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What is a past participle?

The past participle is a verb form that is essential to the conjugation of compound tenses. Past participles are also often used as adjectives or for the passive voice. In English, past participles end in "-ed" or "-en": "I've already cooked - Ya he cocinado. "I've already eaten" - Ya he comido.



How do you form a past participle?

The past participle for regular verbs is formed by adding -ado to the stem of -ar verbs or -ido to the stem of -er or -ir verbs.



Can past participles be used as adjectives?

Yes, past participles are often used as adjectives. When they do, they agree in number and gender: "The girls are tired" --> Las niñas están cansadas.



I've canceled the trip

He cancelado el viaje

canceled - cancelado. This is the past participle of the verb cancelar. Add -ado to the stem of the verb.


Repeat what you have learned

Repite lo que has aprendido

learned - aprendido. This is the past participle of the verb aprender. Add -ido to the stem of the verb.


She's lived in 12 countries

Ella ha vivido en doce países

lived - vivido (-ir past participle)


We've already explained it to her

Ya se lo hemos explicado

explained - explicado (-ar past participle)


You all have not met my friend Alexander?

¿No habéis conocido a mi amigo Alejandro?

met - conocido (-er past participle)


His books have been translated into many languages

Sus libros han sido traducidos a muchos idiomas

translated - traducido (-ir past participle)


When they got back, I had already eaten

Cuando volvieron, yo ya había comido

I had eaten (past perfect) - (yo) había comido. Note that in Spanish compound tenses, the helping verb haber and its participle are never separated.


You had done a lot for them

Tú habías hecho mucho para ellos

you had done (past perfect) - habías hecho


Monica had been happy

Mónica había estado feliz

he/she had been (past perfect) - (él/ella/Ud) había estado


My brother and I had reserved a hotel room

Mi hermano y yo habíamos reservado un cuarto en el hotel

we had reserved (past perfect) - habíamos reservado


You all had aready left when they arrived

Ustedes ya se habían ido cuando llegaron

you had left (past perfect, Spain) - habíais ido


They had sung for the president

Habían cantado para el presidente

they had sung (past perfect) - habían cantado


I had moved to California for a year

Me había mudado a California por un año

I had moved (changed residence) - me había mudado. Recall that mudarse is a reflexive verb, and that the reflexive pronoun should go before the helping verb in compound tenses.


Had you reserved a hotel room before your trip?

¿Habías reservado un cuarto en el hotel antes del viaje?

you had reserved (in a hotel, restaurant) - tú habías reservado


She had bumped into an old friend in Berlin

Ella se había tropezado con un viejo amigo en Berlín

he/she had bumped into (past perfect) - él/ella/Ud se había tropezado con


We had told her everything

Le habíamos contado todo

We had told (past perfect) - nosotros habíamos contado


The teacher had posed a dificult problem to the class

La profesora había propuesto un problema difícil a la clase

she had posed, put forward (past perfect) - ella había propuesto


They had announced the good news before the party

Habían anunciado las buenas noticias antes de la fiesta

they had announced (past perfect) - ellos/ellas/Uds habían anunciado


I had already prepared it beforehand

Ya lo había preparado anteriormente

earlier, beforehand, previously - anteriormente


What are irregular past participles?

Some past participles in Spanish are irregular in that they do not end in -ado or -ido. Instead, they have entirely irregular forms: "I've already returned the books George lent me" --> Ya he devuelto los libros que Jorge me prestó.



You've opened my eyes to the truth

Me has abierto los ojos a la verdad

opened - abierto. Note that this is the irregular past participle of the verb abrir. The form abrido does not exsit.


The boy covers the table with a tablecloth

El niño cubre la mesa con un mantel

to cover, conceal - cubrir


The company has covered all the costs

La empresa ha cubierto todos los costos

covered, concealed (irregular past participle) - cubierto. The noun costo comes from the verb costar, "to cost." An alternative is gasto, or "expense."


She's told me everything about the trip

Me ha dicho todo sobre el viaje

said, told - dicho. Note that this is the irregular past participle of the verb decir. (The form decido does not exist.)


I read the words written on the piece of paper

Leí las palabras escritas en la hoja de papel

written - escrito (irregular past participle)


I like to fry eggs for breakfast

Me gusta freír huevos para desayuno

to fry - freír


For breakfast I made fried eggs

Para el desayuno preparé huevos fritos

fried - frito (irregular past participle)


The homework is well done

La tarea está bien hecha

made, done - hecho (irregular past participle)


Did the machine print your name on the ticket?

¿Imprimió la máquina tu nombre en el boleto?

to print - imprimir


Your name is printed on the ticket

Tu nombre está impreso en el boleto

printed - impreso (irregular past participle)


He was sad because his dog had died

Estaba triste porque su perro se había muerto

dead, deceased - muerto (irregular past participle)


I placed your books and pencils on the table

He puesto tus libros y lápices en la mesa

put, placed - puesto (irregular past participle)


They want to resolve the problem

Quieren resolver el problema

to resolve - resolver


The problem has been resolved

El problema se ha resuelto

resolved - resuelto (irregular past participle)


All my pencils are broken

Todos mis lápices están rotos

broken - roto (irregular past participle)


Does his work satisfy him?

¿Le satisface su trabajo?

to satisfy - satisfacer


He's satisfied by the work he's doing.

Está satisfecho del trabajo que está haciendo.

satisfied - satisfecho


I haven't seen her in a long time

No la he visto en mucho tiempo

seen - visto (irregular past participle)


The president has returned from Europe

Ha vuelto el presidente desde Europa

returned from somewhere - vuelto (irregular past participle)


He has already returned the book to me

Ya me ha devuelto el libro

returned to someone - devuelto (irregular past participle)