The past participles of regular verbs are typically formed by adding the suffix “-ed” (or “-d” if the word already ends in “e”). The past participle of a regular verb is identical to its past simple form (e.g., “canceled” and “canceled”).
The past participles of irregular verbs don’t follow a specific pattern and can have numerous endings, including “-en,” “-n,” “-ne,” and “-t.” The past participle of an irregular verb may not be the same as its past simple form (e.g., “stole” and “stolen”).
Using a past participle as an adjective
Past participles can be used (by themselves or as part of participial phrases) as adjectives to modify a noun or pronoun.
A participial phrase is a phrase headed by a participle that modifies a noun or pronoun in the main clause of a sentence.
In order to avoid a dangling participle when you use a participial phrase at the start of a sentence, place the noun phrase being modified immediately after the participial phrase.
Past participles and perfect verb tenses
The perfect verb tenses are formed using a past participle along with a conjugated form of the auxiliary verb “have.”
There are three perfect tenses:
Past perfect (used to describe something that happened before another past event)
Present perfect (used to describe an event that began in the past and continues in the present)
Future perfect (used to describe an event that will be completed by a specific time in the future)
Past participles and the passive voice
A passive sentence is a sentence in which the subject is acted upon, instead of being the person or thing that performs the action. Passive sentences are typically formed using a conjugated form of the verb “be” along with a past participle.
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about nouns, pronouns, verbs, and other parts of speech, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations and examples.