Hi just looking for a l help.
About 20:33mins into the challenge it asks “when did you start learning?”. Now I thought that would be “Cuando comenzo usted aprender” but the native speakers say “Cuando a comensado usted a aprender”. Can it be said either way?
Yes, it can be said either way:
Cuando comenzo usted a aprender?
Cuando ha comenzado usted a aprender?
They are interchangable. You will hear the first one more often in South America and the second one as the standard form in Spain.
Thanks for the reply. Makes sense now
Thanks for the help
It would actually be spelled “Cuando ha comensado usted a aprender”. The “ha” is the third person singular from haber (silent “h”), meaning “have”, in the sense of “I have gone” or “Have you read it yet?”. So the sentence would literally read, “When have you started to learn?” This way of speaking is not as commonly used in English, but it is in Spanish.
The conjugation of haber is as follows:
he (I have)
has (you have)
ha (you [frml.] have, he/she/it has)
hemos (we have)
han (they/you [pl.] have)
Let me be a little more specific. This is known as the present perfect tense. It’s actually really easy to learn and then utilize. Haber is always used with another verb (haber is a helping verb). The verb that follows it is the past participle of the verb. For the most part, all you do is take the infinitive form of the verb (e.g. preparar - to prepare), take away the verb group ending (in this case, “ar”), and add “-ado” to the end (add “ido” to the end for “ir” and “er” verbs). Grammar aside, let’s look at some examples to see how easy this is:
He preparado - I have prepared
Han preparado - They have prepared
Ha hablado - You have spoken/talked
Has hablado - You (infrml.) have spoken/talked
Han trabajado - They/You all have worked
Now let’s look at -ir and -er verbs:
He vendido - I have sold
Ha aprendido - You have learned
Hemos escribido - We have written
See how easy of a concept it is?! And it’s very common in Spanish.