How to use the PAST PARTICIPLE in ITALIAN – Special cases!

The past participle in Italian can be a real headache, especially with some verbs! Do you say: “ho perduto” or “ho perso” (I have lost)? “Abbiamo visto” or “abbiamo veduto” (We have seen)? “Ha seppellito” o “ha sepolto” (He have buried)? “Ho ceduto” oppure “ho cesso” (I have cede)?

PAST PARTICIPLE: the most DIFFICULT verbs to conjugate

To answer all these doubts about the past participle we used Google Books, a corpus that contains thousands of texts!

We have looked for a period of time ranging from 1800 to the present day, to see the evolution of those verbs whose past participle always creates confusion!


Perduto or Perso?

According to our research, the “perduto” form was the favorite in the past but, starting from the middle of the last century, the “perso” form has become more common: in fact today it is the most used.
But in any case, both forms are correct and in use!

Veduto or Visto?

As for the verb “vedere”, even if in the past the “veduto” form was the favorite, today it has fallen almost completely out of use: 99.9% of Italians today only use “visto“!

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Seppellito or Sepolto?

In this case, the most frequent form has always been “sepolto“, but the “seppellito” form is also used.

Ceduto or Cesso?

Be careful here, both of these forms are correct, and both words are very much used! The problem is that “cesso” is used not as a participle of “cedere”, as it is “ceduto”, but with another meaning! “Cesso” is used informally to talk about the toilet, also called WC or “water”, or (with a very poetic metaphor) to describe a very ugly person!
So use this little word with caution and do not confuse it with the past participle of “cedere”!

If you still have doubts on this topic, take a look at our detailed lesson on the past participle in Italian!

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