The passive present 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 passive present participle.

2. Use

syötävä omena = the eatable apple

2.1. When the object is not performing the action itself. Something is being done TO the object.
käännettävä kirja
= kirja, joka käännetään
= the book that is being translated

2.2. Denotes an action that can be performed.
syötävä sieni
= sieni, jonka voi syödä
= a mushroom that can be eaten

2.3. Denotes an action that HAS to be performed.
maksettava lasku
= lasku, joka täytyy maksaa
= the bill that has to be paid
otettava lääke
= lääke, joka täytyy ottaa
= the medicine that has to be taken

2.4. As a replacement for the "minun täytyy" sentence construction.
Minun on maksettava laskut.
= Minun täytyy maksaa laskut.
= I have to pay the bills.
Hänen oli luettava tämä kirja.
= Hänen täytyi lukea tämä kirja.
= She had to read this book.

2.5. The passive present participle used as a substantive. Always in the partitive!
Onko teillä kysyttävää?
= Do you have anything to ask?.
Haluan jotakin syötävää.
= I want something to eat.
Tuo jotakin juotavaa.
= Bring something to drink.

2.6. It can also be used in the essive and translative cases, it then has "special" meanings.
Auto on huoltamolla korjattavana.
= The car is being repaired in the garage.
Annoin tekstin Eilalle luettavaksi.
= I gave the text to Eila so she reads it.

3. Formation

Verb type 1, 4, 5 and 6: passive stem* + -ttava/-ttävä.

Infinitive Passive Participle
sanoa sanotaan sanottava
istua istutaan istuttava
maksaa maksetaan maksettava
ottaa otetaan otettava
lähteä lähdetään lähdettävä
nukkua nukutaan nukuttava
tavata tavataan tavattava
häiritä häiritään häirittävä
paeta paetaan paettava

Verb types 2 and 3 : passive stem* + -tava/-tävä.

Infinitive Passive Participle
voida voidaan voitava
saada saadaan saatava
tehdä tehdään tehtävä
olla ollaan oltava
tulla tullaan tultava

* The passive stem is the stem you use to form the present passive.

4. Clarification

As you probably noticed, the rules about when to use this participle are very diverse. This means that a sentence with one of these participles can have many meanings..

Maalattava talo.
= the house that is being painted.
= the house that has to be painted.
= the house that can be painted / is paintable.
Syötävä sieni.
= the mushroom that is being eaten.
= the mushroom that has to be eaten.
= the mushroom that can be eaten / is eatable.

5. Inflection

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

En halua maksaa maksettavaa laskua.
= I don't want to pay the bill that has to be payed.
En pidä tehtävästä ruoasta..
= I don't like the food that is being prepared.
Syötävän sienen väri on ruskea.
= The eatable mushroom's color is brown.