The active past participle

1. What are participles?

Participles are verbal adjectives which can be formed from all verbs. Like ordinary adjectives, they are declined in all cases and agree with the noun which the qualify. They can be in active and passive form, and have an 'agent' participle. On this page you find just the agent participle.

2. Use

The author of the action (the agent) is always known when using this participle. It indicates something done by someone and can be inflected in all cases. If you don't know who the agent is, you have to use the passive past participle.

Kallen maalaama talo
= Talo, jonka Kalle on maalannut.
= The house painted by Kalle.
Compare with:
maalattu talo (passive past participle)
= Talo, joka on maalattu.
= the painted house
Sinun tekemä virhe
= Virhe, jonka sinä olet tehnyt.
= the mistake made by you

3. Formation

The agent participle is formed by adding -ma/-mä to the strong verb stem (which you find by taking the -vat form of the verb). The agent participle is written in the same form as the third infinitive. The person having done the action (the agent) will be put in front of the participle in its genitive form.

Example English
tytön laulama laulu the song sung by the girl
hevosen kävele matka the distance walked by a horse
ihmisen teke muodostelma a man-made formation
pojan lukema kirja the book read by the boy
pojan lukemassa kirjassa in the book read by the boy
miehen juoma olut the beer drunk by the man

If the agent is personal pronoun (minä, sinä,...) you have to use a possessive suffix (-ni, -si,..) instead of "minun", "sinun",...

Example English
laulamani laulu the song sung by me
kirjoittamasi kirja the book written by you
kävelemme matka the distance walked by us

4. Inflection

As said above, participles inflect freely. They will be put in the same form as the word they are connected to.

Tolkienin kirjoittamassa kirjassa tapahtuu paljon.
= In the book written by Tolkien happens a lot.
Miehen maalaman talon osoite on Hämeenkatu 41 B.
= The address of the house painted by the man is Hämeenkatu 41 B.
Tekemässäni kotitehtävässä oli vaikeita kysymyksiä.
= In the homework (done by me) there were difficult questions.