Past Participle Examples: How To Use This Verb Tense

The past participle in English is a verb tense that typically ends in -ed and has a helping verb, and these past participle examples will help you learn to spot them.

Learning the English language starts with learning the various formations of words, including verb tenses. The past participle is one such verb tense. As detailed in our past particle guide, you usually put an auxiliary verb, such as “was,” “were,” “has” or “had,” with the past tense form of the verb.

To learn to identify past participles, you should study some examples of this verb form by looking at regular and irregular verbs in past participle form, you’ll become an expert at finding them in your writing.

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What Is a Participle?

Past participle examples

A participle is a word that comes from a verb but is used in a different way. It may be used as an adjective or as a noun, such as in the case of a gerund. 

If you said:

  • Walking is my favorite activity.

The word “walking” serves as a noun, even though it is a verb. You could also say:

  • The walking dog came to a stop when he saw the cat.

In this case, walking is an adjective describing the dog. These are examples of present participles. Finally, you could use the participle to form a verb tense, such as the present progressive tense in this example:

  • He is walking towards us.

In this case, the present participle is showing the present tense form of the verb. Past participles function in the same way, but use the past-tense form of the verb, such as “walked.”

These mixed tense exercises might also be helpful.

Past Participle Examples – Used as Adjectives

Past particles can show up as adjectives within the sentence. They use the simple past tense (-ed) form of the verb but serve to modify a noun or pronoun. Typically, this use ends up as a predicate adjective, coming after a linking verb. 

Here are some examples:

  • We felt exhausted after volunteering all day.
  • We were enthralled by his exciting tale of adventure.
  • Samantha was enticed by the last piece of cake.
  • Jonathan is interested in learning more about veterinary science.

Past Participle Examples – Used as Participle Phrases

In English grammar, the past particle can also serve as the beginning of a participle phrase. These phrases function as an adjective to describe a noun or pronoun later in the sentence. Here are some examples:

  • Frightened by the loud noise, the children ran inside.
  • Interested in what he was saying, the students stopped talking to listen.
  • Disgusted by what they saw, the family walked out of the restaurant and went elsewhere.
  • Confused by her response, Charles was not sure if she accepted his proposal or not.

Past Participle Examples – Perfect Verb Tenses

Past participle examples
Present perfect tense uses the present-tense form of “have” and shows action in the past that likely is continuing now and in the future

The past participle can also show up in forming the three of the six perfect verb tenses. These use the helping verb “have” and the past tense form of the verb. You might also be interested in these dangling participle examples.

Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is the first example of this conjugation. This verb tense uses the present-tense form of “have” and shows action in the past that likely is continuing now and in the future. Here are some examples that show the present perfect tense:

  • Megan has owned her chameleon for two years.
  • The sheep have jumped over the fence three times.
  • We have gone to Disney World for our last five vacations.

Past Perfect Tense

The past participle also shows up in the past perfect tense. This verb tense uses the past-tense form of “have” and shows an action that occurred in the past before another action occurred. Here are some examples:

  • I had caught three fish before Samantha caught any.
  • The dog had run off before we had a chance to shut the door.
  • The mail had come early on Saturday.

Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense indicates an action that will be complete at a specific time in the future. It combines the future tense of “have” with the past participle. Here are some examples of past participles used as future perfect tense:

  • She will have slept 10 hours by the time we wake her up.
  • They will have left for school already by the time the snow day is called.
  • Before winter comes, we will have chopped enough wood for the furnace.

Past Participle Examples – Irregular Verbs

Most past participles use the base form of the verb followed by -ed, such as walked or crossed. However, irregular verbs can end in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:

  • I have arisen with the sun. (Past participle of arise)
  • We have caught the flu. (Past participle of catch)
  • She has chosen her date for the prom. (Past participle of choose)
  • If we had known the outcome, would have chosen differently. (Past participle of know)

A Final Word on Past Participle Examples

So why should you care about past participles? If you are learning English, understanding verb tenses and how verbs can appear in sentences is vital. It teaches you how to create sentences that make sense. Don’t forget to check out our list of dangling past particle examples!

If you are a native speaker, past participles come naturally. However, it may take a little longer to catch on if you are an English language learner. If you still need help, consider using a good grammar checker. It will help you find and fix errors in your work. Our tool of choice is Grammarly, which provides real-time suggestions and explanations based on your work.

FAQs on Past Participle Examples

When should I use a past participle?

A past participle is used when you need to pair have or has with the past tense of a verb. You will also use this tense when the verb is an adjective or the start of a participle phrase that serves as an adjective in the sentence.

What are some examples of the past participle?

Here are some sentences that have a past participle verb form:
1. He has gone to work every day this week even with a migraine.
2. The dog has dug a hole in the backyard again.
3. The children have planned a great surprise for their parents.


  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.