El participio del pasado- «ADO/IDO»

The past participle is used in two ways in español.  It can be used as an adjective,  just like English. (The cookies were eaten [by Santa]. Las galletas fueron comidas [por el Papá Noel]. )  If it is used as an adjective, remember it must agree with what it is describing.  Also like English it can be used in “perfect” tenses (to say what has, had,  would have, will have, etc. happened).  (I have already eaten.  Ya he comido.) In these instances, there is only one form of the verb- it is not an adjective and does not change form.

The formation of the past participle

Regular verbs:  For most verbs you drop the infinitive ending and add the appropriate ending.  There are no stem changes, work from the infinitive.

Verbs that need accents, so as not to create dipthongs:

Irregular verbs.  This list you must memorize.  Or else you fail.

As always, compound verbs will be formed as is the root verb:

This is all you need to know about the formation of the past participle.

What is it used for?
The Past Participle has two major uses.

It is used in compound tenses called "perfect" tenses.  These are formed by using the verb "HABER" followed by the past participle. In these tenses, the past participle is never changed.  The use here is identical to English.


The past participle is also used frequently as an adjective.  El chico está aburridoThe boy is bored.  La puerta está abiertaThe door is open.  In these instances, because it serves as an adjective, it must agree with the noun it describes.  The past participle, as an adjective, is employed in many passive voice sentences also.  El Nuevo Mundo fue descubierto por Colón en 1492. The New World was discovered by Columbus  in 1492.   Las sillas fueron compradas en Sevilla. The chairs were bought in Seville.