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

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.


Vosotros deberíais haberle avisado.
You should have warned her.


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


Q&A

Andre

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2019

2 replies

looks like the kwiz is not available :(

Shui

Kwiziq language super star

8 January 2019

8/01/19

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

Shui

Kwiziq language super star

8 January 2019

8/01/19

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

Getting that for you now.