Past Participles for intermediate learners

The past participle is the third principal part of a verb that is most commonly known to be used with tenses. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

"Past Participles" in the English Grammar

What Are Past Participles?

Past participles are a type of verb form that are used to form several tenses. They can also serve as adjectives in a sentence.

Past Participles: Form

When we want to form the past participle of a verb, we typically add 'ed', '-d', or '-t' to the base form of the verb.

Talk → talked

Smack → smacked

Scream → screamed

Learn → learnt

Now, pay attention to the following examples:

Today, we learnt how to greet people.

The poor woman screamed to the top of her lungs.

I'm sorry but the enemies killed your girlfriend.


Keep in mind that only the past participles of regular verbs are formed in this way. Irregular verbs have completely different forms. Look at some of them below:

Base From Past Participle Form
Bite Bitten
Speak Spoken
Go Gone
Run Run
Sing Sung

Past Participles: Uses

Past participles can serve different functions in the sentence. They can be used:

Now, let us examine some examples:

She could heal her own broken heart. (As an adjective)

Shattered to pieces, the vase was completely destroyed. (Participle phrase)

I think you have mistaken me for someone else. (Present perfect tense)

You thought he had forgotten you? (Past perfect tense)


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