Participles

Participles are verbal adjectives. As such, they possess characteristics of both verbs (tense, aspect, voice) and adjectives (gender, number, case). You use participles to describe a quality or feature of a subject that depends on a verbal action.

Present active participles

What is the present active participle

Present active participles are only derived from imperfective verbs, as such actions are either currently taking place or take place repeatedly. This participle’s meaning is that of an action the subject is performing. In action:

  • Человек, читающий книгу. = The person reading the book.
  • Девушка, идущая по улице. = The girl walking down the street.
  • Сейчас зеленеющее дерево. = The tree now turning green.

Forming the present active participle

Forming present active participles is pretty simple. Just take the third person plural form of the present tense verb, drop the -т, and add the ending -щий (-щая, -щее, -щие). For example:

  • читать → читают → читающий
  • говорить → говорят → говорящий

Declension of present active participles

Caseвстречатьвстречаться
Nomвстречающийвстречающийся
Accвстречающий/щеговстречающийся/егося
Genвстречающеговстречающегося
Datвстречающемувстречающемуся
Instвстречающимвстречающимся
Prepвстречающемвстречающемся

Please note how reflexive present active participles always end in -ся, no matter the case.

Past active participles

What is the past active participle

The past active participle’s meaning is that of an action the subject had performed. In action:

  • Человек, покупающий только свежие овощи. = A man who had only bought fresh vegetables.
  • Моя подруга, только что закончившая работу, ушла домой. = My friend who had just finished work left for home.

Forming the past active participle

To form the past active participle, add the ending -вший (-вшая, -вшее, -вшие) to the past tense verb stem. This participle is more common with perfective verbs, but also works with the imperfective aspect. For example:

Regular verbs with stems ending in vowels

  • начинать → начинал → начинавший
  • начать → начал → начавший

Verbs with stems ending on a fixed consonant

The “в” of the suffix is dropped to be just -ший:

  • нести → нёс → нёсший
  • погибнуть → погиб → погибший

Declension of past active participles

Caseвстречатьвстречаться
Nomвстречавшийвстречавшийся
Accвстречавший/шеговстречавшийся/шегося
Genвстречавшеговстречавшегося
Datвстречавшемувстречавшемуся
Instвстречавшимвстречавшимся
Prepвстречавшемвстречавшимся

Please note how reflexive past active participles end in -ся, no matter the case.

Present passive participles

What is the present passive participle

Present passive participles are only derived from imperfective verbs, as such actions are either currently taking place or take place repeatedly. This participle’s meaning is that of an action being performed on a subject. The present passive particle replaces the active “который” (which, that) and can also have the English meaning of adjectives that end in -able. For example:

  • Машина, производимая в России. = Тhe car produced in Russia.
  • Это необъяснимая загадка. = It’s an inexplicable mystery.

Forming the present passive participle

Regular present passive participles

To form the present passive participle, add the usual -ый, -ая, -ое endings to the 1st person plural (мы) stem of the present tense verb. For example:

  • читать → мы читаем → читаемый
  • обходить → обходим → (не)обходимый

Irregular present passive participles

Verbs ending in -давать, -знавать, -ставать retain the suffix -ва that they lose in the present tense:

  • задавать → задаём → задаваемый
  • признавать → признаём → признаваемый

Four verbs have the suffix -ом:

  • вести → ведомый
  • нести → несомый
  • искать → искомый
  • влечь → влекомый

Present passive participles short forms

Passive participles typically decline like normal long form adjectives. They also have short forms which have the same endings that do not decline by case, just like short form adjectives.

 MascFemNeutPlur
любитьлюбимлюбималюбимолюбимы

Past passive participles

What is the past passive participle

Past passive participles are derived almost always from perfective verbs. They are used all the time in Russian and are often viewed as adjectives. Just like adjectives, they have both a long and a short form. The past passive participle replaces the active “который” (which, that) and can also have the English meaning of adjectives that end in -ed. For example:

  • Машина, произведённая в России. = The car produced in Russia.
  • Роман в стихах «Евгений Онегин» был написан Пушкиным. = The novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was written by Pushkin.
  • Картина была написана художником в 2014. = The picture was painted by the artist in 2014.
  • Лекарство было использовано врачами. = The medicine was used by the doctors.

Forming the past passive participle

Past passive participles are derived almost always from perfective verbs. They are formed from the past tense.

Verbs ending in -ать

Drop the -л and add the ending -нный (-нная, -нное,-нные):

  • читать → читал → читанный

Verbs ending in -ить

Drop the -ил and add the ending -енный (-енная, -енное, -енные):

  • получить → получил → полученный

Verbs whose past tense does not end in -л

Add the ending -ённый (-енный) to the past tense:

  • принести → принёс → принесённый

Verbs ending in -уть, -оть, -ыть, -ереть

Drop the -л and adding ending -тый (-тая, -тое, -тые):

  • мыть → мыл → мытый
  • петь → пел → петый
  • начать → начал → начатый

Verbs where the future perfective stem ends in -д or -т:

  • украсть → украду → украденный
  • привести → приведу → приведённый

Past passive participles short forms

 MascFemNeutPlur
прочитатьпрочитанпрочитанапрочитанопрочитаны
написатьнаписаннаписананаписанонаписаны
вымытьвымытвымытавымытовымыты
украстьукраденукраденаукраденоукрадены

Please note, as in the  украсть example above, past passive participles that end in -нный in the long form only retain one -н in the short form.

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