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Lesson 31: Past Participles as Adjectives

lesson on Spanish past participles as adjectives


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Using Past Participles as Adjectives

Let us take a very brief detour from the world of verbs. Just like in English, past participles can also be used as adjectives in Spanish. 

Here’s a quick reminder on how to form the past participle:

  1. We find the root of the verb by dropping the ending.
  2. Then, we add ‑ADO for ‑AR verbs and ‑IDO for ‑ER and ‑IR verbs.
hablar → habl__ → hablado
comer → com__ → comido
vivir → viv__ → vivido
table of Spanish past participles for regular verbstable showing how to find Spanish  past participle of a verb


Este es Juan, recién llegado de sus vacaciones. 
This is Juan, just back [~arrived] from his vacation.

una vida bien vivida
a life well lived

Note: When past participles are used as adjectives they must agree (masculine v. feminine, singular v. plural) with their nouns:

  1. la pareja recién casada 
    the newly married couple
  2. los platos preparados
    the prepared dishes
  3. el viajero cansado
    the weary traveler

Again, agreement only occurs in the case of adjectives. In the case of perfect tenses (like, Yo ya he comido, I have already eaten), the past participle will always end in ‑O.

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