Spanish compound tenses use the past participle form of the verb, e.g., he hablado, has comido, hemos vivido.
Just as in English, not all past participles end in -ed (She has lived, she has worked, but she has done or she has written), Spanish is the same: some past participles are irregular and do not follow the regular -ado/-ido rule but rather have a different form.
Spanish irregular past participles ending in -to:
Let's look at some examples:
Note that these Spanish examples use El Pretérito Perfecto to show you the past participle, but the English translation usually does not use the English past participle.
The irregular past participles are random! They don't follow any pattern so they need to be memorised. However once you know a verb has an irregular past participle, you know that most of their derivatives follow the same pattern.
poner (to put) = puesto
posponer (to postpone) = pospuesto
proponer (to propose) = propuesto
reponer (to replace) = repuesto
Other verbs with an irregular past participles ending in -to are:
Ver to see (veído)
Romper to break (rompido)
Abrir to open (abrido)
Morir to die (morido)
Resolver to resolve (resolvido)
Cubrir to cover (cubrido)
Remember that past participles in compound tenses are invariable: they have one form (singular masculine) that does not vary depending on the gender of the person acting as subject.
El chico ha vuelto de España.
La chica ha vuelto de España.
La chica ha vuelta de España. (incorrect)
Spanish irregular past participles ending in -cho:
Take a look at this table with the most common irregular past participles ending in -cho:
|Decir (to say)||dicho|
|Hacer (to do)||hecho|
|Deshacer (to undo)
|Predecir (to predict)
|Satisfacer (to satisfy)
Here are some examples to listen to:
Spanish irregular past participles ending in -so:
There is one verb in Spanish which has an irregular past participle form that ends in -so:
Spanish double participles
There are 3 Spanish verbs that accept two equally correct forms of the participle. Have a look:
Freír (to fry) = freído / frito
Imprimir (to print) = imprimido / impreso
Proveer (to provide) = proveído / provisto
Extra note on the verb "pudrirse":
Note that the past participle of the verb pudrirse (to rot) does not have an irregular ending, but the -u from the infinitive turns into -o.
Las verduras se han podrido.
The vegetables have rotted.
For specific lessons on irregular past participles in El Pretérito Perfecto see:
- Conjugate ver in the present perfect tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Perfecto)
- Conjugate decir in the present perfect tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Perfecto)
- Conjugate hacer in the present perfect tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Perfecto)
- Conjugate poner in the present perfect tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Perfecto)
For more advanced uses of past participles see:
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