Making Past Participles Out of Regular -ar, -er, and -ir Verbs in Spanish

Every Spanish verb has a past participle that expresses a completed action, such as taken, spoken, and danced. Forming the past participle in English has probably become second nature to you. In Spanish, you simply need to observe the following two rules for forming the regular past participles of -ar, -er, and -ir verbs:

  • For -ar verbs, drop the -ar of the infinitive form and add -ado.

  • For -er and -ir verbs, drop the -er or -ir of the infinitive form and add -ido.

Forming and using the past participles is equivalent to using -ed or -en endings in English.

The following table shows examples of each type of verb:

Regular Verbs and Their Past Participles
Infinitive Past Participle
hablar (to speak) hablado (spoken)
comer (to eat) comido (eaten)
vivir (to live) vivido (lived)

Past participles are used with the helping verb haber (to have). You conjugate haber and then tack on the past participle of the main verb to express a completed action:

  • Yo he terminado la carta. (I have finished the letter.)

  • El profesor ha llamado a todos los estudiantes. (The professor has called all of the students.)