Using ya with El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto

In Spanish, "ya", meaning "already", can be used with El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto. Read and listen to these examples:

Ya había hecho la tarea cuando me echaste la bronca.
I had already done the task when you told me off.

Ya habías entendido la explicación cuando el profesor te lo explicó.
You had already understood the explanation when the teacher explained it to you.

Miguel había salido de casa ya cuando se acordó de las llaves.
Miguel had already left the house when he remembered his keys.

Ya nos habíamos acostado cuando llegó el paquete.
We had already gone to bed when the parcel arrived.

Cristina había pedido ya el entrante cuando yo llegué al restaurante.
Cristina had already order her starter [US: appetizer] when I arrived at the restaurant.

Antes del partido en la tele, ya habíamos pedido las pizzas.
Before the match on the TV, we had already ordered the pizzas.

Para las ocho y media, ya habías terminado el pastel.
By eight thirty, you had already finished [baking] the cake.

Notice how we place "ya" either at the beginning of the verbal structure or right at the end of it. It cannot be placed between haber and the participle the way it is in English.

One could even place ya after other elements of the main sentence. See all the correct options here:

  • Carmen ya había comprado un coche nuevo.
  • Carmen había comprado ya un coche nuevo.
  • Carmen había comprado un coche nuevo ya.
  • Carmen había ya comprado un coche nuevo.

Carmen had already bought a new car.

See also:

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Para las ocho y media, ya habías terminado el pastel.
By eight thirty, you had already finished [baking] the cake.


Ya habías entendido la explicación cuando el profesor te lo explicó.
You had already understood the explanation when the teacher explained it to you.


Ya nos habíamos acostado cuando llegó el paquete.
We had already gone to bed when the parcel arrived.


Antes del partido en la tele, ya habíamos pedido las pizzas.
Before the match on the TV, we had already ordered the pizzas.


Ya había hecho la tarea cuando me echaste la bronca.
I had already done the task when you told me off.


Cristina había pedido ya el entrante cuando yo llegué al restaurante.
Cristina had already order her starter [US: appetizer] when I arrived at the restaurant.


Miguel había salido de casa ya cuando se acordó de las llaves.
Miguel had already left the house when he remembered his keys.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 2 answers

I am apparently stuck on 98.2 on this topic.

I am apparently stuck on 98.2 on this topic however often I go round the questions.  I previously had a similar issue on the question about después de que/ antes de que which now seems to have been resolved, whether through your action or just randomly or through some timing element I am not sure. 

Asked 5 months ago
GruffKwiziq language super star

Hi Karen - sorry about this, there can be multiple causes for these. I've been looking at them and making the necessary fixes as you have noticed. This one should also be fixed now so if you take another test then everything should sort itself out. Thanks for your patience and thanks for letting us know!

I am apparently stuck on 98.2 on this topic.

I am apparently stuck on 98.2 on this topic however often I go round the questions.  I previously had a similar issue on the question about después de que/ antes de que which now seems to have been resolved, whether through your action or just randomly or through some timing element I am not sure. 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Habíamos ya visitado given as a potential answer? Thx Nick

Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Nick

No, that shouldn't be a correct answer. It's been corrected.

Thanks for letting us know.

Inma

Habíamos ya visitado given as a potential answer? Thx Nick

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now.