The past participle

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The past participle

You can divide up the formation of the past participle into 3 groups.

  • For regular verbs, the past participle is formed with ge- and -t.

kaufen gekauft

buy bought

machen gemacht

make made

  • For verbs that end in -ieren you form the past participle without ge- and with -t:

telefonieren telefoniert

telephone telephoned

trainieren trainiert

train trained

  • For irregular verbs you form the past participle with ge- and -en. The stem may change:

essen gegessen

to eat (he eats) eaten

gehen gegangen

to go (he went) gone

bleiben geblieben

sehen gesehen


  • If the verb stem ends in d or t, the past participle ends in -et:

arbeiten gearbeitet

work worked

  • The past participle is used to form composite tenses (perfect, pluperfect, passive) and as an adjective:

Anna hat/hatte das Hotel von ihrer Großmutter geerbt. (Perfekt/Plusquamperfekt)

Anna has/had inherited the hotel from her grandmother. (perfect/plusperfect)

Das Hotel wird von Anna geerbt. (Passiv)

The hotel was inherited by Anna. (passive)

Das geerbte Hotel ist wunderschön. (Adjektiv)

The inherited hotel is beautiful. (adjective)

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