ESL Term:

Past Participle

ESL/EFL Glossary: A Guide to applied linguistics terminology.


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past participle: All verbs come in four forms. The past participle is the participle ending in 'ed':

        base          past        past participle     present participle

ex.  clean          cleaned         cleaned              cleaning

       eat                ate                eaten                   eating

The regular past participle has an 'ed' at the end. There are also many irregular past participles which should just be memorized. For a comprehensive list of irregular verbs, see the Georgia State University web site.

Past participles have several purposes:

Participial adjectives:

        The scared cat darted into the alley.

        I am scared of heights.

Participial phrases:

        Fascinated by the view, she missed the turnoff.  

Passive voice:

        The apple was eaten by the princess.

Perfect tenses:

        I have never been to Paris.