10 Things to Know about

Passive/Perfect Participle

More Details

Click on a blue box to reveal more about one of the 10 Things featured in the video.

The -ed suffix can be pronounced as /ed/, /d/, or /t/:

  • /ed/ – when the base verb ends with a /d/ or /t/ sound;
  • /t/ – when the base verb ends with a /f/, /k/, /p/, /s/, or /sh/ sound;
  • /d/ – when the base verb ends with any other sound.

Regarding spelling: note that a verb ending in consonant-‘y’ will change the ‘y’ to and ‘i’ before adding -ed (as with ‘worried’).  However, a verb ending in vowel-‘y’ will keep that ‘y’ (as with ‘played’).

The cyan verbs shown in the list at this point in the video are auxiliary verbs.  All auxiliary verbs are irregular.

Check out Insights’s Irregular Verbs in Groups printout below for a full list of irregular verbs.  The only irregular verb still in modern use that is not featured there is ‘shit’, excluded since it may be considered inappropriate in some classrooms.  A list grouped by the way the words transform (as opposed to strictly alphabetical) is better for memorization. 

Passive Voice is used to express what happens to the subject as a result of the verb.

There’s arguably a minor difference between ‘Perfect Participle’ and ‘Passive Participle’, which we cover in #10 (part C), and a Perfect Participle and Passive Participle can appear within the same verb chain.  But the point here is that not only do they (almost always) take the same form, but both share the meaning relating to the verb’s outcome, rather than its incident or cause.

The examples shown in the video are for Passive/Perfect Participial Phrases, but we can also use Active Participial Phrases.  Active Participles have a -ing suffix and refer to either the execution of the verb or its cause.  But as modifiers (or as the start of modifying phrases), they act the same way as shown in the video.

Out of the 200 or so irregular verbs, there are only two with more than a single syllable: begin and forsake.

Irregular Verbs for Beginners


This list features only the irregular verbs that beginners are likely to encounter for a while.  It does not have Perfect Participles, only the past forms.

Irregular Verbs in Groups


This is a full list of all irregular verbs, sorted according to how they change into their Perfect Participle forms.  Notes are included.

Even More Things to Know

Some modal verbs are followed by the word have, and we’ll call these ‘Perfect Modals’.  For Epistemic and Deontic modals, they designate the past; for Dynamic modals, they designate Unreal Mood.  Whatever their purpose, any verb following a perfect modal should be in the Perfect Participle form.

Participles are also used as the second part of Verb Patterns.  While Active Participles are commonly featured in this way, Passive Participles are less so.  There is a subset of Verb Patterns called ‘Causatives‘, where the first verb in the pattern is something like ‘get’ or ‘have’.  In these cases, the second action is not necessarily directly carried out by the subject.  In other words, Causatives have some overlap with Passive Voice.  Examples include: “I’ll have these trousers tailored.” and “He got the job done.”  Notice that the underlined words are in the Passive Participle form.

Keep on Learning; Keep on Teaching

Present Perfect Continuous

The Present Perfect Continuous tense demonstrates how the Perfect Participle interacts with other elements of a verb string.
Visit Topic Page

Passive Adjectives

Passive Adjectives show how the Passive Participle can be used as something other than a verb.
Visit Topic Page