Spanish Past Participle: The Only Guide You Need To Read

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The Spanish Past Participle (also known as Passive Participle or Perfect Participle) is one of the most important and helpful verb forms that you can learn.


In fact, for each Spanish Past Participle that you learn, you will gain three different uses.

#1 As an adjective
  • Studied lesson – Lección estudiada
  • Burned house – Casa quemada
#2 In the passive voice
  • The test was corrected by the teacher – La prueba fue corregida por la profesora
#3 In “perfect” grammar forms, used in conjunction with the verb “haber”
  • They have visited Spain three times – Ellas han visitado España tres veces

More on this later.

For now, let’s see exactly how to find the past participle of a verb.

How is the Spanish Past Participle Formed?

Forming the past participle of a verb is not as confusing as you might think.

For regular verbs, all you need to do is drop the ending (-ar, -er or -ir) from the infinitive verb and add –ado or –ido, depending on the verb.

  • Verbs ending in -ar verbs receive the ending -ado
  • Verbs ending in -ir or -er receive the ending -ido

You can think about this as similar to the -ed ending that modifies many verbs in English e.g. start/started, finish/finished.

An important difference in Spanish is that the past participle must agree on the gender (male/female) and number (singular/plural) with the nouns that it modifies.

Let’s take a look the following chart, with some examples

Regular Past Participles In Spanish

Verb Endings Verbo Infinitivo Pasado Participio Infinitive Verb Past Participle
-AR = ADO(S) / ADA(S) Jugar Jugado To play Played
-IR = IDO(S) / IDA(S) Vivir Vivido To live Lived
-ER = IDO(S) / IDA(S) Creer Creído To believe Believed

Irregular Past Participles In Spanish

As always in Spanish grammar, there are many irregular verbs that do not follow the rules.

The best way to learn these past participles is simply…….to memorize them.

Sorry, no shortcuts this time.

Below are the most common irregular past participles that you should memorize.

Verbo Infinitivo Pasado Participio Infinitive Verb Past Participle
Resolver Resuelto To Resolve Resolved
Morir Muerto To Die Died
Abrir Abierto To Open Open
Escribir Escrito To Write Written
Romper Roto To Break Broken
Hacer Hecho To Do Done
Decir Dicho To Say Said
Ver Visto To See Seen
Volver Vuelto To Return Returned
Describir Descrito To Describe Described
Cubrir Cubierto To Cover Covered
Poner Puesto To Put Put

Sidenote: According to Real Academia Española (RAE), there are just three verbs that have two participles, one regular and one irregular.

These verbs are:

  • Imprimir (to print): Imprimido (printed) / Impreso (printed).
  • Proveer (to provide): Proveído (provided) / Provisto (provided).
  • Freír (to fry): Freído (fried) / Frito (fried).

The two participles of each verb can be used interchangeably. Nevertheless, Spanish speakers tend to use more the irregular ones: frito, provisto and impreso.


  • I love fried chicken. Unfortunately, it’s unhealthy – Me encanta el pollo frito. Desafortunadamente, es poco sano
  • Hospitals will be provided, with the necessary equipment, medicines and medical staff – Los hospitales serán provistos con el equipo, medicamentos y personal necesario
  • Fashion companies have printed thousand of flyers for their new advertising campaigns –  La empresas de moda han impreso miles de volantes para sus nuevas campañas publicitarias

When To Use The Spanish Past Participle

Now that you know how to identify and form the past participle, we can examine where and when to use it.

Once again, lets recap the three uses for Past Participle verbs:

1. As adjectives, such as:

  • open (abierto), closed (cerrado), born (nacido), burnt (quemado), cooked (cocido), raised (criado), etc.

2. In passive voice structures, for instance:

  • The dog was found by her neighbour – El perro fue encontrado por su vecino

3. In Perfect Tenses

  • I have watched this movie five times – He visto esta película cinco veces

And now, we are are going to go into more detail on each use of the past participle.

1) Spanish Past Participles As Adjectives

In the majority of cases, the Past Participle verbs are used as adjectives too.

For this reason, they must agree to the gender (masculine or feminine) and the number (singular or plural).

Below are some examples of the past participle verbs being used as adjectives:

  • The door is open – La puerta está abierta.
  • The windows are closed – Las ventanas están cerradas.
  • She loves scrambled eggs – Ella le encantan los huevos revueltos.
  • What is the most watched movie ever? – ¿Cuál es la película más vista?

2) Spanish Past Participle + Passive Voice

When you combine past participle verbs + the verb “ser” (to be), the result is the Passive Voice.

You can use it when an action is described, and you also can introduce the doer of the action with the word “por” (by).

Pronombres (Pronouns) Presente (Simple Present) Pretérito (Past Simple) Futuro (Simple Future)
Yo Soy Fui Seré
Eres Fuiste Serás
Él/ella/usted Es Fue Será
Nosotros/nosotras Somos Fuimos Seremos
Ellos/ellas/Ustedes Son Fueron Serán

Passive Voice Formula: The verb “to be” + Past Participle + by


  • The video was watched by millions of subscribers – El video fue visto por millones de suscriptores.
  • They were expelled by the principal of the school – Ellos fueron expulsados por el director del colegio.
  • Spanish is spoken by many people around the world – El español es hablado por muchas personas alrededor del mundo.

3) Spanish Past Participle + Perfect Structures

And finally, we come to the most important part of the post.

In Spanish, you will come across many “perfect” tenses, and each of them requires using the past participle.

Forming perfect tenses is pretty straightforward since you only have to conjugate one verb: haber (to have).

Below, we are are going to review six perfect tenses and how the past participle works with the conjugated form haber for every perfect tense.

Perfect Tenses In The Indicative Mood

1. Present Perfect (Pretérito Perfecto)
Personal Pronoun Conjugation “have” (haber) English Equivalent
Yo He I have
Has you have
Él/ ella/usted/eso Ha he/she/it has
Nosotros/nosotras Hemos we have
Ellos/ellas/Ustedes Han they have

To use the Present Perfect, all you need to remember is the following formula:

Subject + Haber (conjugated in the simple present tense) + Past Participle


  • He has eaten too many cookies – Él ha comido demasiadas galletas
  • They have visited Rome three times this year – Ellas han visitado Roma tres veces este año
  • Juan and Verónica have studied together since they were 5 years old – Juan y Verónica han estudiado juntos desde que tenían 5 años
2. Past Perfect (Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto)
Personal Pronoun Conjugation “have” (haber) English Equivalent
Yo Había I had
Habías you had
Él/ ella/usted/eso Había he/she/it had
Nosotros/nosotras Habíamos we had
Ellos/ellas/ustedes Habían they had

For the Past Perfect, use the below formula:

Subject + Haber (conjugated in the imperfect past tense ) + Past Participle


  • He had drunk too many beers – Él había bebido demasiadas cervezas
  • Carolina had forgotten her dad’s birthday – Carolina habia olvidado el cumpleaños de su papá
  • They had watched this movie a hundred times, but it was their favourite – Ellas habían visto esta película cientos de veces, pero era su favorita
3. Future Perfect  (Futuro Perfecto)
Personal Pronouns Conjugation “have” (haber) English Equivalent
Yo Habré I will have
Habrás you will have
Él/ ella/usted/eso Habrá he/she/it will have
Nosotros/nosotras Habremos we will have
Ellos/ellas/ustedes Habrán they will have

To use the Future Perfect, use below formula:

Subject + Haber (conjugated in the simple future tense) + Past Participle


  • They will have won the competition – Ellas habrán ganando la competencia
  • Juan will have finished the project by tomorrow – Para mañana Juan habrá terminado el proyecto
  • By this time tomorrow, Erika will have arrived to Madrid – Mañana a esta hora Erika habrá llegado a Madrid

Perfect Tense In The Subjunctive mood

4. Present Perfect Subjunctive (Pretérito Perfecto de Subjuntivo)
Personal Pronoun Conjugation “have” (haber) English Equivalent
Yo Haya I have
Hayas you have
Él/ ella/usted/eso Haya he/she/it has
Nosotros/nosotras Hayamos we have
Ellos/ellas/ustedes Hayan they have

To use the Present Perfect Subjunctive, we simply conjugate haber in the present tense subjunctive and combine it with a past participle.

Subjunctive expression + Have (conjugated in present tense subjunctive) + Past Participle


  • I doubt that Daniela has done her homework – Dudo que Daniela haya hecho su tarea
  • I’m surprised that they have danced last night – Estoy sorprendido que hayan bailado anoche
  • I hoped that they have taken the correct flight – Espero que ellos hayan tomado el vuelo correcto

(PS, for a full explanation on the present perfect subjunctive, read here)

5. Past Perfect Subjunctive  (Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo)
Personal Pronoun Conjugation “have” (haber) English Equivalent
Yo Hubiera I had
Hubieras you had
Él/ ella/usted/eso Hubiera he/she/it had
Nosotros/nosotras Hubiéramos we had
Ellos/ellas/ustedes Hubieran they had

The Past Perfect Subjunctive is used to talk about hypothetical situations that are related to the past, and can be formed using the below formula:

Subjunctive expression + Haber (conjugated in imperfect subjunctive) + Past Participle


  • My family hoped that we had arrived on time – Mi familia esperaba que nosotros hubiéramos llegado a tiempo
  • It bothered me a lot that she had forgotten my birthday party – Me molestó mucho que hubiera olvidado mi cumpleaños
  • Michelle didn’t believe that her husband had prepared the dinner – Michelle no creía que su esposo hubiera preparado la cena

(PS, you can read a full guide on using the Past Perfect Subjunctive here).

6. “Haber” Conditional Form Conjugation
Pronouns “Haber” Conjugation English Equivalent
Yo Habría I would have
Habrías You would have
Él/ella/usted/eso Habría he/she/it would have
Nosotros/nosotras Habríamos we would have
Ellos/ellas/ustedes Habrían they would have

And finally, you’ll also come across haber + the past participle being used as a conditional along with the past perfect subjunctive.

If + haber (in past perfect subjunctive) + past participle + context +  haber (in  the conditional) + past participle


  • If we had won the lottery five years ago, we would have lived like kings – Si hubiéramos ganado la lotería hace cinco años, habríamos vivido como reyes
  • If we had won the match, we would have given the prize to charity – Si hubiéramos ganado el partido, habríamos entregado el premio a una obra de caridad
  • If I had spent less money last month, I would have bought a new laptop this week – Si hubiera gastado menos dinero el año pasado, habría comprado una nueva laptop esta semana


Spanish Past Participle: Exercises

Can you add the correct part participle below?

(scroll down for answers) 

1. ¿Cuánto tiempo has ____ (trabajar) en esa empresa?

    (How long have you worked in that company?)


2. ¿Alguna vez has  _____ (ir) a Hawaii? Yo nunca he _____ allí

    (Have you ever gone to Hawaii? I’ve never been there)


3. Cuando llegamos al cine, la película ya había  ______ (comenzar)

    (When we arrived at the movie theater, the movie had already begun)


4. Sarah me dijo que había  _____ (estudiar) mucho antes del examen

    (Sarah told me that she had studied a lot before the test)


5. ¿Habrás _____ (finalizar) el reporte para la fecha límite?

(Will you have finished the report by the deadline?)


6. La próxima semana habremos  _____ (estar) en Quito por tres semanas

(Next week we will have been in Quito for three weeks)


7. Estoy contento de que hayas ______ (llegar) a tiempo

(I’m glad you arrived on time)


8. No me sorprende que hayas _____ (pagar) tanto por un vestido

(I’m not surprised you paid so much for a dress)


9. Mi jefe esperaba que yo hubiera ______ (poder) terminar el trabajo

(My boss expected that I could have finished the job)


10. Si no hubiera ______ (estudiar) español, no habría ______ (poder) viajar a Ecuador

(If I had not studied Spanish, I would not have been able to travel to Ecuador)


11. El teatro está ____ (cerrar) hoy, por eso iré mañana a ver la nueva obra de Daniela

(The theater is closed today, so I will go tomorrow to see the new Daniela’s play)


12. ¿La tienda aún está ____ (abrir)? Necesito comprar unas frutas y vegetales para la cena de esta noche

(Is the store still open? I need to buy fruits and vegetables for tonight’s dinner)


13. Jamás iré de nuevo a ese restaurante. La carne estaba ____ (quemar), y el arroz sabia raro

(I will never go to that restaurant again. The meat was burned, and the rice tasted weird)


14. Yo no he ______ (entregar) mi reporte, porque no está ____ (imprimir) aún

(I have not delivered my report, because it is not printed yet)


15. Me gustaría puré de papas y un filete bien _____ (cocer)

(I would like mashed potatoes and a well-cooked steak)


16. Las fotografías fueron  _______ (tomar)  por la esposa de Fernando. Fue el día de su graduación, y todos se veían muy felices

(The photos were taken by Fernando’s wife. It was the day of his graduation, and everyone looked very happy)


17. El libro debe ser  _______ (leer) para esta tarde, porque mañana es la prueba

(The book should be read for this afternoon, because tomorrow is the test)


18. Él fue _________ (escoger) para los próximos Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno

(He was chosen for the next Winter Olympics)


19. El idioma es ________ (hablar) oficialmente en 57 países alrededor del mundo

(The language is officially spoken in 57 countries around the world)


20. Las habitaciones fueron ________ (reservar) con anticipación

(The rooms were booked in advance)


  1. ¿Cuánto tiempo has trabajado en esa empresa?
  2. ¿Alguna vez has ido a Hawaii? Yo nunca he estado allí
  3. Cuando llegamos al cine, la pelicula ya habia comenzado
  4. Sarah me dijo que había estudiado mucho antes del examen
  5. ¿Habrás finalizado el reporte para la fecha límite?
  6. La próxima semana habremos estado en Quito por tres semanas
  7. Estoy contento de que hayas llegado a tiempo
  8. No me sorprende que hayas pagado tanto por un vestido
  9. Mi jefe esperaba que yo hubiera terminado el trabajo
  10. Si no hubiera estudiado español, no habría podido viajar a Ecuador
  11. El teatro está cerrado hoy. entonces iré mañana a ver la nueva obra de mi amiga Daniela.
  12. ¿La tienda aún está abierta? Necesito comprar unas frutas y vegetales para la cena de esta noche.
  13. Jamás iré de nuevo a ese restaurante. La carne estaba quemada, y el arroz sabia raro.
  14. Yo no he entregado mi reporte, porque no está impreso aún.
  15. Me gustaría un puré de papas con un filete bien cocido.
  16. Las fotografías fueron tomadas por la esposa de Fernando. Fue el dia de su graduación, y todos estaban muy felices.
  17. El libro debe ser leído para esta tarde, porque mañana será la prueba
  18. Él fue escogido para los próximos Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno.
  19. El idioma inglés es hablado oficialmente en 57 países alrededor del mundo
  20. Las habitaciones son reservadas con anticipación

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