Spanish Grammar Guide

Past Participle (e.g.: hablado, dicho, venido, comido)

An Overview of Spanish Past Participles

The past participle form of the verb is usually found after the auxiliary haber (e.g.:has hablado) and also estar (e.g.: el vaso está quebrado) and ser (e.g.: la explicación es complicada).

When the past participle is used as an adjective with estar or ser, there is gender and number agreement with the noun it modifies (e.g.: las puertas están abiertas).

The is no gender/number agreement when used with haber in the past perfect because the past participle is part of the verb haber, not the noun (e.g.: las chicas han abierto las puertas).

Most forms of the past participle are predictable, but there are a few irregulars ones.

How to form the Past Participle

The past participle is formed by adding the following endings to the verb stem (replacing the infinitive -ar/-er/-ir ending with the past participle endings):

  • -ado for -ar verbs, e.g.: comprar > he comprado
  • -ido for -er/-ir verbs, e.g.: comer > él ha comido; vivir > han vivido bien
  • -ído for -er/-ir verbs whose stems end in a vowel, e.g.: leer > hemos leído la revista; oír > ha oído el sonido

Some common irregular past participles you should be familiar with are shown in the following table:

infinitive past participle
abrir abierto
decir dicho
hacer hecho
morir muerto
romper roto
ver visto
cubrir cubierto
escribir escrito
imprimir impreso
poner puesto
volver vuelto
descubrir descubierto
resolver resuelto
ser sido
ir ido

Some verbs also have two forms. The regular form is used with the verbs haber and estar, and the irregular is strictly an adjective to describe a noun used with ser and estar. For example, El profesor ha confundido a los estudiantes porque el examen es confuso. Verbs with both regular and irregular forms are shown in the following table.

verb regular past participle irregular past participle (adjective)

sustituir 'to substitute'

sustituido sustituto

soltar 'to release'

soltado suelto

confundir 'to confuse'

confundido confuso

elegir 'to choose'

elegido electo

despertar 'to wake up'

despertado despierto 

 

Image result for cuidado

  • Remember that the only time the past participle shows gender and number agreement with the noun is when it is used as an adjective. There is NEVER gender and number agreement when the past paritipcle is used with haber. For example, Las mujeres han elegido la joven para ser presidenta de su clase NOTHan elegidas.

We don't make the rules, we just try to explain them! Doing the exercises and writing with Spanish Checker will help you master both the general rules (these are the most important) and the exceptions (if you want to get an A on your assignment!).

Verb conjugation:
Spanish Grammar Guide » Verbs (e.g.: hablar, venir, ser, tener, hacer) » Tense (past, present, future)
 
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