Icelandic Participles: Present and Past

Present and Past Participles in Icelandic

The present participle is the equivalent of –ing. In Icelandic add –ndi to the infinitive. For example hafa (to have) becomes hafandi (having).

The other participle in Icelandic is the past participle, and this is slightly more complex:

The –a verb group add –að (tala – talað)

The –i group add –t (reykja – reykt)

The other verbs end in –ið and undergo a vowel shift.

E changes to a

Y or ý changes to u or ú

Í changes to I

Jó, jú, ú, e change to o

This vowel shift is very irregular and the above is only a rough guide. There are far too many exceptions to cater for.

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Dr. Jennifer Wagner

PhD in Applied Linguistics, ESL/French teacher, author of two French books, and helping others to learn languages online at