Italian Participle Mode

The participle mode stands for “participation” and it is used to connect both the noun or adjective with the action and it has both a present tense and a past tense.

Modo Participio | (Participle Mode)

The participle mode has both a present form (participio presente) and a past form (participio passato).

Present TensePast Tense
  • Non ho mai visto un cane parlante – (I’ve never seen a talking dog)
  • L’italiano parlato è diverso da quello scritto – (Spoken Italian is different from the written one)

Presente | (Present Tense)

The participle present is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with one of the two participio endings: -ante and -ente.

For Example:
  • Chi è quel cantante? – (Who is that singer?)
  • Oggi il sole è splendente – (The sun is shining today)
  • Marco è proprio divertente – (Marco is really funny)

Also, the present form is interchangeable with a relative pronoun.

  • La squadra perdente -> la squadra che perde – (the losing team/the team that loses)

Passato | (Past Tense)

The participle past tense is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with one of the three participio passato endings: -ato, -uto and -ito.

For Example:
  • Ho sempre cantato sotto la doccia – (I always sang under the shower)
  • Non ha voluto mangiare con noi – (He didn’t want to eat with us)
  • Abbiamo dormito male – (We slept bad)

The past form can be used together with the auxiliary verbs essere or avere to create other forms of past tenses like passato prossimo and passato remoto:

  • Ho aperto la porta – (I opened the door)

Or be used similarly to an adjective:

  • La porta aperta – (The open door)

Remember that when the participle is used like an adjective it must agree in gender and number with the noun it refers to -> la porta aperta/le porte aperte – (the open door, the open doors)

Irregular Verbs

Many verbs behave irregularly in the past participle tense and the only way to know is to learn them. To aid you in your learning we have listed some of the main one below.

dare -> dato (given)bere -> bevuto(drunk)aprire -> aperto (opened)
fare -> fatto (made, done)chiedere -> chiesto (asked)dire -> detto (said, told)
stare -> stato (been)chiudere -> chiuso (closed)morire -> morto (dead)
 decidere -> deciso (decided)offrire -> offerto (offered)
 essere -> stato (been)salire -> salito (climbed, went up)
 leggere -> letto (read)venire -> venuto (come)
 mettere -> messo (put, placed) 
 nascere -> nato (born) 
 perdere -> perso (lost) 
 prendere -> preso (taken) 
 rimanere -> rimasto (remained) 
 rispondere -> risposto(answered) 
 scegliere -> scelto (chosen) 
 scrivere -> scritto(written) 
 spendere -> speso (spent) 
 vedere -> visto/veduto (seen) 

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