How to make Past Participle, Present Perfect Sentences etc.?

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In English, verbs have five main forms:

  1. Plain/Base form (live, work, study, break)
  2. Preterite/Past Simple (lived, worked, studied, broke)
  3. Past Participle/ 3rd Form (lived, worked, studied, broken)
  4. Present Participle/ Gerund (living, working, studying, breaking)
  5. 3rd Person Singular Present (lives, works, studies, breaks)

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Coursebooks usually present the first three forms in useful tables, so that learners can memorize the irregular forms easily:

Base form – Past Simple – Past Participle

break-broke-broken
drink-drank-drunk
give-gave-given

(If you’d like to see a list of the most common irregular verbs, please click here.)

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On the other hand, it’s quite easy to learn the three forms of regular verbs, as the second and third one are always the same- formed by adding -d or –(i)ed to the verb.

live- lived- lived
work- worked- worked
study- studied- studied

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The Past Participle is used to form Perfect Tenses (Present, Past and Future Perfect):

PRESENT PERFECT

HAVE/HAS + Past Participle

  • I have broken mum’s vase.
  • She has just drunk a glass of wine.
  • They have given me free tickets.

For more examples, click here.

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PAST PERFECT

HAD + Past Participle

  • I had broken mum’s vase just before she got home.
  • She had drunk a glass of wine so she couldn’t drive.
  • They had given me free tickets so I went to the concert.

For more examples, click here.

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FUTURE PERFECT

WILL HAVE + Past Participle

  • I will have finished dinner by 8pm. You can call me then.
  • His plane will have landed by the time we arrive at the airport.
  • They will have been married for thirty years next month.

For more examples, click here.

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The Past Participle is also used when making PASSIVE constructions:

BE + PAST PARTICIPLE

  • This house was built a hundred years ago.
  • I was given a watch for my birthday.
  • They have been invited to the party.

For more examples, please click here.

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