Using haber + participle (perfect infinitive)

To express "having done something" as the subject of a sentence in Spanish we use El Infinitivo Compuesto.

Here are some examples:

Haber estudiado idiomas me ha ayudado mucho en mi carrera profesional.
Having studied languages has helped me a lot in my professional career.

Lo mejor de mi trabajo como periodista es haber conocido a tantos famosos.
The best thing about my job as a journalist is having met so many celebrities.

Haber limpiado la cocina a fondo me ha dejado agotada.
Having cleaned the kitchen thoroughly has left me exhausted.

Notice how in English the gerund (form using -ing) is used instead.

This structure doesn't always have to be the subject of a sentence; sometimes it acts as a direct object, for example:

Ellos confesaron haber participado en el robo
They confessed to having taken part in the robbery.

El científico pensaba haber encontrado la fórmula.
The scientist thought he had found the formula. [lit: having found]

Sometimes this structure comes after a preposition:

Lo expulsaron del colegio por haber insultado a otro estudiante.
They expelled him for having insulted another student.

Se arrepintió de haber mentido a su novia.
He regretted having lied to his girlfriend.

It could also have pronouns attached to it, for example:

Haberte mudado a Barcelona te ha ayudado a ser más independiente.
Having moved to Barcelona has helped you to be more independent.

Haberlo superado ha sido un gran logro.
Having overcome it has been a great achievement.

Notice how the pronouns (telo, etc.) are attached to "haber". They cannot be placed separately.

This would be incorrect:

Lo haber superado ha sido un gran logro.

Haber superado lo ha sido un gran logro.

However, when we use El Infinitivo Compuesto in the negative in Spanish, the English translation won't be "having done [something]". Have a look at this sentence:

El prisionero declaró no haber robado nada.
The prisoner declared he had not stolen anything [lit: having stolen nothing]

We could also use the more literal structure in Spanish, with the same meaning:

El prisionero declaró que no había robado nada.
The prisoner declared that he had not stolen anything.

For other uses of El Infinitivo Compuesto see also:

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ellos confesaron haber participado en el robo
They confessed to having taken part in the robbery.


Haberte mudado a Barcelona te ha ayudado a ser más independiente.
Having moved to Barcelona has helped you to be more independent.


El científico pensaba haber encontrado la fórmula.
The scientist thought he had found the formula. [lit: having found]


Lo expulsaron del colegio por haber insultado a otro estudiante.
They expelled him for having insulted another student.


Se arrepintió de haber mentido a su novia.
He regretted having lied to his girlfriend.


Haber limpiado la cocina a fondo me ha dejado agotada.
Having cleaned the kitchen thoroughly has left me exhausted.


Haber estudiado idiomas me ha ayudado mucho en mi carrera profesional.
Having studied languages has helped me a lot in my professional career.


Lo mejor de mi trabajo como periodista es haber conocido a tantos famosos.
The best thing about my job as a journalist is having met so many celebrities.


Haberlo superado ha sido un gran logro.
Having overcome it has been a great achievement.


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