Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to say should have in Spanish

In my last post I talked about how to say could have in Spanish.  Today we're going to talk about how to say should have in Spanish.  Let's get to the task at hand.


To say should have in Spanish, you need the verb deber.  Deber means should or ought to.  You will have to know how to conjugate the verb deber in the conditional tense, but don't worry, I'm going to help you with that too.  And just like saying could have in Spanish, you'll also need the helping verb haber.  It doesn't need to be conjugated, you just use it as is.

The last thing you need to know is how to form past participles.  All that means is you need to the "-ido" or "-ado" version of the verb.  With the exception of a few irregular verbs, "-ido" and "-ado" are the only things you need to form the past participle of a verb.  Here's a very nice page that's explains how to do that in plain English.

Forming Past Participles

Just like I did when I explained how to say could have in Spanish, I'm going to give you the basic pattern:

Deber + haber + verb (past participle)

Let's go ahead and expand this pattern to include all the conjugations of deber in the conditional tense.

I should have
Debería haber + verb (-ido, -ado)

You should have
Deberías haber  + verb  (-ido, -ado)

He/she should have
Debería haber  + verb  (-ido, -ado)

They should have
Deberían haber  + verb  (-ido, -ado)

We should have
Deberíamos haber  + verb  (-ido, -ado)

While those are helpful, nothing beats a few good examples. And just to keep things simple, I'm going to work with the same examples I used in the How to say could have in Spanish post.

Debería haber dormido más tiempo
I should have slept longer

Debería haber bailado toda la noche
She/He should have danced all night

Deberíamos haber ido a la playa
We should have gone to the beach

Deberían haber llamado
They should have called

There you go.  Simple right?

Even though this really isn't that hard, you may find yourself needing a little extra help to really nail down those conditional verb tenses for deber, or any verb for that matter.  Here are a couple of suggestions.

If you're the old fashioned type and you like the traditional reading and writing exercises, a pretty good book to use is this one:

Click here or on the image to take a look at the book on Amazon.  You can get a peek inside the book as well.  I actually own this book and it's really helpful for learning how to conjugate any verb  tense, not just the conditional.

Another option to help you with those pesky verb conjugations that I wish had been around when I started is the Verbarrator.

It's an amazing tool that teaches you verb conjugations with practical examples that you can see and hear spoken by native speakers.  It will also add new vocabulary to your Spanish toolkit at the same time. I bought a copy and I'm not going to lie to you, if you take your Spanish seriously it's money well spent.  Anyway, click here or on the image to check it out.

While I do think the Verbarrator is probably the best and most effective tool on the market for learning verb conjugations, you can still find plenty of free Spanish verb conjugation trainers on the internet with a simple Google search.  One that I used quite a bit in the past is the Spaleon Verb Conjugation Trainer.

So now you have a couple of options to help you with nailing down those conditional verb tense conjugations.  Another one is Learning Spanish LikeCrazy Level 3.  Among other things it devotes two full 30 minutes lessons to saying should have in Spanish.  You can click here to check it out. It  actual covers a lot of useful material I really haven't found anywhere else.

You may also want to learn how to say could have and would have:

How to say could have in Spanish

How to say would have in Spanish

Well, enough is enough.  I hope you found today's topic useful.

¡Hasta la próxima!
Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. I know this post is old, but it was quite helpful and I wanted to let you know that. I am learning Spanish from a native speaker and we just started this today and I was quite confused. One question I have is that she used the past tense of deber and not conditional. For example: Debiste de haber pensado antes de hacerlo.

    Is that also correct?