I have never seen an explanation for the Spanish word "He".

Here is an example,

He prometido guardar Tus palabras.

Can someone please explain this to me?

2 Answers 2


It's exactly the same as "Have" in english. "He" is a verbal tense of the verb "haber".

(In your example, in english, "I have promised...")

Where is the doubt?

Maybe you are missing the subject, the person; in spanish you can skip it because it's implied in the verbal tense itself (Yo he, Tu has, Él ha, etc.), but it would be also correct to say "Yo he prometido guardar"...

Hope that helps.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer it may be hard to believe, and indeed after reading your answer it is hard for me to believe myself, but I have never been taught about haber or seen examples of it and so I was thinking of "he" in terms of a type of pronoun. Thanks again for your answer!
    – Kyle
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 7:55
  • I'm glad it helped to clarify it :) Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 8:33
  • It's not exactly the same as to have. You must Remember that to have is used for tener, in some cases. Haber != Tener Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 17:34
  • He is talking about the "grammatical" aspect; I'm quite sure that he is aware of the meaning-difference you point. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 7:21
  • @SergioVelásquez Actually, Haber = Poseer = Tener, though, to be fair, it's an old usage.
    – MikMik
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 15:09

You're thinking that "He" acts as the subject, aren't you? Well, it's not. It's the verb (In fact "He prometido" is the verb)

In Spanish you can apply an pronoun ellipsis when it acts as the subject. For example, you can say:

Yo escribo una carta


Escribo una carta.

In your example (He prometido) you're using a compound tense of the verb "Prometer" (which is formed with the auxiliary tense of verb "Haber" + the past participle of verb "Prometer").

Here you can also apply the pronoun ellipsis rule if you want (which is very common to do it):

Yo he escrito una carta.


He escrito una carta.

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