This is another Spanish past tense to go along with the Pretérito Indefinido (Preterite or simple past) and the Preterito Imperfecto (Imperfect past or things you ‘used to do’).
Whereas the Preterite and Imperfect are used for events in the past that are considered completed the Present Perfect is used more to describe things that started in the past but continue into the Present.
Basically it’s the equivalent of the tense ‘I have done something’ in English and is made up of two verbs as in English, those being the verb to have and then the ‘past participle of another verb i.e. to eat = eaten, to dance = danced, to speak = spoken.
In Spanish though we use the verb Haber + past participle and so it works like this. NOTE that we do not use Tener in Spanish for this tense:
Haber = to have (done something)
he hablado (from hablar)
ha + Past Participle comido (from comer)
habéis vivido (from vivir)
As you can see to form the past participle you simply remove the -AR from the verb and add -ado, or removed -ER/-IR and add -ido.
There are also a number of irregulars you need to be aware of:
abrir (to open) – abierto (open)
cubrir (to cover) – cubierto (covered)
decir (to say) – dicho (said)
escribir (to write) – escrito (written)
freír (to fry) – frito (fried)
hacer (to do) – hecho (done)
morir (to die) – muerto (dead)
poner (to put) – puesto (put)
resolver (to resolve) – resuelto (resolved)
romper (to break) – roto (broken)
ver (to see) – visto (seen)
volver (to return) – vuelto (returned)
Below are a series of links which summarise the tense well and allow you to practice with it:
Spanishdict.com gives a decent summary here but it doesn’t specifically mention the irregulars
There is a good summary from studyspanish.com here of the past participles.
And more from studyspanish.com here on the present perfect tense itself. Be sure to do the practice quizzes available on the left hand side.
Here’s a good practice exercise on BK Nelson.