Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are catching up with today's events. The other person says to you something like: "tell me, what have you done today?".
In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿qué has hecho hoy?
On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say to you:
Dígame, ¿qué ha hecho (usted) hoy?
The question is an invitation for you to talk about something you have/ haven't done over a period of time. When saying what you have/ haven't done, you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question. Your main concern should be about communicating what you have/ haven't done. Perhaps you want to say that, over a specific period of time, you:
- Have done something.
- Haven't done anything.
done something specific.
Here are some examples of how you would say what you have/ haven't done:
- Hoy he escrito varias cartas* (Today I have written several letters).
- Hoy no he hecho nada* (Today I have done nothing).
- Hoy no he ido a trabajar* (Today I haven't gone to work).
Now you should practice talking about the past to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿qué has hecho hoy?
*Please see grammar below
These are examples of expressions using the perfect to talk about past completed actions. Remember that in Spanish the perfect is used in a similar way to its counterpart in English. That is, the perfect defines past actions over a specific period of time which includes the present. Some examples of the use of the perfect are:
- He estado en Manila este año (I have been in Manila this year).
- ¿Has ido a ver a tus padres hoy? (have you gone to see your parents today).
- Pedro no me ha llamado por teléfono esta semana (Pedro hasn't phoned me this week).
- Hemos ido a Nueva York este año (we have gone to New York this year).
- ¿Habéis llegado de Barcelona hoy? (have you -plural arrived from Barcelona today?).
Tus padres no
han viajado este mes (your parents have
not travelled this month).
Now you should practice using the perfect with some examples of your own.
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