In this post, you’ll learn the 12 main irregular Spanish past participles. This will allow you to conjugate any verb in the present, past, future, or conditional perfect tenses.
In Spanish, the verb tenses that have a ‘perfect’ in their title allow you to form ideas like:
You will have…
He would have…
In order to form these ideas in Spanish, you need to combine a conjugation of the verb haber with a past participle.
For regular past participles, you only need two simple rules. For irregular participles, you need to memorize the list of verbs in this post below.
Here you’ll see how to form regular past participles, you’ll get a list of the 12 core irregular past participles, you’ll see how the 12 irregular past participles can be used to conjugate verbs with common stems and some examples.
How to form regular Spanish past participles
We can categorize regular Spanish past participles into two groups: ‘ar‘ verbs and ‘er and ir‘ verbs.
To form past participles for regular ar verbs, you need to remove the ar and replace it with an ado. Here are some examples:
Pasar → Pasado.
Dejar → Dejado.
Tomar → Tomado.
To form past participles for regular er and ir verbs, you need to remove the er or ir and replace it with an ido. Some examples:
Deber → Debido.
Vivir → Vivido.
Permitir → Permitido.
Any Spanish verb that isn’t in the list below (or has a common stem from the list below) will have a regular past participle and can be formed with these two rules.
The main irregular Spanish past participles
There are some patterns with these irregular past participles but for the most part, you’ll need to memorize them. They are:
These participles will be useful because you’ll find that you need them often. This list also isn’t particularly long so it will be well worth your while to spend some time committing it to memory.
How to use the irregular Spanish past participles for verbs with common stems
One of the most forgiving aspects of Spanish verb conjugations happens with verbs that have common stems (called verbos compuestos). Verbs with common stems are made simpler by the fact they are conjugated in the same way.
Whenever you see a verb from the above table with a prefix, you will now know how to conjugate it.
For example, take the verb hacer, then find any verb with a prefix. They will be conjugated as follows:
Hacer (to do) → Hecho.
Deshacer (to undo) → Deshecho.
Rehacer (to redo) → Rehecho.
Similarly, here are some examples with poner:
Poner (to put) → Puesto.
Suponer (to suppose) → Supuesto.
Disponer (to provide) → Dispuesto.
Proponer (to propose) → Propuesto.
And some examples with decir:
Decir (to say) → Dicho.
Desdecir (to deny) → Desdicho.
Contradecir (to contradict) → Contradicho.
Here are some sample sentences with the irregular past participles in action:
English: No, I haven’t seen that movie.
Español: No, no he visto esa película.
English: They got back (returned) this week.
Español: Han vuelto esta semana.
English: He has proposed some important changes.
Español: Él ha propuesto algunos cambios importantes.
English: The sun has melted (undone) the ice cream.
Español: El sol ha deshecho el helado.
English: He contradicted himself.
Español: Él se ha contradicho.
Studying irregular verb conjugations is an important challenge you should always be looking to work on.
Fortunately, there are some handy and natural groupings such as the irregular past participles to practice.
Choose some of the irregular past participles from this post and then practice them when you next get an opportunity to do so.
If you want to learn more about how to form the present perfect tense, check out this podcast episode.
How else can you form sentences with the irregular Spanish past participles?