Participle of Spanish Verbs

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Spanish participles

The participle (el participio) is a verb form in Spanish grammar and corresponds loosely to the English past participle (have done, have seen, have asked …). As a general rule, the Spanish past participle is formed by adding -ado or -ido to the root of the verb (e.g. amado, temido, partido). Participles can also be used as adjectives, prepositions and nouns.

Learn about the participle and the gerund in Spanish grammar with Lingolia. Master the conjugation of these verbs forms and get tips on how and when to use them. In the exercises, you can test your knowledge.



El sábado pasado jugamos el último partido de la liga de fútbol. Los dos jugadores más importantes estaban lesionados. Habíamos entrenado mucho durante meses, así que nos quedamos contentos con lo que conseguimos.

Los asistentes estuvieron muy emocionados desde el principio. Debido a la abundante lluvia, el partido quedó suspendido veinte minutos tras el descanso.

Past participle (participio pasado)

When to use the past participle in Spanish

The past participle (also known as participio pasado or participio pasivo) is one of the non-finite verb forms in Spanish grammar. It is used:

  • in the compound tenses with the verb have, such as: perfect, past perfect, preterite perfect, future perfect and conditional perfect in indicative and perfect and past perfect in the subjunctive:
    … solo habríamos conseguido perder.…we could only have lost.
    condicional compuesto
  • as an adjective:
    El sábado pasado jugamos la última jornada de la liga de fútbol.This past Saturday we played the final round in the football league.
    Los asistentes al partido estaban emocionados.The spectators at the game were caught up in it.
  • as a preposition or conjunction: dado (que), visto que, debido a...
    Debido a la abundante lluvia...Because of the heavy rain…
  • to shorten relative clauses:
    Terminado el partido, nos fuimos corriendo al vestuario.With the game finished, we hurried to the locker room.
    No me gustaría estar en un equipo entrenado por él.I wouldn’t like to play in a team coached by him.
  • in the passive voice:
    Los partidos fueron suspendidos.The games were stopped.
  • in certain verbal periphrasis:
    El partido quedó suspendido.The game was stopped.
    El partido se dió por terminado.The game was finished.

How to form the past participle in Spanish

To conjugate the past participle we remove the infinitve ending and add the corresponding participle ending: -ado for -ar verbs and -ido for -er/-ir verbs.

hablar → habladospeak → spoken
aprender → aprendidolearn → learned
vivir → vividolive → lived

Irregular past participles

  • If there is a vowel before the ending -ido, we place an accent on the -i of the ending. This shows us that each vowel is pronounced separately.
    leer → leídoread → read
    traer → traídobring → brought
  • Some verbs have an irregular participle form:
Verb Past Participle Translation
abrir abierto open
decir dicho say
escribir escrito write
hacer hecho do/make
imprimir impreso, imprimido print
morir muerto die
poner puesto put/set
romper roto break
ver visto see
volver vuelto return

Many of the irregular verbs in the table above have derivative forms. This is where a prefix (en-, des-, pos-, etc.) is added to the irregular verb to create a verb with a new meaning.

These derivatives follow the same patterns when forming their past participles.

encubrir → encubierto
descubrir → descubierto
componer → compuesto
posponer → pospuesto
proponer → propuesto
revolver → revuelto
resolver → resuelto
devolver → devuelto
deshacer → deshecho
prever → previsto

Modification of the participle

When the past participle functions as an adjective, it agrees in number and gender with the subject. The table below shows past participle endings for masculine and feminine in singular and plural.

Los jugadores estaban emocionados.The players were caught up in it.
La jugadora estaba emocionada.The player was caught up in it.
Singular Plural
masculine -ado/-ido -ados/-idos
feminine -ada/-ida -adas/-idas

Present participle (participio presente)

When to use the present participle in Spanish

The present participle (participio presente/participio activo) is only rarely used as a true participle. However, in many cases this participle has become an adjective, a noun, or a preposition. Nowadays the present participle can be:

  • an adjective
    Debido a la abundante lluvia...Because of the heavy rain…
  • a noun
    Los asistentes al partido estaban emocionados.The spectators at the game were caught up in it.
  • a preposition: durante, mediante, no obstante...
    Luchando enérgicamente durante el segundo tiempo…Fighting energetically during the second half…
  • to shorten a relative clause
    Los asistentes que proceden de diferentes lugares …The spectators that come from different regions…
    → Los asistentes procedentes de diferentes lugares…The spectators, coming from various regions…

How to conjugate the present participle in Spanish

Add the endings -ante (abundante, distante, picante), -ente (convincente, procedente, urgente) or -iente (correspondiente, durmiente, dependiente) to the stem of the verb to form the present participle. Since this participle form is only used in certain verbs, you can generally find its forms in the dictionary.

hablar → hablantespeak → the speaker
oír → oyentelisten → the listener
vivir → vivientelive → alive