The Spanish past participle is a verb form that is used in many Spanish verb tenses. We also use it to form adjectives, therefore it is an essential thing to learn early when learning Spanish. Luckily it is very easy to learn, even though there are some irregular forms that just need some practice. The good thing is that reading Spanish makes good practice, you will start recognizing the irregular words after seeing them a number of times.
What is the Spanish past participle?
The Spanish past participle is a somewhat “static” form of the verb – it does not describe an ongoing action, but rather a passive state of being.
Here are some examples in English:
Infinitive: To do – Past participle: Done (example: The task is done)
Infinitive: To open – Past participle: Opened (example: I have opened the door)
Infinitive: To repair – Past participle: Repaired (example: Your car is now repaired)
How to form the Spanish past participle
Let’s first take a look at the regular verbs. This is very easy – there is one rule that applies to -ar verbs and one rule that applies to both -er and -ir verbs.
Verbs that end with -ar: Remove the -ar ending and replace it with ado
Verbs that end with -er and -ir: Remove the -er or -ir ending and replace it with ido
Remember that if the participle is used as an adjective, it must agree to the gender and the number of the noun. (El restaurante está cerrado / La puerta está cerrada / Las puertas están cerradas)
To demonstrate, we will use a regular verb from each group:
Reparar – to fix
Comer – to eat
Vivir – to live
Reparar: remove -ar and add -ado – REPARADO
Comer: remove -er and add -ido – COMIDO
Vivir: remove -ir and add -ido – VIVIDO
Past participle of irregular verbs
The rules above are easy to follow and will be applicable to most verbs. However, there are some irregular verbs. Many of them do not follow an exact pattern, so they must be memorized. Below you will find a list containing some of the most common irregular verbs with the Spanish past participle. You will find these verbs used very often when you read in Spanish, so you will probably learn them very quickly.
Done / made
The forming of the Spanish participle is easy, so now let’s look at some examples of how to use it. Like mentioned in the beginning of the article the Spanish past participle is used in many verb tenses, together with the auxiliary verb haber. The past participle is also used as an adjective. In the examples below you will see some of the most basic uses.
Me he acostado
I have gone to bed
Pedro había pintado la casa
Pedro had painted the house
¿Has ido al trabajo?
Have you gone to work?
Habré terminado para entonces
I will have finished by then
No se ha decidido
He/she has not decided
Ellos ya han comido
They have already eaten
Nunca he estado en Perú
I have never been in Peru
María ya lo había hecho
María had already done it
¿Has puesto la mesa?
Have you set the table?
Todavía no he visto esa película
I still haven’t seen that movie
Pablo no ha dicho nada
Pablo hasn’t said anything
Sara había escrito una novela
Sara had written a novel
¿Habías abierto la ventana?
Had you opened the window?
He leído un libro
I have read a book