When I learned grammar at school (ca. 1983) they use two different naming system for the verbal tenses. They were called "Spanish" (as from Spain) and "Andrés Bello" (in reference to the 19th century scholar who described it)
For the indicative mood, the tenses were:
- Presente simple (S) = Presente (AB): camino
- Pretérito indefinido (S) = Pasado (AB): caminé
- Pretérito imperfecto (S) = Pretérito (AB): caminaba
- Futuro imperfecto (S) = Futuro (AB): caminaré
- Pretérito perfecto (S) = Anterpresente (AB): he caminado
- Pertérito anterior (S) = Antepasado (AB): hube caminado
- Pretérito pluscuamperfecto (S) = Antepretérito (AB): había caminado
- Futuro perfecto (S) = Antefuturo (AB): habré caminado
According to the reference by Angus, the RAE made the change in 1973, however it had not permeated the Colombian school system by 1983.
I have noticed that in some places, particularly in Spain, the (composite) perfect past «he caminado» is used in most places I would use the simple (perfect) past «caminé». There is very little semantic difference between both constructions, particularly when used in positive sentences with indefinite time frame.
Caminé tres kilómetros. -- I walked two miles.
He caminado tres kilómetros. -- I've walked two miles.
(For me when used with a definite time frame, the composite sentences sounds too European Spanish.)
Al medio día comí pasta. -- At noon, I ate pasta
Al medio día he comido pasta. -- At noon, I've eaten pasta.
However in the negative, there is a significant difference:
No me comí la ensalda. -- I didn't ate the salad.
No me he comido la ensalada. -- I haven't eaten the salad.
The simple tense with the negative implies that the act of not eating salad is done: I stopped eating my lunch and I left the salad (and won't eat it later).
The composite, on the other hand, means that the act of eating the salad is not perfected (negation of the perfect) yet. I haven't finishing eating my lunch and so far I have not eaten salad but I still may do it.
In those three examples the imperfect have a complete different sense:
Caminaba tres kilómetros.
Depending on context, it means that I used to walk a couple of miles or that during a time frame defined by me walking the two miles something else happened.
Al medio día comía pasta.
I'm beginning to tell a story and I set the scenario: It was noon and I was eating pasta.
No me comía la ensalada.
This is also the setting for a telling.