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Irregular Past Participles

Some Verbs Have More Than One Participle

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broken window

La ventana está rota. (The window is broken.)

Photo by Jussi; licensed via Creative Commons.

Most of the time, past participles in Spanish are formed by changing the ending of -ar verbs to -ado and the ending of -er and -ir verbs to -ido. However, there are dozens of exceptions.

Here are the most common verbs and verb roots that have irregular past participles:

  • abrir (to open), abierto
  • absolver (to absolve), absuelto
  • cubrir (to cover), cubierto
  • decir (to say, to tell), dicho
  • escribir (to write), escrito
  • freír (to fry), frito
  • hacer (to make, to do), hecho
  • imprimir (to print), impreso
  • morir (to die), muerto
  • poner (to put), puesto
  • resolver (to resolve), resuelto
  • romper (to break), roto
  • satisfacer (to satisfy), satisfecho
  • ver (to see), visto
  • volver (to return), vuelto

The English definitions given above are the most common and aren't intended to be comprehensive.

Note that many of the verbs above can be used with prefixes. In such cases, the past participle continues to be irregular. For example, the past participle of posponer (to postpone) is pospuesto, and the past participle of deshacer (to undo) is deshecho.

Some verbs have more than one past-participle form. In some cases, usage varies with region, and in some cases the past participle varies depending on whether the participle is used with an auxiliary verb or as an adjective to modify a noun. This phenomenon is covered more thoroughly in this lesson. Past participles with more than one form include the following:

  • absorber (to absorb), absorbido, absorto
  • bendecir (to bless), bendecido, bendito
  • confesar (to confess), confesado, confeso
  • confundir (to confuse), confundido, confeso
  • convencer (to convince), convencido, convicto
  • corromper (to spoil, to corrupt), corrompido, corrupto
  • describir (to describe), descrito, descripto
  • despertar (to waken), despertado, despierto
  • dividir (to divide), dividido, diviso
  • elegir (to elect), elegido, electo
  • inscribir (to engrave), inscrito, inscripto
  • maldecir (to curse), maldecido, maldito
  • poseer (to have), poseído, poseso
  • prender (to arrest, to fasten), prendido, preso
  • prescribir (to prescribe), prescrito, prescripto
  • presumir (to presume), presumido, presunto
  • proveer (to provide), proveído, provisto
  • soltar (to release), soltado, suelto
  • suspender (to hang, to suspend), suspendido, suspenso

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