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Past participle

From Teflpedia

The past participle (/ˈpæst pɑ:(r)ˈtɪsəpəl/) is participle verb form used in English (and related languages) to express (1) the perfect aspect and (2) in the passive voice.

For example:

  • She has been here for more than ten years (perfect aspect)
  • Hamlet was written when Shakespeare was in his late 30s. (passive voice)

Form[edit | edit source]

In the case of English regular verbs, the past participle is identical in form to the preterite and is formed by adding “-ed” to the base form of the verb. Irregular English past participles may differ from the preterite and often end in -n (often -en).

Despite its name, the past participle doesn’t necessarily refer to either past time or past tense.

Past participles may be used as adjectives, i.e. past participial adjectives, or derived adverbs (past participial adverbs). Occasionally, the past participial adjective (and associated adverb) differ slightly from the past participle, e.g. drunk (past participle), drunken (past participial adjective) and drunkenly (past participial adverb).

When listing the forms of an irregular lexical verb, it is customary to list the past participle third and last, after the base form and the preterite, e.g. "write + wrote + written.”

Full modal verbs lack a past participle.

Appropriacy[edit | edit source]

In some non-standard, colloquial English dialects, speakers may use the preterite form instead of the past participle.

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

The past participle form of an irregular verb is typically learnt after the learner has learnt the preterite. Consequently, learners may use an irregular preterite instead of the past participle, e.g. *“I have wrote a book.” As noted, this error is also made by many native speakers.

References[edit | edit source]