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Splitting Verbs Not Usual in Spanish

'Haber' Should Be Kept Adjacent to Past Participle


Although it is very common in English to separate auxiliary and main verbs from each other, that practice generally should not be imitated in Spanish.

The situation is most common in English where an adverb separates a form of "to have" from a past participle. Note how in the following Spanish examples the form of haber is kept next to the past participle. The Spanish adverb can usually go before or after the verb:

  • We have always gone to the coast. Siempre hemos ido a la costa.
  • I have never had a virus in my computer. Nunca he tenido un virus en mi ordenador.
  • We have bravely traveled to where nobody else has been before. Hemos viajado audazmente a donde ningún otro ha estado antes.
The main exception with haber is that if haber is in the infinitive form, an object pronoun can be attached: Quiero haberlo visto con mis propios ojos. I want to have seen it with my own eyes.

Similarly, adverbs should not be used to separate other auxiliary verbs from main verbs:

  • I can almost say I am the only one in Spain who wears them. Casi puedo decir que soy el único de España que los lleva.
  • She can't win if she doesn't keep on diligently studying. No puede ganar si no sigue estudiando con diligencia.
  • Blizzard is secretly working on a third title. Blizzard está trabajando en secreto en un tercer título.
  • My life is crazily spinning out of control. Mi vida está girando locamente fuera de control.
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