Best Italian participles

An Italian participle is a verb form that functions as an adjective or noun. It can be used to describe a noun or to form compound tenses.

In English, participles are similar to the -ing form of regular verbs. However, Italian participles have different forms depending on the verb conjugation.

Types of Italian Participles

There are two main types of Italian participles: present and past.

  • Present participles are formed by adding the endings -ante, -ente, or -iente to the verb stem. For example, the present participle of the verb parlare (to speak) is parlando (speaking).
  • Past participles are formed by adding the endings -ato, -uto, or -ito to the verb stem. For example, the past participle of the verb parlare is parlato (spoken).

Uses of Italian Participles

Italian participles can be used in a variety of ways.

  • As adjectives: Participles can be used to modify nouns. For example, the sentence “Il ragazzo affamato ha mangiato una torta” (The hungry boy ate a cake) uses the present participle affamato (hungry) to describe the boy.
  • In compound tenses: Participles are used to form compound tenses, which are verb tenses that are formed by combining a helping verb with a past participle. For example, the present perfect tense is formed with the present tense of the helping verb avere (to have) and the past participle of the main verb. The sentence “Ho mangiato una torta” (I ate a cake) uses the present perfect tense.
  • In passive voice: Participles can be used to form the passive voice, which is a verb form that expresses the idea that something is being done to someone or something. For example, the sentence “La torta è stata mangiata dal ragazzo” (The cake was eaten by the boy) uses the past participle mangiata (eaten) to form the passive voice.

Examples

Here are some examples of how Italian participles are used:

  • “La ragazza stanca ha dormito per tutta la notte.” (The tired girl slept all night.)
  • “Il bambino che ha mangiato la torta è stato male.” (The child who ate the cake got sick.)
  • “La casa è stata costruita nel 1800.” (The house was built in 1800.)
  • “Il libro che sto leggendo è molto interessante.” (The book I am reading is very interesting.)

How to form the Italian participle

Italian participles are formed by adding the following endings to the verb stem:

  • Present participle: -ante, -ente, or -iente
  • Past participle: -ato, -uto, or -ito

The endings for the present participle are:

  • -ante: verbs ending in -are, such as parlare (to speak)
  • -ente: verbs ending in -ere, such as scrivere (to write)
  • -iente: verbs ending in -ire, such as partire (to depart)

The endings for the past participle are:

  • -ato: verbs ending in -are, such as parlato (spoken)
  • -uto: verbs ending in -ere, such as scritto (written)
  • -ito: verbs ending in -ire, such as partito (departed)

Here are some examples of the most used present and past participles of Italian verbs:

VerbInfinitivePresent ParticiplePast Participle
parlareparlare (to speak)parlandoparlato
scriverescrivere (to write)scrivendoscritto
partirepartire (to depart)partendopartito
amareamare (to love)amandoamato
berebere (to drink)bevendobevuto
daredare (to give)dandodato
farefare (to do, to make)facendofatto
leggereleggere (to read)leggendoletto
metteremettere (to put)mettendomesso
prendereprendere (to take)prendendopreso
vederevedere (to see)vedendovisto
volerevolere (to want)volendovoluto

Now that we know how to form the regular Italian participle, let’s dive a little bit deeper into this formation and the varieties.

Regular Participles

  • -are verbs: -ato
    • andare (to go): andato
    • parlare (to speak): parlato
    • scrivere (to write): scritto
    • vivere (to live): vissuto
  • -ere verbs: -uto
    • sapere (to know): saputo
    • perdere (to lose): perso
    • leggere (to read): letto
    • aprire (to open): aperto
  • -ire verbs: -ito
    • dormire (to sleep): dormito
    • finire (to finish): finito
    • partire (to leave): partito
    • capire (to understand): capito

As with any language there are rules and exceptions to the game. In the case of participles we say regular and irregular. Now that you know the secret to forming the regular verbs you can keep doing it for all regular verbs in the Italian dictionary. However, to master a language you will have the learn the irregular participles as well. Let’s see some examples of irregular participles and their different categories.

Irregular Participles

  • Essere (to be): stato/a
    • Avere (to have):** avuto/a
    • Bere (to drink):** bevuto/a
    • Chiedere (to ask):** chiesto/a
    • Chiudere (to close):** chiuso/a
    • Costruire (to build):** costruito/a
    • Crescere (to grow):** cresciuto/a
    • Dormire (to sleep):** dormito/a
    • Fare (to do, to make):** fatto/a
    • Leggere (to read):** letto/a
    • Mettere (to put):** messo/a
    • Morire (to die):** morto/a
    • Prendere (to take):** preso/a
    • Scrivere (to write):** scritto/a
    • Spegnere (to turn off):** spento/a
    • Stare (to be, to stay):** stato/a
    • Subire (to undergo):** subito/a
    • Venire (to come):** venuto/a
    • Vedere (to see):** visto/a
    • Volere (to want):** voluto/a

Irregular Participles with Both Regular and Irregular Forms

  • Andare (to go): andato/a, giunto/a
  • Essere (to be): stato/a, essere
  • Fare (to do, to make): fatto/a, fatto
  • Mangiare (to eat): mangiato/a, mangiato
  • Prendere (to take): preso/a, preso
  • Possedere (to possess): posseduto/a, posseduto
  • Rimanere (to remain): rimasto/a, rimanere
  • Sapere (to know): saputo, sapere
  • Smettere (to stop): smesso/a, smesso
  • Stare (to be, to stay): stato/a, stare
  • Vedere (to see): visto/a, veduto

 

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