Past participles as adjectives

In Spanish the past participle form of a verb [-ado/-ido form] is not only used with the verb haber to form compound tenses, e.g. El Pretérito Perfecto or El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto, but they can also act as adjectives.

Have a look a the following examples:

Carlos está obsesionado con el dinero.
Carlos is obsessed with money.

Andrea está obsesionada con el dinero.
Andrea is obsessed with money.

Mis hijos están obsesionados con el dinero.
My sons are obsessed with money.

Mis hijas están obsesionadas con el dinero.
My daughters are obsessed with money.

Notice how we are using the same past participle of the verb "obsesionar" but in each sentence it agrees with the specific subject. (Carlos, obsesionado; Andrea, obsesionada; Hijos, obsesionados; Hijas, obsesionadas.)

It is very common to see these adjectives following the verb estar, as shown above, but they can also accompany the noun they are directly modifying.

For example:

Los niños cansados se fueron a dormir.
The tired children went to bed.

Llegamos a un lugar abandonado, en medio de la nada.
We arrived at an abandoned place, in the middle of nowhere.

La policía interrogó a las chicas arrestadas.
The police questioned the arrested girls.

El paisaje de las montañas cubiertas de nieve era muy bonito.
The landscape with the snow-covered mountains was very pretty.

Remember that there are irregular past participles (e.g cubierto, dicho, hecho) which don't have the regular endings (-ado/ido). See List of Irregular Spanish past participles and Irregular past participles ending in -to/-cho.

Past participles used as adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they are referring to.

Important note:

There are common phrases in English where the gerund (-ing form) is used while in Spanish the past participle is used (-ado/-ido). For example:

Los chicos estaban sentados en el borde de la piscina.
Los chicos estaban sentando en el borde de la piscina.
The boys were sitting on the edge of the pool.

Ella estaba tumbada en el suelo.
Ella estaba tumbando en el suelo.
She was lying on the floor.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Llegamos a un lugar abandonado, en medio de la nada.
We arrived at an abandoned place, in the middle of nowhere.


Mis hijas están obsesionadas con el dinero.
My daughters are obsessed with money.


Mis hijos están obsesionados con el dinero.
My sons are obsessed with money.


La policía interrogó a las chicas arrestadas.
The police questioned the arrested girls.


Carlos está obsesionado con el dinero.
Carlos is obsessed with money.


Los niños cansados se fueron a dormir.
The tired children went to bed.


Andrea está obsesionada con el dinero.
Andrea is obsessed with money.


El paisaje de las montañas cubiertas de nieve era muy bonito.
The landscape with the snow-covered mountains was very pretty.


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