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 haberlo escuchado.
We shouldn't have listened to him.

Vosotros deberíais haberla 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

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


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


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


Vosotros deberíais haberla avisado.
You should have warned her.


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


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


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 3 answers

EmanuelB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella?

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella? 

Asked 3 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Emanuel

There is a typo in this sentence, actually. The "le" should say "la" as "avisar [a alguien] is a transitive verb and "la" is a direct object pronoun. You can repeat the direct object saying:

Deberías haberla avisado a ella.

The repetition of the object is simply there simply for emphasis or clarification. You could also omit it and just say:

Deberías haberla avisado.

La deberías haber avisado.

If the translation was "You should have warned him (not her)", then you'd need direct object pronoun "lo":

Deberías haberlo avisado.

Lo deberías haber avisado.

Deberías haberlo avisado a él.

I hope this helps

Saludos

Inma

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella?

Could I add to haber le avisado: a ella? 

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AndreB1Kwiziq community member

looks like the kwiz is not available :(

Asked 10 months ago
ShuiKwiziq team member

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 team member

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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