Spanish Grammar Lesson
The Past Participle
In this Spanish lesson we will learn the Past Participle and its
different uses. Although this lesson is actually briefer than past
lessons, the Past Participle is very important if you want to learn how
to speak Spanish. Its formation
is quite simple. As in English, the Past Participle in Spanish is a
central element in most topics of discussion.
In general, the Past Participle is best understood as having 4 distinct
uses that include past and present actions, and adjectives. Although
this range in usage seems broad, understanding each particular use can
be learned and applied rather easily with practice.
The Past Participle is rather simple to form. For -ar verbs, an
-ado is added to the verb's stem.
The stem of the verb hablar (to speak) is habl.
With this in mind, an -ado is added to habl to form the
Past Participle for hablar: hablado.
The formation of the Past Participle for -er and -ir verbs
parallel this pattern. However, an -ido is added to the er or ir
In the case of the verb beber (to drink), its stem is beb.
An -ido is then added to beb to form its Past Participle:
Similarly, to form the Past Participle for salir (to go out) an -ido
is added to its stem, sal. Its Past Participle is: salido.
With the Past Participle's basic format in mind, what follows are
examples of it for both regular and irregular verbs:
Examples of the Regular Past Participle:
estar (to be) estado
bailar (to dance) bailado
cenar (to eat supper) cenado
almorzar (to eat lunch) almorzado
desayunar (to eat breakfast) desayunado
limpiar (to clean) limpiado
dar (to give) dado
llorar (to cry) llorado
lloviznar (to drizzle) lloviznado
tener (to have) tenido
creer (to believe) creido
leer (to read) leido
querer (to want, to love) querido
partir (to leave) partido
ir (to go) ido
vivir (to live) vivido
dormir (to sleep) dormido
Examples of the Irregular Past Participle:
poner (to put) puesto
ver (to see) visto
volver (to return) vuelto
resolver (to resolve) resuelto
escribir (to write) escrito
abrir (to open) abierto
hacer (to make) hecho
satisfacer (to satisfy) satisfecho
morir (to die) muerto
decir (to say) dicho
cubrir (to cover) cubierto
The 4 main uses of the Past Participle are as follows:
1. The Past Participle is often used in compound tenses with the
auxiliary verb haber (to have). We have seen this use in the
Lesson on the Present Perfect Tense. In the Present Perfect Tense the
past participle of the sentence's main verb is added to haber to
express a past action that has not completely elapsed.
Let's briefly review this use:
Juana ha estado en su cuarto todo el día.
(Juana has been in her room all day)
He querido ir a California.
(I have wanted to go to California.)
Mario ha vivido en Bogotá.
(Mario has lived in Bogotá.)
2. The Past Participle is used for the passive voice and usually
follows the verbs ser or estar (to be). When the Past
Participle reflects the passive voice, it must agree with the subject's
gender and number.
El papá de Diego está herido.
(Diego's father is hurt.)
La hermana de Rogelio está cansada.
(Rogelio's sister is tired.)
3. At times, the verbs llevar and tener are used
instead of the verb haber in compound tenses (as in the Present
Perfect Tense). When this occurs, the Past Participle must agree with
the attribute's gender and number. Although this use may seem awkward,
think of it as forming an alternative expression for indefinite past
Tengo hecha la comida.
(I have made the food.)
Juan lleva pagada la cuenta.
(Juan has paid the check.)
4. The Past Participle can also be used as an adjective. Keep
in mind that for this use, the Past Participle acts as an adjective and
must agree in gender and number with the noun.
Un vestido hecho a mano
(A dress made by hand)
Un hombre educado
(An educated man)
Un bebé mimado
(A spoiled baby)
Now let’s try a few exercises. Translate the following into Spanish.
The answers follow the exercise.
1. An opened
2. A cleaned
3. We have
4. Juan has
5. A cooked
brother is tired.
mother is educated.
8. Marcos has
made the dessert.
9. She has
opened the door.
10. Have you
4. Juan ha
5. Un pollo
hermano de Roberta está cansado.
7. La madre
de Juana es educada.
tiene hecho el postre.
9. Ella ha
abierto la puerta.
visto a Milagros?
If you don't
already have a copy of LSLC Nivel Uno,
here's the link:
Learning Spanish Like Crazy Nivel Uno
the link to LSLC Nivel Dos:
Learning Spanish Like Crazy Nivel Dos