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Spanish Past Participle

A past participle, participio, is a special form of a verb mainly used in compound tenses where it follows haber, ser or estar conjugated in a specific tense, e.g. "he comido".

Participles, along with gerunds and infinitives, are forms of verbs called verbals.

See also: Spanish present participle (gerundio).

Since the present participle is called gerundio, the word participio always refers to the Spanish past participle. 

haber + past participle

Yo he olvidado mi maleta. 
I have forgotten my suitcase.

Ella había terminado la colada. 
She had finished doing the laundry.

Nosotros habremos visitado a la abuela. 
We will have visited grandma.

 ser + past participle  (to create the passive voice)

El ratón es comido por el gato. 
The mouse is eaten by the cat.

Los ladrones han sido arrestados por la policía. 
The thieves have been arrested by the police.

Adjectival Form

The past participle can also be used on its own or after estar as an adjective. We can call it the adjectival form of the verb:

La chica cansada está descansando. 
The tired girl is resting.

Esta chica está cansada. 
This girl is tired.

Whenever it is used with estar or ser, the past participle must agree with the noun. However, when it is used with haber, it does not change. It will always have the ending -ado or -ido. Or, in case of an irregular participle, the irregular masculine singular form.

Forming the Spanish past participle

Here are the main patterns for forming Spanish past participles from infinitives:

Infinitive ending Past participle ending Example
- ar - ado  hablar = hablado 
- er  (regular) - ido  comer = comido 
- ir  (regular) - ido  vivir = vivido 
- er/-ir (irregular) irregular endings hacer = hecho        poner = puesto
decir  = dicho        escribir = escrito


Have a look at a list of irregular past participles here Irregular past participles in Spanish

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