Past participle in Italian
What is the past participle (participio passato) in Italian?
The participio passato is the past tense of the Italian participle mood.
How to conjugate and use the past participle
It is very frequently used in Italian, and it usually has:
- a nominal value: like the present participle, it is conjugated like adjectives, and it could be used like an adjective.
- a verbal value: it is used mainly to form the compound verbs like the indicativo passato prossimo or the trapassato congiuntivo.
It refers to a concluded action and it is made up through the -ato, -uto o -ito endings, instead of the infinitive -are, -ere, -ire.
|Gender and Number||Root + Ending|
|Masculine and feminine singular||-to/a = am-ato/a (loved), cred-uto/a (believed), serv-ito/a (served)|
|Masculine and feminine plural||-ti/e = am-ati/e (loved ones), cred-uti/e (believed ones), serv-iti/e (served ones)|
Remember! In intransitive verb conjugations (with essere as auxiliary), the endings of the past participle must fit the gender and the number of the noun they are referring to:
e.g. Egli è amato (He is loved); Ella è amata (She is loved);
Essi sono amati (We are loved); Esse sono amate (They are loved).
Irregular past participle
The participio passato is full of irregular forms.
Below, you will find the Italian past participle list of the main irregular verbs.
|Infinitive||Participle present||Participle past||Passato prossimo (3rd singular)|
Dare (to give)
fare (to do)
stare (to stay)
accendere (to switch on)
|bere (to drink)||bev-ènte||bev-uto||ha bevuto|
|chiedere (to ask)||chied-ènte||chiesto||ha chiesto|
|chiudere (to close)||chiud-ènte||chiuso||ha chiuso|
|cogliere (to catch)||cogl-iènte||colto||ha colto|
|conoscere (to know)||conosc-ènte||conosc-iuto||ha conosciuto|
|correggere (to correct)||corregg-ènte||corretto||ha corretto - è corretto/a|
|correre (to run)||corr-ente||corso||ha corso - è corso/a|
|cuocere (to cook)||cocènte||còtto||ha cotto - è cotto/a|
|decidere (to decide)||decid-ènte||deciso||ha deciso|
|dipingere (to paint)||diping-ènte||dipinto||ha dipinto|
|esistere (to exist)||esist-ènte||esistito||è esistito|
|leggere (to read)||legg-ènte||letto||ha letto|
|mettere (to put)||mett-ènte||messo||ha messo|
|muovere (to move)||movènte||mosso||ha mosso|
|perdere (to loose)||perd-ènte||perso||ha perso|
|prendere (to take)||prend-ènte||preso||ha preso|
|ridere (to laugh)||rid-ènte||riso||ha riso|
|rispondere (to answer)||rispond-ènte||risposto||ha risposto|
|vedere (to see)||ved-ènte||visto||ha visto|
|vivere (to live)||viv-ente||vissuto||ha vissuto|
apparire (to appear)
aprire (to open)
dire (to say)
|dormire (to sleep)||dorm-iente||dorm-ito||ha dormito|
morire (to die)
|offrire (to offer)||offerènte||offerto||ha offerto|
|salire (to go up)||sal-ènte||salito||ha salito - è salito/a|
|udire (to hear)||ud-ènte||udito||ha udito|
|uscire (to exit)||usc-ènte||uscito||è uscito/a|
|essere (to be)||(essènte, ènte)||stato*||è stato/a|
|avere (to have)||avènte||avuto||ha avuto|
* Careful! As you can notice, the past participles of essere (to be) and of stare (to stay) are the same. This is because of their meaning and their usage among the speaker:
e.g. Io sono stato male (I was bad) vs. Io non sono stato a casa ieri (I didn't stay at home last night).
Some examples of the nominal and verbal value
As we said, the participio passato in Italian can have both a verbal than a nominal value.
The nominal value is typical of the present participle, while the past participle is mainly typified by the verbal value.
Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that:
- the participio passato has a passive value with transitive verbs;
- the participio passato has a active value with intransitive verbs.
|Past participle values||Example||Translation|
|Nominal||In questo cimitero sono sepolti i caduti in guerra.||The fallen in war are buried in this graveyard.|
Il sentiero davanti a noi era coperto di foglie morte.
|The path before us was covered with dead leaves.|
|Verbal (passive with transitive verb)||Vista la situazione, i ragazzi tornarono svelti a casa.||Given the situation, the boys went home quickly.|
|Verbal (active with intransitive verb)||Corso davanti alla porta, il cane cominciò ad abbaiare.||When the dog came before the door, it started to bark.|
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