Conjugation of 'Haber'

Verb's Main Use Is To Form Perfect Tenses of Other Verbs

rice for lesson on conjugating haber
Hemos comprado el arroz que necesitamos. (We have bought the rice we need.). Enrique Dans/Creative Commons

Haber is the most common of the auxiliary verbs in Spanish as it is used to form the perfect tenses. It is the equivalent of the English "have" as an auxiliary verb — but it shouldn't be confused when using "have" meaning "possess," which is usually tener.

Haber is irregular in most tenses and in the subjunctive mood. It is not used in the imperative mood. It also is seldom used on its own in compound tenses, although it is used to form the compound tenses of other verbs.

Irregular forms are shown below in boldface. Translations are given as a guide and in real life may vary with context.

Infinitive of Haber

haber (to have)

Gerund of Haber

habiendo (having)

Participle of Haber

habido (had)

Present Indicative of Haber

yo he, tú has, usted/él/ella ha (hay), nosotros/as hemos, vosotros/as habéis, ustedes/ellos/ellas han (hay) (I have, you have, he has, etc. Note that the hay form is)

Preterite of Haber

yo hube, tú hubiste, usted/él/ella hubo, nosotros/as hubimos, vosotros/as hubisteis, ustedes/ellos/ellas hubieron (I had, you had, she had, etc.)

Imperfect Indicative of Haber

yo había, tú habías, usted/él/ella había, nosotros/as habíamos, vosotros/as habíais, ustedes/ellos/ellas habían (I used to have, you used to have, he used to have, etc.)

Future Indicative of Haber

yo habré, tú habrás, usted/él/ella habrá, nosotros/as habremos, vosotros/as habréis, ustedes/ellos/ellas habrán (I will have, you will have, he will have, etc.)

Conditional of Haber

yo habría, tú habrías, usted/él/ella habría, nosotros/as habríamos, vosotros/as habríais, ustedes/ellos/ellas habrían (I would have, you would have, she would have, etc.)

Present Subjunctive of Haber

que yo haya, que tú hayas, que usted/él/ella haya, que nosotros/as hayamos, que vosotros/as hayáis, que ustedes/ellos/ellas hayan (that I have, that you have, that she have, etc.)

Imperfect Subjunctive of Haber

que yo hubiera (hubiese), que tú hubieras (hubieses), que usted/él/ella hubiera (hubiese), que nosotros/as hubiéramos (hubiésemos), que vosotros/as hubierais (hubieseis), que ustedes/ellos/ellas hubieran (hubiesen) (that I had, that you had, that he had, etc.)

Sample Sentences Showing Conjugation of Haber

Es mejor haber amado y perdido que jamás haber amado. ('Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Infinitive used to form the perfect infinitive of amar.) El gobierno niega haber sabido de amenazas. (The government denies having known of the dangers.) 

Hemos comprado el arroz que necesitamos. (We have bought the rice we need. Present tense used to form the present perfect of comprar.) Ahora lo he visto todo. (Now I've seen everything.)

Siendo solo un niño, yo no había comprendido al doctor. (Being only a boy, I had not understood the doctor. Imperfect used to form the pluperfect of comprender.) Él había querido ser sacerdote, pero nunca logró terminar sus estudios teológicos. (He had wanted to be a priest, but he never had managed to finish his theological studies.)

A finales de este mes se habrán perdido otros 20.000 empleos. (At the end of this month another 20,000 jobs will have been lost. Future used to form the future perfect of perder.) Hoy habré ganado un millón pesos en total. (Today I will have earned a million pesos in all.)

Oliveros cree que habría ganado al presidente si hubiera sido candidato. (Oliveros believes she would have defeated the president if she had been a candidate. Conditional used to form the conditional perfect of ganar; imperfect subjunctive used to form the subjunctive pluperfect of ser.)