Past tense with perfect / plusquamperfect
These two forms are constructed with ha, to have, plus the supinum form of the verb.
Perfect: har (have) + Supinum
Plusquamperfect: hade (had) + Supinum
Jag har arbetat länge.
I’ve worked for a long time.
Jag har ringt dig.
I’ve called you.
|G3||-vowel except a||-tt|
Där har jag bott.
I’ve lived there.
|G4||irregular (more than one syllable)||-it|
Där har jag varit.
I’ve been there.
|irregular (one syllable)||-tt|
Här har jag gått i skolan.
I’ve gone to school here.
These forms are mostly used like in English.
When the time is unknown or has a connection to the present, then we’ll use perfect.
Jag har redan sett musikalen.
I’ve already seen the musical.
Perfect is also used for completed actions with a adverb of time placed next to it. Common adverbs are idag, today, den här veckan, this week, den här månaden, this month, hela dagen, the whole day, and i år, this year.
Jag har jobbat hela dagen.
I’ve worked the whole day.
This is also used for questions like:
Vad har du gjort idag? Jag har jobbat.
What have you been doing today? I’ve been working.
Also, for temporal adverbs like någonsin, ever, någon gång, sometime, aldrig, never, alltid, always, we use perfect.
Har du någonsin varit i London?
Have you ever been to London.
Plusquamperfect is used to express past perfect, something that occured past that you are talking about. It is also used in “what-if”-clauses when we already know what happened but we present an alternative outcome.
Jag hade gärna följt med om jag inte hade varit sjuk.
I would have gone with if I hadn’t been sick.