Past participle agreement

Reminder: perfect tenses (like the passato prossimo) are formed with essere (to be) or avere (to have) + past participle.

Ho mangiato una rana.

I ate a frog.

Sono uscito da un'ora.

I went out an hour ago.

If the verb used with the past participle is avere (to have), the past participle does not agree with the subject.

Lui ha mangiato; lei ha mangiato; loro hanno mangiato.

He has eaten; she has eaten; they have eaten.

Lui ha fatto; lei ha fatto; loro hanno fatto.

He has done; she has done; they have done.

The past participle agrees with the subject when the verb essere (to be) is used.

  • The masculine singular ending is -o and the feminine singular ending is -a:

Fabio è partito; Marta è partita

Fabio has left; Marta has left.

Luigi è caduto; Sandra è caduta.

Luigi has fallen; Sandra has fallen.

  • In the plural the masculine ending is -i and the feminine ending is -e :

Fabio e Luca sono partiti; Marta e Elena sono partite.

Fabio and Luca have left; Marta and Elena have left.

Luigi e Mario sono caduti; Sandra e Luisa sono cadute.

Luigi and Mario have fallen; Sandra and Luisa have fallen.

Note: if the auxiliary verb avere (to have) is preceded by an object pronoun Pronomi CD or by the pronoun ne, then the past participle has to agree with the pronoun.

Ho dato i regali agli ospiti → li ho dati agli ospiti.

I've given the gifts to the guests → I've given them to the guests.

Ho cucinato tre tortene ho cucinate tre.

I cooked three cakes → I cooked three of them.

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