Señor Jordan's Spanish Videos » Blog Archive » 02 acabar de + infinitive

02 acabar de + infinitive

Posted by Señor Jordan on May 2, 2011 in -AR, conjugation, present, regular, year 2 |

Hola.  In this lesson we’re working on a special verb phrase to explain that someone has just done something [recently].  It’s actually really easy.  All it takes is acabar + de + an infinitive verb.

verb chart:

más práctica:



el bistec – steak
el cine – the movie theater
el comentario – comment
el equipo – team
el libro – book
el profesor – teacher
la fiesta – the party
la mamá – my mom
las papas – potatoes
la película – movie
la ropa – clothes / clothing
la verdad – the truth
los estudiantes – students
los huevos – eggs
los muchachos – boys
un beso – a kiss
un carro – car
un mensaje de texto – a text message
un minuto – one minute
un trofeo – a trophy

verbos (verbs)
acostarse – to go to bed
bañarse – to bathe
cenar – to eat dinner
comer – to eat
comprar – to buy
dar – to give
decir – to say, to tell
enviar – to send
ganar – to win
hablar – to talk
irse – to leave
levantarse – to get (oneself) up
llegar – to arrive
marcharse – to leave
planchar – to iron
ver – to see

otro (other)
a – to
cinco – five
con – with
en – in, on
ese / esa – that
favorito – favorite
le – to him, to her
me – to me, me
mi(s) – my
para – for
todo / toda – all
tu(s) – your

Related video(s):

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May 15, 2011 at 12:19 am

Thanks for all of the wonderful videos. It helps a lot!

Also, do you happen to know if there’s a similar project to yours for french? (you don’t happen to speak french, do you? :D)

May 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You would use “acabo de comer” to say I (have) just ate, but would you use the past or
imperfect for some constructions? For example “acabé de comer” or “Yo acababa
de comer” to say I HAD just ate… (implying some past action when one is telling another
of a prior event? Gracias Sr. Jordan…. I’ve enjoyed your videos for over ayear now!

May 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm

“Emilia le acaba de dar un beso a Juan” –
does it mean that it just happened not long ago, or that it was just a kiss, and nothing more? can it mean both?


Señor Jordan
May 17, 2011 at 5:25 am

Great question! I was going to make a video a little later about your question. We use ‘acabar’ in the imperfect for the ‘had just done’ something. So “Javier acababa de hablar por teléfono” (Javier had just spoken on the phone).

-Sr. J

Señor Jordan
May 17, 2011 at 5:27 am

I tried to clarify this very question a few times in the video. But it’s confusing because in English we often use ‘just’ to say “only”.

“Emilia le acaba de dar un beso a Juan” means it didn’t happen long ago. That is, she [just] gave him a kiss [right now]!

-Sr. J

Jun 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

Isn’t it interesting that acabar + infinitive has sort of a present-tense connotation? It always seems like it should be in the past. 🙂 I also always find myself doing a doubletake when I hear native Spanish speakers use the present tense with other verbs to tell stories in the past. For instance, “Ayer estaba en el mall. Veo a Monica y le digo blah blah blah…” In English we would keep using the past, but I hear native speakers switch to the present in this type of situation quite frequently. Gotta love learning languages. 🙂

Señor Jordan
Jun 17, 2011 at 10:08 am

You bring up an interesting point. People in Spanish also can switch to the present when narrating similar to as we do in English. Think of it this way, when you’re telling about something and then you say:
“and I say to him”…”and he says…”… even though it’s in the past.

-Sr. J

Aug 8, 2011 at 10:42 am


The video was very helpful. Thank you.
But I was wondering how to use acabar de + inf in the Preterite & Preterito imperfecto
acabé, acabaste, acabó or acababa, acababas, acababa Etc.

Would be glad if you could give me some examples.

Thank you.




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