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             Past Participles

A past participle is a verb form rather than a verb tense. 

With regular verbs, the past participle is the same as the past tense form of the verb.

     base verb     past tense     past participle

     walk            walked        walked

     listen            listened        listened

     agree           agreed         agreed

With irregular verbs, the past participle is often different than the past tense verb form.

     base verb      past tense     past participle

     throw           threw           thrown

     swim            swam           swum

     know            knew           known





Uses of Past participles

     1) to create all perfect tenses

           a) present perfect tense

                  example: Ivory has worked at Saint Paul College for over thirty years.

           b) past perfect tense

                     example: Ivory had worked at Central High School when he got a job

                     at Saint Paul College.

           c) future perfect tense

                  example: He will have taught thousands of students when he retires.

     2) as an adjective

                  example: The confused student went to his instructor for extra help.

     3) to create a past participial phrase

                  Confused by the assignment, the student went to his instructor for

                      extra help.

     4) to create passive voice

                           The student was confused by the assignment, so he went to his

                      instructor for extra help.


The use of past participles is discussed further on the Questions and Answers page.