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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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past participle

past participles

past participle (plural past participles)

  1. (grammar) A participle indicating a completed action or state.

Usage notes

In English, the past participle of a regular verb ends in -ed, and has the same spelling of the past tense of that verb: sometimes the last consonant is doubled (stopstopped); sometimes the last vowel is changed (denydenied). Irregular verbs tend to end in -en (see Appendix:English irregular verbs).

  • When combined with the auxiliary verb to have, a past participle forms the perfect tenses of a verb.
    to eat (ate): All the meal has been eaten.
    to ride (ridden): I could have ridden my bicycle if it had not rained.
    to strike (struck or stricken): In that fight, he has struck my stomach.
  • When combined with the auxiliary verb to be, a past participle forms the passive voice of a verb.
    to construct (constructed): The new mall is finally constructed.
    to give (given): I was given a new book.
    to talk (talked): That problem was talked about yesterday.
    to throw (thrown): The ball was thrown by John.
    to write (written): Those letters were written last year.
  • Past participles can also modify a noun.
    to require (required): Here are the documents required.
  • Past participles may be used to modify a verb or sentence.
    to see (seen): Seen from this perspective, we should easily do the work.

Derived terms



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