in , ,

Spanish Verbs: Forming Past Participles in Spanish

Advertisement

Spanish Verbs: Forming Past Participles in Spanish

The past participle in Spanish is primarily used with the verb haber ‘to have’ to form the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect of Spanish verbs. Similar to the past participle in English, the Spanish past participle is formed by affixing a suffix to the stem of a verb. The following sections explain the formation of regular and irregular past participles in Spanish as well as the slight spelling changes that some past participles experience.

Past Participles of Regular -ar Verbs

To form the past participle of a regular -ar verb, remove the -ar suffix from the end of the infinitive and affix the -ado suffix to the stem. For example:

  • Infinitive – Past Participle – English
  • bailar – bailado – danced
  • cantar – cantado – sang
  • escuchar – escuchado – listened
  • estudiar – estudiado – studied
  • hablar – hablado – talked, spoken
  • jugar – jugado – played
  • trabajar – trabajado – worked
  • viajar – viajado – traveled

Past Participles of Regular -er and -ir Verbs

Advertisement

To form the past participle of a regular -er verb, remove the -er suffix from the end of the infinitive and affix the -ido suffix to the stem. Notice that some Spanish verbs like tener ‘to have’ and ser ‘to be’ that are irregular in other conjugations are regular in the past participle. For example:

  • Infinitive – Past Participle – English
  • aprender – aprendido – learned
  • beber – bebido – drunk
  • comer – comido – eaten
  • correr – corrido – run
  • perder – perdido – lost
  • ser – sido – been
  • tener – tenido – had
  • vender – vendido – sold

To form the past participle of a regular -ir verb, remove the -ir suffix from the end of the infinitive and also affix the -ido suffix to the stem. Notice that some Spanish verbs like ir ‘to go’ that are irregular in other conjugations are also regular in the past participle. For example:

  • Infinitive – Present Participle – English
  • asistir – asistiendo – assisting
  • discutir – discutido – discussed
  • ir – ido – gone
  • recibir – recibido – received
  • repetir – repetido – repeated
  • salir – salido – left
  • sufrir – sufrido – suffered
  • vivir – vivido – lived

Irregular Past Participles

Some verbs are simply irregular in the past participle. Irregular past participles must be memorized. For example:

  • Infinitive – Past Participle – English
  • abrir – abierto – opened
  • cubrir – cubierto – covered
  • decir – dicho – said
  • describir – descrito – described
  • escribir – escrito – written
  • freir – frito – fried
  • hacer – hecho – done, made
  • morir – muerto – died
  • poner – puesto – put
  • resolver – resuelto – resolved
  • romper – roto – broken
  • ver – visto – seen
  • volver – vuelto – returned

Past Participles with Spelling Changes

To spell the past participle of a Spanish verb whose -er, or -ir suffix precedes a vowel or nothing, remove the -er, or -ir suffix and affix the -ído suffix to the stem. Notice that the i changes to an accented í. For example:

  • Infinitive – Present Participle – English
  • caer – caído – fallen
  • construir – construído – constructed
  • creer – creído – believed
  • huir – huído – fled
  • leer – leído – read
  • oír – oído – heard
  • seguir – siguído – followed
  • traer – traído – brought

Spanish past participles most often combine with the verb haber ‘to have’ to form the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect conjugations of verbs in Spanish. Learning to form the past participles of Spanish verbs is essential for learning to communicate with the Spanish language.

Note: I have studied Spanish as a foreign language. Please feel free to correct any mistakes that I have made in my Spanish.

References

Ramboz, Ina. 2008. Spanish verbs & essentials of grammar (Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series), 2nd edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Advertisement

Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

First Animal Puzzle and Whistle & Go Puppy

John Deere Toys Review: First Animal Puzzle and Whistle & Go Puppy

The Duck and the Hostas

The Duck and the Hostas: The Rubber Ducky Project Week 31