Deber in El Conditional Simple + haber + participle = should have

To express that someone should have done [something] in Spanish we use deber in El Condicional Simple followed by El Infinitivo Compuesto:

yo debería  
tú / usted
deberías  
él debería   +  haberpast participle
nosotros / nosotras 
deberíamos  
vosotros / vosotras 
deberíais  
ellos  / ellas / ustedes
deberían  

Note that El Infinitivo Compuesto is formed by the infinitive of haber plus the past participle of the main verb.

Just like in English, this structure is used to express some sort of advice or regret related to a past action. Read this short dialogue:

-¡Ayer rompí con Jaime! Y ahora me estoy arrepintiendo...
-Vaya, deberías haber pensado un poco más en las consecuencias.

-I broke up with Jaime yesterday! And I am regretting it now...
-Oh, you should have thought a bit more about the consequences.

Yo debería haber comido más temprano.
I should have eaten earlier.

Tu deberías haber cerrado la puerta con llave.
You should have locked the door.

Ella debería haber frenado antes.
She should have braked earlier.

Nosotros no deberíamos haberle escuchado.
We shouldn't have listened to him.

Vosotros deberíais haberle avisado.
You should have warned her.

Ellos deberían haber cogido el autobús.
They should have taken the bus.

Note that El Infinitivo Compuesto is often combined with modal verbs (for example deber, tener que, poder)

See also: List of Irregular Spanish past participles

Examples and resources

Vosotros deberíais haberle avisado.
You should have warned her.


Ella debería haber frenado antes.
She should have braked earlier.


Tu deberías haber cerrado la puerta con llave.
You should have locked the door.


Nosotros no deberíamos haberle escuchado.
We shouldn't have listened to him.


Yo debería haber comido más temprano.
I should have eaten earlier.


Ellos deberían haber cogido el autobús.
They should have taken the bus.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 2 answers

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella?

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella? 

Asked 7 hours ago

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella?

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella? 

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looks like the kwiz is not available :(

Asked 6 months ago
ShuiKwiziq language super star

Hola Andre

Thanks for letting us know, I've asked someone to take a look and it should be up and running soon!

Saludos

Shui

ShuiKwiziq language super star

All fixed for you now Andre - let me know if you spot this anywhere else!

looks like the kwiz is not available :(

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