14.1 Future Perfect Tense and the Future Perfect of Probability

The future perfect tense is formed by the irregular future of the auxiliary verb haber plus the past participle:

hacer traducción
yo habré hecho I will have done
habrás hecho you (fam.) will have done
él, Ella, Ud. habrá hecho he, she, you (form.) will have done
Nosotros habremos hecho we will have done
Vosotros habréis hecho you (fam. pl.) will have done
ellos, ellas, Uds. habrán hecho they, you (form. pl. [fam. pl. in L.A.]) will have done

The future perfect tense is used largely as it is in English, that is, to express an action that will have been completed or finished by some future point in time.

Para octubre se habrán casado. They will have gotten married by October.
Con suerte, Leopoldo se habrá hecho abogado en dos años. With luck, Leopoldo will have become a lawyer in two years.

Just as the future tense is used to express probability or conjecture in the present moment, the future perfect is used to express the same in the future perfect time frame. Study the following:

  • future tense + probability = present meaning
  • future perfect tense + probability = present perfect meaning

Again, note the possibilities of translation:

¿Dónde habrá estado Juan? Where could Juan have been?

Where do you think Juan has been?

I wonder where Juan has been?

At times the insertion of the word “probably” also suffices to translate the concept: “Where has Juan probably (likely) been?”

Conceivably ambiguous examples of the “true” future perfect versus the future perfect of probability exist, but meaning should be clarified in context:

Hace dos días que no veo a Gloria.

¿Dónde habrá estado?

I haven’t seen Gloria for two days.

Where could she have been?

Where do you think she has been?

I wonder where she has been

Jenaro todavía no ha vuelto. Jenaro still hasn’t returned.
Habrá estado esperando algo. He must have been waiting for something.

Note that English also occasionally uses the same tense to express the same phenomenon, e.g., “Will the others have noticed?,” the meaning of which is the same as “Do you think the others have noticed?”

Vocabulario básico 

Sustantivos:

el alambre (de púa)- barbed wire
la enmienda- amendment
el rincón- corner (inside)
la votación- voting, balloting

Adjetivos:

dicho- said, above-mentioned
leal- loyal
real- royal; real
susodicho- above-mentioned

Expresiones:

por consiguiente- therefore, for that reason, that’s why
por lo tanto- therefore, for that reason, that’s why
tocar/llamar a la puerta- to knock at/on the door

Last revised on June 25, 2021.

14.2 First Person Plural Commands

The affirmative command for nosotros/as (first person plural) is expressed most commonly by vamos + infinitive, or less commonly by the present subjunctive. When negative, the nosotros command, like all others, employs the present subjunctive.

The nosotros affirmative command of ir is irregular and is simply vamos.

Affirmative commands:

Vamos a salir esta noche.
Salgamos esta noche.
Let’s go out tonight.
Vamos a alquilar una película.
Alquilemos una película.
Let’s rent a film (movie).
Vamos a la lectura de poesía. Let’s go to the poetry reading.
(We’re going to the poetry reading. [See last example below to contrast the two sentences.])

Negative commands:

No salgamos esta noche. Let’s not go out tonight.
No alquilemos una película. Let’s not rent a film.
No vayamos a la lectura de poesía. Let’s not go to the poetry reading.

In some cases, such as Alquilemos una película, it becomes important to know the infinitive ending in order to distinguish between the present indicative (alquilamos [“we rent/are renting”]) and the command (alquilemos [“let’s rent”]).

Affirmative commands with vamos a + infinitive may be ambiguous out of context:

Vamos a hacerlo. Let’s do it.
We’re going to do it.

Vocabulario básico 

Verbos:

apresurarse- to hurry (up)
apuntar- to point, to point at, to point out, to indicate
rechazar- to reject, to turn down

Sustantivo:

la oferta- offer

Adjetivo:

inaguantable- intolerable, unbearable

Adverbios:

apenas- hardly, barely
atrás- back

Last revised on June 25, 2021.

14.3 Second Person Singular Commands

The affirmative tú commands are the same as the Ud. form of the present tense. The negative tú commands (like all other negative commands) are formed with the present subjunctive. Object pronouns, as always, are attached to affirmative commands, thus making them easier to recognize:

Tú command with object pronoun attached:

Escríbele. Write to him.

Third person singular with object pronoun:

Le escribe. He (She, You [form.] write/s to him.

In negative tú commands, as with all others, object pronouns are not attached to verb forms. In these cases, it is more important to know if a verb is of the –ar versus the –er or –ir type so that you recognize the opposite vowel used in the subjunctive that forms the negative commands.

No le escribas. Don’t write to him.
No le escribe. He (She, You [form.] doesn’t write to him.
No le escribes. You (fam.) don’t write to him.
No me contestes. Don’t answer me.
No me contesta. He (She, You [form.] is/are not answering me.
No me contestas. You (fam.) are not answering me.

There are eight common irregular affirmative tú commands that need to be recognized:

decir di say, tell
hacer haz do, make
ir ve go
poner pon put
ser be
salir sal leave, go out
tener ten have
venir ven come

The negative of these commands takes the subjunctive (No digas, No hagas, etc.)

Coincidentally, you have seen five of these forms in quite different circumstances. Di is also the first person preterite of dar; ve is also the third person singular present tense of ver; sé is also the first person present tense of saber;and ven is the third person plural present tense of ver. (Additionally, sal is also the feminine noun that means “salt.”)

When these words are in context, however, there should never be any ambiguity. Compare:

Di la verdad. Tell the truth.
Di un regalo. I gave a gift
Sé bueno. Be good.
Sé la respuesta. I know the answer.
Ve a casa. Go home.
Ve la casa. She sees the house.
Ven a casa. Come home.
Ven la casa. They see the house.
Sal de aquí. Get out of here. (Leave here.)
Pásame la sal, por favor. Please pass me the salt.

Vocabulario básico 

Verbo:

disfrutar (de)- to enjoy, to have a good time

Last revised on June 25, 2021.

14.4 Augmentatives and Diminutives

Augmentative and diminutive endings are frequently attached especially to nouns, as well as to other parts of speech, and make them undergo a sometimes subtle, sometimes major shift in meaning. They occur with extremely high frequency, especially in the spoken language, and the exact meaning is often very hard to detect by non-native speakers, as their usage may be extremely subjective.

There are exceptions to many things that can be written about diminutives and augmentatives and the following remarks should be taken only as general guidelines.
The most common diminutive endings are -ito (-eto), –illo (-cillo, ecillo),  –ico, –ín, –chón, –uelo, and their variants, especially of –ito (-cito, –ecito), depending on the ending of the noun. The preferred diminutive endings and frequency of usage vary substantially among the different Spanish-speaking countries and areas of the world. While the Spanish of Spain tends to limit these suffixes to nouns, in Latin America they also appear commonly with adjectives and other parts of speech, e.g., ahora = “now,” ahorita = “right now.” (In Spain, “right now” is expressed with the intensifier mismo: ahora mismo.)

While the exact sense of diminutives and augmentatives is often very hard to translate exactly, what is important to know is the following: diminutives usually connote smallness, affection, a warm or emotional tone, emphasis or a combination thereof. (These often correspond to the French ending –ette, which has been incorporated into some English words to indicate smallness.) See the examples below and their translations:

Juan John
Juanito Jonny
niña (female) child, girl
niñita nice and/or little girl
joven young woman
jovencita young girl
poco little
poquito very little
novela novel
novelita novelette, novella

Other diminutives and augmentatives have become standardized in the language. While an idea of smallness or largeness may be present, there is no emotional or subjective connotation present:

caja box
cajón drawer
rata rat
ratón mouse
bolso purse, handbag
bolsillo pocket
camión truck
camioneta pick-up truck, station wagon
cigarro cigar
cigarrillo cigarette
camisa shirt
camiseta T-shirt
pan (loaf of) bread
panecillo roll
calle street
callejuela alley
zapatos shoes
zapatillas slippers
palabra word
palabrota obscenity, swear word
casa house
caserón mansion, large or broken-down house

In the first two examples and the last one, the word in the augmentative may undergo a change in gender, for example: caja (fem.) and cajón (masc.).

The most common augmentative endings are –ón, –ote, –azo and –udo. The exact shade of meaning conveyed by augmentatives may be even more difficult to detect. What is important to know is that in general augmentatives may carry connotations of largeness, intensity, negativity or a combination thereof, often with some sort of a pejorative idea. Study these examples and their translations:

hombre man
hombrón large man
mujer woman
mujerona large woman
mujerzuela uncouth woman
pelo hair
pelón (adj.) balding, hairless
peludo (adj.) very hairy, big and hairy

Occasionally, the –azo suffix may imply admiration:

bigote mustache
bigotazo great big (impressive) mustache

More often the –azo suffix denotes a thrust or a blow:

puño fist
puñetazo punch
flecha arrow
flechazo arrow wound

Some augmentative endings are almost always blatantly pejorative. These include: –aco, –acho, –ajo, –astro, –uco and –ucho.

Mi hermano se cree poeta, pero en realidad es un poetastro. My brother thinks he’s a poet but in reality he’s a third-rate poet..

One also finds occasional “diminutive” verbs, which carry an –it, –iz or –e suffix before the infinitive ending:

marchar to go away
marchitarse to wither, to wilt
dormir to sleep
dormitar to snooze
lagrimar to cry, to weep
lagrimear to tear up, to begin to cry
llover to rain
lloviznar to drizzle

Proceed with caution when you come across an augmentative or diminutive. If the meaning does not seem logical, indeed it may not be. Consulting a good dictionary and/or thoroughly studying the context will often clarify any doubts.

Last revised on June 25, 2021.

14.5 Conditional Perfect Tense and Conditional Perfect of Probability

The conditional perfect tense is formed by the conditional tense of the auxiliary verb haber and the past participle:

traer traducción
yo habría traído I would have brought
habrías traído you (fam.) would have brought
él, Ella, Ud. habría traído he, she, you (form.) would have brought
Nosotros habríamos traído we would have brought
Vosotros habríais traído you (fam. pl.) would have brought
ellos, ellas, Uds. habrían traído they, you (form. pl. [fam. pl. in L.A.] would have brought

The conditional perfect tense is used largely as it is in English. It indicates what someone would or would not have done in a past moment. See the following examples in context:

Yo no habría hecho aquello. I wouldn’t have done that.
Conrado no habría dicho eso. Conrado wouldn’t have said that.

As the conditional tense expresses probability or conjecture in the (simple) past moment, so does the conditional perfect tense express probability in the past perfect moment. You should pay special attention to this non-systemic use of the four tenses used to express probability and to avoid confusion among them, as well as with the literal (systemic) meaning of the tenses. In the compound tenses, the meaning is “perfected” or compounded from the simple (one-word) tense. Study the following chart to see the parallels:

Tense + Probability = Meaning (Time Frame)
future present
future perfect present perfect
conditional (simple) past
conditional perfect past perfect

See all four tenses below and note their translations:
Future of Probability

¿Quién será? Who do you think it is?

Conditional of Probability

¿Quién sería? Who do (did) you think it was?

Future Perfect of Probability

¿Quién habrá sido? Who do you think it has been?

Conditional Perfect of Probability

¿Quién habría sido? Who did you think it had been?

See also the four compound indicative tenses that you have studied and their basic meanings (not those of probability), to be sure that you can distinguish between them:

he visto I have seen
había visto I had seen
habré visto I will have seen
habría visto I would have seen

Vocabulario básico

Verbos:

burlarse (de)- to make fun (of)
exigir- to demand
mojarse- to get wet
saludar- to greet
soportar- to tolerate, to put up with (false friend)
urgir- to be urgent

Sustantivos:

la creencia- belief
la moneda- coin; currency (false friend)
el paraguas- umbrella

Adjetivos:

contrariado- upset
exigente- demanding
necio- foolish
soberbio- haughty
terco- stubborn

Adverbio:

últimamente- recently (false friend)

Last revised on June 25, 2021.

14.6 Frequent Noun Endings

The ending –ero/a tends to indicate a profession or trade related to the root of the noun, as in banquero (“banker”). Other less common suffixes that express the same meaning are –ín, as in bailarín (“dancer”); –ario as in veterinario (“veterinarian”); –ista, as in modista (“seamstress,” “dressmaker”); and –dor as in contador (“accountant”).

Noun endings in –ista generally only have one singular form. The gender of the person is seen in the definite or indefinite article: el pianista = male pianist, la novelista = female novelist.

The ending –ería (or at times –era) often denotes a place of business, a particular kind of factory, or a profession or trade that comes from the root of the noun, as in ingeniería (“engineering”)

The suffix –ada usually indicates a quantity, as in cucharada (“spoonful”).

Vocabulario básico 

Verbo:

colgar (ue)- to hang

Sustantivos:
Profesiones y oficios (trades):

el/la bailarín/ina- dancer, ballerina
el/la bibliotecario/-a- librarian
el/la bomber/-a- firefighter
el/la cajero/-a- cashier
el/la camarero/-a- waiter, waitress, server
el/la carnicero/-a- butcher
el/la cartero/-a- letter carrier
el/la cocinero/a- cook
el/la contador/a- accountant
el/la costurero/a- tailor, seamstress
el/la enfermero/a- nurse
el/la fontanero/a- plumber
el/la modista- dressmaker, seamstress
el/la obrero/a- laborer, worker
el/la peluquero/a- hair stylist
el/la periodista- journalist
el/la vendedor/-a- salesperson

Lugares:

la carnicería- butcher shop
la mueblería- furniture store/ furniture factory
la papelería- stationery store
la zapatería- shoe store

Otros sustantivos:

el ademán- gesture
la biblioteca- library
la bomba- bomb; pump
la caja- box; caja registradora- cash register
el incendio- fire (cognate: incendiary)
el oficio- trade (job)
la salchicha- sausage

Adjetivo:

grosero- rude, vulgar, coarse, discourteous

Last revised on June 28, 2021.