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Past Participles

A past participle is a verb form. We use past participles with the present perfect tense, the past perfect tense, and the future perfect tense.

If you are reading this, then that means you know some English. So, you probably already know many past participles.

Take a look at the difference.

Base FormPastPast Participle
playplayedplayed
talktalkedtalked
watchwatchedwatched
seesawseen
taketooktaken
gowentgone
buyboughtbought

Notice that sometimes the past and past participle are the same. They are the same for regular verbs that end in "-ed" or "-d" in the past tense.

However, there are many irregular verbs that we need to remember.

Past participles are used after the verb "have".

Here are some example sentences and questions using past participle in the present perfect tense.
  • I have played the piano for 5 years.
  • She hasn't bought a new coat since last year.
  • Have you seen her recently?
  • What countries have you visited?
Here are some past perfect tense examples.
  • I had studied for 2 hours before I fell asleep.
  • We had taken a plane before we rented the car.
  • Where had she gone before she came here?
Here some future perfect examples.
  • She will have completed this project by next week.
  • We will have been married for 5 years next month.
The present perfect is very important and common. You will need to use it a lot. However, the past perfect and future perfect are not used very much but are still worth knowing. If you want to speak English well, then you must know the present perfect, and you must have a good understanding of the past perfect tense and future perfect tense.

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