Partizip 2 (Past Participle)

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What is the Past Participle? (Partizip 2)

The Partizip 2 is also called Partizip Perfekt and the English equivalent is the Past Participle. (It's the 3rd form of the verb). The Partizip 2/Partizip Perfekt is a special form of a verb that is used in a variety of situations.

It is most often used when constructing certain tenses (PerfectPast PerfectFuture 2, and Passive), but can also be used as an an Adjective to take the place of the usually much longer Subordinate clause.

Uses of the Partizip 2

As an Adjective

The Partizip 2 is used as an Adjective instead of a subordinate clause (if one action occurred before the other):

  • „Er parkt jetzt das geputzte Auto.“

⇒ The first action was Putzen.

⇒ The second action is Parken.

  • „Er hat das Auto geputzt.“ „Er parkt das Auto jetzt.“

Recommendation: Partizipien als Adjektiv

For more detailed explanations of how to use Partizip 1 and Partizip 2 as an Adjective and what to look for in Adjective Declension, see the lesson Participle as an Adjective.

In these tenses: Perfect, Past Perfect, Future Perfect, and Passive

Constructing the Partizip 2

Regular Construction

Regular Verbs - Regular in Präsens (Present Tense)

ge   +   verb stem  +   -(e)t


  • machen  ⇒   gemacht
  • arbeiten  ⇒  gearbeitet (when the verb stem ends in -d/-t)


Verbs ending in –ieren don't get the "ge-" added to the beginning of the word.

  • organisieren  ⇒  organisiert

Irregular / Strong Verbs - Irregular in Präsens (Present Tense)

ge   +   verb stem  +   -en


  • fahren   ⇒   gefahren
  • schlafen  ⇒   geschlafen

The categorization in regular and irregular is based on the Präsens conjugation! Therefore, the construction of the Partizip 2 is regular for both versions.


The categorization Separable and Inseparable verbs refers to the conjugation of the verb in the Präsens (Present Tense). The formation of the Partizip 2 is 100% regular in these two forms.

Irregular Construction

Mixed Verbs

For mixed verbs, the Partizip 2 uses the stem from the Präteritum (Past Tense):

ge   +   verb stem in simple past  +   -t


  • bringen  ⇒   gebracht (Past Tense: brachte)
  • brennen  ⇒   gebrannt (Past Tense: brannte)
  • kennen  ⇒  gekannt (Past Tense: kannte)

There are no specific rules which verbs use the verb stem from the Past tense. You just have to learn it.

Verbs with Vowel Changes

Some strong verbs change their vowel (a, e, i, o, u) to form their Partizip 2 form. These words usually change their vowel in the Präsens as well. Additionally, the double vowel "ei" almost always changes to "ie" in the Partizip 2.

Verbs with a vowel change always take an "-en" ending for the Partizip 2.

ge   +   verb stem with vowel change  +  -en


  • helfen   ⇒   geholfen
  • nehmen  ⇒  genommen
  • schreiben  ⇒  geschrieben

Construction with Compound Verbs

Separable Verbs

You simply add the Prefix to the Partizip 2 of the main verb.

Prefix  +  ge  +  verb stem  +   -t/-en


  • einschlafen  ⇒  eingeschlafen 
  • aufräumen  ⇒   aufgeräumt
  • anbringen  ⇒  angebracht

The Past Participle of the main verb stays the same!

Inseparable Verbs

Inseparable verbs form the Partizip 2 without the "ge-".

Prefix + verb stem  +   -t/-en


  • besuchen  ⇒   besucht
  • verstehen  ⇒  verstanden

The Partizip 2 (Past Participle) of the main verb stays the same!


Independent from the Prefix, the base of the Past Participle stays the same.


  • stehen  ⇒  gestanden (Regular Verb)
  • aufstehen ⇒  aufgestanden (Separable Verb)
  • verstehen ⇒  verstanden (Inseparable Verb)

Comparison of Partizip 1 (Present Participle) with Partizip 2 (Past Participle)

Partizip 1 as an Adjective: Something is happening at the same time

  • „Der herunterfallende Apfel ist grün.“
  • Der Apfel fällt.“ „Der Apfel ist grün.“

Partizip 2 as an Adjective: Something has happened earlier on.

  • „Der heruntergefallene Apfel liegt auf dem Boden.“
  • Der Apfel ist heruntergefallen.“ „Er liegt (jetzt) auf dem Boden.“

Related Topics:

Entire lesson in German only: Partizip 2

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