Welcome to our grammar lesson about the Spanish Past Participle.
The Past Participle (“El participio”) is a verb form that has several important uses. It plays a role in all Spanish Perfect Tenses (for example, the Present Perfect). We can also use it as an adjective and as part of the Passive Voice.
In this lesson we will learn how to form and use the Past Participle, providing example sentences.
At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.
1. Regular and Irregular Past Participles
Let’s start with the good news: For each verb, there is only one Past Participle.
Most verbs have a regular Past Participle, but there are some irregulars too.
Regular Past Participles (Endings “-ADO” and “-IDO”)
If a verb has a regular Past Participle, we form it by adding these endings to the verb’s stem:
- Verbs ending in -ar —> -ado
- Verbs ending in -er, -ir —> -ido
Here are some examples of Past Participles:
|Verb||Regular Past Participle|
Irregular Past Participles
Some verbs have an Irregular Past Participle and don’t follow the rule above.
The following table shows the most frequent Irregular Past Participles:
|Verb||Irregular Past Participle|
2. Uses of the Past Participle
As part of all Perfect Tenses
All Spanish Perfect Tenses consist of 2 words, with the second word being the Past Participle.
The Spanish Perfect tenses are:
- Present Perfect
- Past Perfect
- Preterite Perfect
- Future Perfect
- Conditional Perfect
- Present Perfect Subjunctive
- Past Perfect Subjunctive
- Future Perfect Subjunctive
Let’s read some example sentences with the Past Participle playing a role in different Perfect Tenses:
Hoy he trabajado mucho.
I’ve worked a lot today (Present Perfect)
Esta semana no hemos quedado.
We haven’t met this week. (Present Perfect)
No habíais hecho las camas.
You guys had not made the beds. (Past Perfect)
En 2025 habré terminado mis estudios.
By 2025 I will have finished my studies. (Future Perfect)
Me alegro de que hayas comido bien.
I’m happy you’ve eaten well (Present Perfect Subjunctive)
As an Adjective
Another use of the Past Participle is as an Adjective. When we use it as an Adjective, it needs to match the gender and number of the noun it is connected to. That means in some cases we need to adapt its ending a little bit.
Here are example sentences using the past participle of the verb “cerrar” (“cerrado”), matching different nouns in gender and number:
El armario está cerrado.
The closet is closed. (masculine singular)
La puerta está cerrada.
The door is closed. (feminine singular)
Las puertas parecen cerradas.
The doors seem closed. (feminine plural)
Los armarios parecen cerrados.
The closets seem closed. (masculine plural)
As part of the Passive Voice, after verb “ser”
There are two ways of constructing the Passive Voice in Spanish: with the verb “ser”, and with the particle “se”.
We use the Past Participle only in the Passive Voice with verb “ser”. When it is used like this, the Past Participle comes right after “ser” and it needs to match the gender and number of the noun it is connected to. Click here to learn more about the Passive Voice.
La canción es cantada.
The song is sung. (“cantada” is feminine singular, because it relates to “la canción”)
Los edificios son construidos por la compañía.
The buildings are built by the company. (“construidos” is masculine plural, because it relates to “los edificios”)
3. Practice the Spanish Past Participle
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about the Spanish Past Participle!:
The following sentences contain Past Participles shown in brackets. In some of them the past participle is used as an adjective, so you might have to adapt its the gender and number. In other sentences, it is used as part of a perfect tense and you should leave it as it is. Fill the gaps in your mind or on a piece of paper. Then check the solutions below:
Hemos ______ 1.(cerrado) las puertas.
Ahora las puertas están ______ 2.(cerrado).
Las ventanas están ______ 3.(abierto).
Yo no he ______ 4.(repasado) la lección.
Hemos ______ 5.(dormido) muchas horas.
Carmen ha ______ 6.(hecho) la cama.
La cama está ______ 7.(hecho).
Solutions: 1 = cerrado, 2 = cerradas, 3 = abiertas, 4 = repasado, 5 = dormido, 6 = hecho, 7 = hecha