Regular Past Participles

In Portuguese, there are three types of past participles:

  • Particípios passados regulares Regular past participles,
  • Particípios passados irregulares Irregular past participles, and
  • Duplos particípios passados Double past participles

In this lesson, we’ll have a look at regular past participles, that is to say, past participles which behave in a predictable way. These participles depend on the verb’s ending, i.e. they have a different ending depending on whether they’re the past participle of an -AR, -ER or -IR verb.

-AR Verbs

For -AR verbs – andar to walk, falar to speak, amar to love, for instance – the regular ending of the past participle is ‘-ado’, which is added to the root of the verb. Examples:
Os alunos tinham andado até ao instituto. The students had walked up to the institute.
Ela já tinha falado com os pais. She had already spoken with her parents.
Era o Verão em que Pedro fora amado por Inês. It was the summer that Pedro had been loved by Inês.

-ER/-IR Verbs

For both -ER and -IR verbs, the regular ending of the past participle is ‘-ido’, also added to the root of the verb. Examples:
Essa janela ficou partida durante a tempestade. That window was broken during the storm.
Nós tínhamos comido antes de sair. We had eaten before leaving.
O castelo foi construído pelos Templários. The castle was built by the Templars.
You’ll notice that, in Portuguese, the past participle always agrees in gender and in number with the subject of the sentence when you use any auxiliary EXCEPT the verb ter to have. Examples:
O castelo foi construído pelos Templários. The castle was built by the Templars.
A torre foi construída pelos Templários. The tower was built by the Templars.
Because the auxiliary verb used in the above examples is ser to be permanent, the participles agree with the subject (o casteloconstruído; a torreconstruída).
O rei tinha dado o castelo aos Templários. The king had given the castle to the Templars.
A rainha tinha dado o castelo aos Templários. The queen had given the castle to the Templars.
Here, because we used the verb ter to have, the endings remain the same, even though rei king and rainha queen are different in gender.
It’s not so scary once you grasp the pattern, right?

Comments:

  • In your example above of the ER/IR verbs, having the ending -ido, you used partir in the first example. But the word you used was partida, which is not the construction you showed. Is it partida because you are talking about the janela, which is feminine?
    Marilyn Chakroff

    • That’s correct, Marilyn 🙂 As the Learning Note says, the past participle agrees with the gender and number of the respective subject except when the auxiliary verb is ter (or haver, rarely used in everyday life). Since janela is feminine, so is the past participle: partida.

What did you think? Leave a Comment for Rui & Joel:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.