The Active Past Participle – NUT-Partisiippi

Table of Contents
  1. What are Participles?
  2. The Use of the Active Past Participle
    1. When expressing that someone has finished doing something
    2. When a situation that started earlier is still relevant
    3. When using the ”että construction” (referatiivirakenne)
    4. When expressing accidental actions
  3. The Formation of the Active Past Participle
  4. The Inflection of the Active Past Participle
  5. Participles with an Modifier

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 active past participle.

2. The Use of the Active Past Participle

There are three parts to this word construction:

  1. It’s active: there is a subject and someone is doing the action
  2. It’s past: it happened before, it’s done
  3. It’s a participle: it’s an adjective that expresses someone doing something

It has the following characteristics:

  • It’s based on a verb
  • It answers the question “millainen” (what kind?)
  • It’s inflected in the same case as its main word
  • It can also be expressed with a joka-sentence

2.1. When expressing that someone has finished doing something

The active past participle is used when the subject of the sentence has finished doing something before the action of the whole sentence.

  • “Suomea opiskellut tyttö muutti Suomeen.”
    Translation: The [Finnish-learned] girl moved to Finland.
    Rephrased: Tyttö, joka muutti Suomeen, oli opiskellut suomea.
    Translation: The girl who had studied Finnish moved to Finland.
  • “Tampereella sattunut auto-onnettomuus oli vakava.”
    Translation: The [in-Tampere-happened] car accident was serious.
    Rephrased: Auto-onnettomuus, joka sattui Tampereella, oli vakava.
    Translation: The car accident that happened in Tampere was serious.

2.2. When a situation that started earlier is still relevant

  • “Espanjassa 20 vuotta asunut ystäväni tulee Suomeen lomalle.”
    Literally: My [in-Spain-20-years-lived] friend comes to Finland on holiday.
    Rephrased: Ystäväni, joka on asunut Espanjassa 20 vuotta, tulee Suomeen lomalle.
    Translation: My friend who has lived in Spain for 20 years is coming to Finland on holiday.
  • “Menen huomenna viime viikolla alkaneelle kurssille.”
    Literally: Tomorrow I’m going to a [last-week-started] course.
    Rephrased: Menen huomenna kurssille, joka alkoi viime viikolla.
    Translation: Tomorrow I’m going to a course that started last week.

2.3. When using the “että construction” (referatiivirakenne)

The sentence “Luulen, että hän tuli myöhässä.” can be replaced by a reference structure (referatiivirakenne) which means the same thing: “Luulen hänen tulleen myöhässä.” We have an article on the referatiivirakenne here.

2.4. When expressing accidental actions

With the verb “tulla” you can express having done something without planning to. The active past participle will inflect in the translative case for these type of sentences.

Finnish English
Tulin sanoneeksi jotain väärin. I accidentally said something wrong.
Tulin syöneeksi vähän makkaraa, vaikka olen laihdutuskuurilla. I accidentally ate some sausage, even though I’m on a diet.
Hän tuli valinneeksi Hyla-maitoa. He accidentally chose Hyla-milk.

3. The Formation of the Active Past Participle

The active past participle’s marker is -nut/-nyt. This is the same form you use in the negative past tense and in the perfect tense. You add this marker to the infinitive’s stem. You find this stem by removing the last (verb type 1) or two last letters (verb type 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) of the dictionary-form of the verb.

Verbtype 1
Verb Participle Example Translation
nukku-a nukkunut huonosti nukkunut lapsi the child who slept badly
leipo-a leiponut äsken leiponut äiti the mother who just finished baking
Verbtype 2
Verb Participle Example Translation
syö-dä syönyt puuroa syönyt koira the dog who ate porridge
tupakoi-da tupakoinut tupakoinut kuljettaja the driver who just smoked
Verbtype 3
Verb Participle Example Translation
kävel-lä kävellyt metsässä kävellyt mies the man who just walked in the forest
nous-ta noussut esille noussut ongelma the problem that has arisen
Verbtype 4
Verb Participle Example Translation
kiive-tä kiivennyt puuhun kiivennyt kissa the cat that climbed into the tree
kado-ta kadonnut kadonnut lompakko the lost wallet
Verbtype 5
Verb Participle Example Translation
häiritä häirinnyt rauhaa häirinnyt koira the dog that disturbed the peace
tarvita tarvinnut ruokaa tarvinnut lapsi the child who needed food

4. The Inflection of the Active Past Participle

The participles can be inflected in all the Finnish cases.

Case Singular Plural Example
Nominative nukkunut nukkuneet Hyvin nukkuneet miehet heräävät iloisina.
Genetive (-n) nukkuneen nukkuneiden Nukkuneiden lasten sängyt ovat sotkuisia.
Partitive (-a) nukkunutta nukkuneita Älä häiritse huonosti nukkuneita teinejä.
Illative (mihin) nukkuneeseen nukkuneisiin Törmäsin hyvin nukkuneeseen Villeen.
Inessive (missä) nukkuneessa nukkuneissa Yön yli nukkuneessa lapsessa on enemmän tarmoa.
Elative (mistä) nukkuneesta nukkuneista En tykkää huonosti nukkuneista työtovereistani.
Allative (mille) nukkuneelle nukkuneille Hyvin nukkuneille ihmisille on helppoa puhua.
Adessive (millä) nukkuneella nukkuneilla Hyvin nukkuneilla on parempi keskittymiskyky.
Ablative (miltä) nukkuneelta nukkuneilta Nukkuneilta oli varastettu lompakkoita.
Translative (-ksi) nukkuneeksi nukkuneiksi Kutsuin häntä minun huonosti nukkuneeksi ystäväkseni.
Essive (-na) nukkuneena nukkuneina Hyvin nukkuneena on helpompi tehdä päätöksiä.

5. Participles With a Modifier

In addition to inflecting in all the cases, participles can also have a modifier. This modifier can be eg. an object, a place, a time. You will need to reverse the order in which they appear in the sentence.

Finnish Modifier Literally Translation
lapsi, joka nukkui sängyssä sängyssä nukkunut lapsi a/the in-bed-slept child a/the child who slept in the bed
mies, joka lauloi hyvin hyvin laulanut mies a/the well-sang man a/the man who sang well
poika, joka tarvitsi apua apua tarvinnut poika a/the help-needed boy a/the boy who needed help
tyttö, joka meni ensimmäistä kertaa kouluun ensimmäistä kertaa kouluun mennyt tyttö a/the first-time-to-school-gone girl a/the girl who went to school for the first time
potilas, joka kuoli äsken äsken kuollut potilas a/the just-died patient a/the patient who just died


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