativo, which is he. And to that we add the Participio tardado to get he tardado:
  • yo he tardado – I have taken time
Next, to create the form for the second person singular, we again simply take the second person singular form of haber from the Presente de Indicativo tense, and it is has. And to this auxiliary verb we add the Participio tardado (so the exact same word as previously) to get has tardado:
  • tú has tardado – you have taken time
Similarly, if we want to create the form for the third person singular, we conjugate haber in the Presente tense and we utilize the corresponding person’s form (third person singular), namely ha. Then we also take the same Participio as for all other persons, and putting them together we get ha tardado:
  • él ha tardado – he has taken time
  • ella ha tardado – she has taken time
  • usted ha tardado – (formal) you have taken time
The first person plural has the form hemos tardado. It’s created by following the same logic as in the other persons. We first take the form of the first person plural from haber conjugation in the Presente de Indicativo tense: hemos. Second, to this word we again add the Participio of tardar: tardado to get hemos tardado:
  • nosotros hemos tardado – we have taken time
  • nosotras hemos tardado – (feminine) we have taken time
Again, let’s do the same for the second person plural. We have to get the inflected form of the verb haber in the Presente de Indicativo tense, second person plural, and it’s habéis. Next, we take our unchanged Participio, we join them, and we get habéis tardado:
  • vosotros habéis tardado – (plural) you have taken time
  • vosotras habéis tardado – (feminine, plural) you have taken time
And finally, the last grammatical person on the list, the third person plural, has the form han tardado. We create it in the exact same manner as in all the other grammatical persons. We need the third person plural of haber first, from its Presente conjugation. It is han. We add the Participio of tardar again (tardado) to get han tardado:
  • ellos han tardado – they have taken time
  • ellas han tardado – (feminine) they have taken time
  • ustedes han tardado – (formal, plural) you have taken time

¡Ya está! The conjugation is now done. Put together, the conjugation chart looks like this:

yohe tardadoI have taken time
has tardadoyou have taken time
él/ella/ustedha tardadohe/she/it has taken time
nosotros/nosotrashemos tardadowe have taken time
vosotros/vosotrashabéis tardadoyou have taken time
ellos/ellas/ustedeshan tardadothey have taken time
Click to see all conjugation charts of tardar in every tense

But do not end your session yet – it’s important to repeat and practice the material in order to retain it. Check below for next steps.

Next Steps to Perfection

  • To practice this conjugation and test your knowledge check this Conjugation Exercise or the Memory Game
  • To see other conjugation lessons for this verb choose another tense:  
  • For exercises and examples related to tardar visit our Exercise section
  • To see conjugation charts in all tenses for tardar visit the Conjugator
  • To explore other learning materials visit the Study section


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