Lesson 16:
The Past Participle

The Past Participle

Formation of verbs:

Past Participle of Regular Verbs: The past participle of regular verbs is formed by dropping the infinitive ending and adding “-ado” or “-ido”.

Infinitive Past Participle Meaning
Aprender aprendido learned
Visitar visitado visited
Vivir vivido lived

Past Participles Endings in “-ido”: The past participle of “-er” and “-ir” verbs stems ending in a vowel have an accent mark.

Infinitive Past Participle Meaning
Caer caído fallen
Creer creído believed
Leer leído read
Oír oído heard
Reír reído laughed
Traer traído brought

Irregular Past Participles Ending in “-to”: The following verbs have irregular past participles ending of “-to”.

Infinitive Past Participle Meaning
Abrir abierto opened
Cubrir cubierto covered
Describir descrito described
Descubrir descubierto discovered
Devolver devuelto returned
Encubrir encubierto undercover
Envolver envuelto wrapped
Escribir escrito written
Freír frito fried
Inscribir inscrito enrollment
Morir muerto died
Poner puesto put
Prever previsto provided
Recubrir recubierto covered
Resolver resuelto resolved
Romper roto broken
Ver visto seen
Volver vuelto returned

Irregular Past Participles Ending in “-so”: The following verb has irregular past participles ending of “-so”.

Infinitive Past Participle Meaning
Imprimir impreso printed

Irregular Past Participles Ending in “-cho”: The following verbs has irregular past participles ending of “-cho”.

Infinitive Past Participle Meaning
Decir dicho said
Deshacer deshecho undone
Hacer hecho done, made
Rehacer rehecho remade
Satisfacer satisfecho satisfied

There are some regular verbs that in the past participle become adjectives. When they are adjectives, they then become irregular.

Infinitive Past Participle
(regular)
Past Participle
(adjective – irregular)
Meaning
Aprehender aprehendido preso apprehended / imprisoned
Atender atendido atento attended / attentive
Bendecir bendecido bendito blessed / blest
Comprimir comprimido compreso compressed / filled
Concluir concluido concluso concluded / concluded
Confesar confesado confeso confessed / self-confessed
Confundir confundido confuso confused / confused
Convertir convertido converso converted / convert
Corregir corregido correcto corrected / correct
Corromper corrompido corrupto tainted / corrupt
Desatender desatendido desatento disregarded / neglected
Despertar despertado despierto awakened / awake
Difundir difundido difuso diffused / diffuse
Elegir elegido electo chosen / elect
Expresar expresado expreso expressed / express
Invertir invertido inverso inverted / reverse
Juntar juntado junto joined / together
Maldecir maldecido maldito damned / blasted
Manifestar manifestado manifiesto displayed / manifest
Oprimir oprimido opreso downtrodden / oppressed
Regresar regresado regreso returned / return

Rules for using the past participle:

Rule 1- It can be used as an adjective, either accompanying an adverb or an adjective only.

Example:

Un edificio mal hecho.
A shoddy (poorly-made) building.

Las papas muy fritas no son buenas.
The overcooked fried potatoes are not good.

El niño regresó con el pantalón roto.
The child returned with torn pants.

Las ventanas están abiertas.
The windows are open.

Rule 2- The past participle can also be used as an adjective after “recién” expressing a near past or recent.

Example:

Me gustan los recién nacidos.
I like newborns.

Me agradan los recién llegados.
I like the newcomers.

Él está recién egresado de la universidad.
He just finished university.

Rule 3- The past participle as an adjective form the passive voice, with the following formula: the verb ser in any tense + adjetivo past participle + por.

Example:

El libro fue escrito por un escritor famoso.
The book was written by a famous writer.

El presidente fue electo por el pueblo.
The president was elected by the people.

El puente es construido por los arquitectos.
The bridge is built by the architects.

La ciudad será diseñada por los mejores arquitectos.
The city will be designed by the best architects.

Some nouns can also be formed from a past participle, usually these nouns are feminine.

Example:

Infinitive Past Participle Noun Meaning
Bajar bajado la bajada the descent
Beber bebido la bebida the drink
Comer comido la comida the food
Decir dicho la dicha the happiness
Decir dicho el dicho the saying
Entrar entrado la entrada the entry
Hacer hecho el hecho the fact
Hacer hecho la hecha made
Ir ido la ida the departure
Llamar llamado la llamada the call
Morir muerto la muerte the death
Morir muerto la muerta the corpse
Morir muerto el muerto the corpse
Salir salido la salida the exit
Subir subido la subida the ascent
Venir venido la venida the coming
Ver visto la vista the view
Volver vuelto la vuelta the turn, return
Example:

No me gusta la comida colombiana.
I do not like Colombian food.

La subida del volcán es muy difícil.
The rise (ascent) of the volcano is very difficult.

Rule 4- The past participle can also be used as an auxiliary to form perfect tenses. The perfect tenses are formed with the verb “haber” + past participle. In English we use the verb “to have”, but in Spanish we use the verb “haber” as an auxiliary to form perfect tenses. “Haber” describes the person, while the time and the past participle describes the action. The perfect tenses can be:

The present perfect tense

The pluperfect tense or past perfect tense

The future perfect tense

The conditional perfect tense

 

The present perfect tense

The present perfect tense is formed by the present tense of the verb “haber” (to have) and a past participle.

Yo he
Tú has
Él/Ella/ Usted ha
Nosotros hemos
Ellos/as/Uds han
+
ido/conocido/comprado


To make a verb negative in the perfect tense, place “no” before the verb “haber”. To make a verb interrogative, place the subject after the past participle.

Example:

No han vivido allí.
They haven´t lived there.

¿Has visto tú la película?
Have you seen the movie?

Yo no me he bañado todavía.
I haven´t bathed myself yet.

Note: The reflexive and object pronouns are always before the verb “haber”.

The present perfect tense is used to describe an action that began in the past and continues in the present, or an action that took place in the past but is connected with the present. Lastly, actions that have been repeated in the past, but are also connected to the present, and may continue into the future.

Example:

Yo he sido maestro por 12 años.
I have been a teacher for 12 years.

Ella no ha visitado a su familia desde hace mucho tiempo.
She has not visited her family for a long time.

Ellos han visitado Guatemala dos veces.
They’ve been to Guatemala twice.

Tú has ido al museo muchas veces.
You’ve been to the museum many times.

The present perfect can also be used with todavía, aún and ya, always following the same line of the previous rule. With todavía and aún, the idea is negative, and ya the idea is affirmative: yet / still / already.

Example:

Todavía no hemos visitado todas las ruinas.
We have not yet visited all of the ruins.

Aún no hemos estudiado toda la gramática.
We still have not studied all the grammar.

Los estudiantes ya han aprendido todos los verbos.
The students have already learned all the verbs.

The pluperfect tense or The past perfect tense:

The past perfect tense is formed by the imperfect tense of the verb “haber” (to have) and a past participle.

Yo había
Tú habías
Él/Ella/Usted había
Nosotros habíamos
Ellos/as/Uds habían

+
ido/conocido/comprado


The past perfect tense is used to describe an action that was completed in the past before another action took place. It expresses the end of an action that is replaced by another action, also in the past.

Example:

Yo los había visitado antes.
I had visited them before.

Nunca le habían escrito a ella.
They had never written to her.

Yo no había comido pastel hasta que terminé la dieta.
I had not eaten cake until I finished the diet.

Yo ya los había visto antes de que tú me dijeras.
I had already seen them before you told me.

The past perfect also expresses an action that has already been done or already completed before another action in the past.

Example:

Ella ya había salido cuando yo la llamé a su casa.
She had already left when I called her home.

Cuando yo regresé de la escuela, mi hermana ya había salido para la fiesta.
When I returned from school, my sister had already left for the party.

Antes de empezar la clase la maestra ya había preparado el examen.
Before starting the class, the teacher had already prepared the exam.

The future perfect tense:

The future perfect tense is formed by the future tense of the verb “haber” (to have) and a past participle.

Yo habré
Tú habrás
Él/Ella/Usted habrá
Nosotros habremos
Ellos/as/Uds habrán

+
ido/conocido/comprado


The future perfect tense is used to describe an action or event that will have been completed in the future and is performed before another action in future.

Example:

Antes de terminar el curso de español los estudiantes ya habrán aprendido toda la gramática del español.
Before ending the Spanish course, the students will have already learned all the Spanish grammar.

A esa hora ya habremos regresado del mercado.
At that time we will have returned from the market.

Al llegar ella, su hermana ya habrá salido.
When she arrives, her sister will have already left.

En cuatro años ya habrás terminado tus estudios.
In four years, you will have completed your studies.

The future perfect can also express a doubt present about action that was done in the past.

Example:

¿Dónde habrá puesto mi mamá el dinero?
Where my mom will have put the money?

¿Cómo habrán preparado la comida?
How they will have prepared the food?

¿Quién habrá tocado la puerta?
Who will have knocked on the door?

The conditional perfect tense:

The conditional perfect tense is formed by the conditional tense of the verb “haber” (to have) and a past participle.

Yo habría
Tú habrías
Él/Ella/Usted habría
Nosotros habrìamos
Ellos/as/Uds habrían

+
ido/conocido/comprado


The perfect conditional describes past actions that were impaired, prevented or interrupted by another action in the past.

Example:

Él habría muerto sin la medicina.
He would have died without the medicine.

Yo habría ido a la fiesta pero tuve que trabajar.
I would have gone to the party, but I had to work.

Ellos habrían terminado la tarea pero no hubo electricidad toda la tarde.
They would have completed the task, but there was no electricity all afternoon.

Todos habrían muerto de no ser por la rápida respuesta de los bomberos.
Everyone would have died, if it wasn’t for the quick response of the firefighters.

The conditional perfect can also express the probability of doing something in the past; in other words: what we would have done.

Example:

En caso de un accidente, yo habría llamado a los bomberos.
In case of an accident, I would have called the firefighters.

¿Qué habrías hecho si tu hija te dice que está embarazada?
What would you have done if your daughter tells you she’s pregnant?

Si yo fui a la fiesta, habría bailado con David.
If I went to the party, I would have danced with David.