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The Passive Past Participle – TU-partisiippi

The passive past participle can be called the -TU-partisiippi or the passiivin toinen partisiippi in Finnish.

Table of Contents
  1. What are Participles?
  2. The Use of the Passive Past Participle
    1. As part of the negative passive imperfect
    2. As part of the passive perfect tense
    3. As an adjective
    4. As a noun
    5. In the temporal substitute construction
    6. Tulla tehdyksi – Saada tehtyä
    7. Compound verbs
  3. The Formation of the Passive Past Participle
  4. The Inflection of the Passive Past Participle
    1. Singular
    2. Plural

1. What are Participles?

A participle is a specific form of the verb, used to either turn a verb into an adjective, noun or to replace a subordinate clause. That’s a pretty broad description. All these participles can be used in a multitude of different ways.

Often participles are used as verbal adjectives which can be formed from all verbs. Like ordinary adjectives, they are declined in all cases and agree with the noun which they modify. They can be in active (-VA or -NUT) and passive form (-TAVA or -TU) and there is also an ‘agent’ participle. On this page you find just the passive past participle.

2. The Use of the Passive Past Participle

We call the passive past participle also the TU-participle because its marker at the end of a verb will be -tu/-ty.

There are three parts to this word construction:

  1. It’s passive: we don’t know who did the action, or it’s not important
  2. It’s past: it happened before, it’s done
  3. It’s a participle: it’s based on a verb and can be used as an adjective or noun

The TU-participle is the passive version of the NUT-participle. In linguistic sources it will also be called the passive second participle (passiivin toinen partisiippi).

2.1. As Part of the Negative Passive Imperfect

The past passive or passive imperfect (passiivin imperfekti) can be conjugated in the negative. When that happens, you will use the past passive participle of the verb in combination with the negative verb ei.

Finnish English
Talossa [siivottiin] viikonloppuna. The house was cleaned in the weekend.
Talossa [ei siivottu] viikonloppuna. The house wasn’t cleaned in the weekend.
Kesällä [pelattiin jalkapalloa]. In summer soccer was played.
Talvella [ei pelattu] jalkapalloa. In winter soccer wasn’t played.
Me [odotettiin] bussia vain vähän aikaa. We waited for the bus for just a little while.
Me [ei odotettu] bussia kovin pitkään. We didn’t wait very long for the bus.
Me [käytiin] lounaalla Hesburgerissa. We went to Hesburger for lunch.
Me [ei käyty] lounaalla Hesburgerissa. We didn’t go to Hesburger for lunch.

2.2. As part of the Passive Perfect Tense

The passive perfect tense is formed by taking the verb olla and conjugating the main verb of the sentence in the past passive participle. It expresses that something has been done, but doesn’t reveal who did – either because we don’t know or because it’s not important. It fulfills the same function as the active perfect tense.

Finnish English
Mikko [on varastanut] autoni. Mikko has stolen my car.
Autoni [on varastettu]. My car was stolen.
Firma [on rakentanut] talon kolmessa viikossa. The firm built the house in three weeks.
Talo [on rakennettu] kolmessa viikossa. The house was built in three weeks.
Suomalaiset [ovat surreet] Kekkosen kuolemaa pitkään. Finns have mourned Kekkonen’s death long.
Kekkosen kuolemaa [on surtu] pitkään. Kekkonen’s death has been mourned long.
Joku [on syönyt] minun puuroni! Somebody has eaten my porridge!
Minun puuroni [on syöty]! My porridge has been eaten!

2.3. As an Adjective

When a noun hasn’t done anything, but has had something done to it, you can use this participle as an adjective. In English, you are more likely to use a subordinate clause for these sentences. For example:

  • In English: “the leader that was chosen yesterday”
  • In Finnish: “the yesterday-chosen leader”.

However, in some cases, translating literally works just fine:

  • In English: “we like fish that has been baked”
  • In Finnish: “we like baked fish”
Finnish Explanation English
[Eilen valittu johtaja] aloitti työnsä. Johtaja valittiin eilen. “the chosen leader”
Syömme [keitettyä kalaa]. Kala on keitetty. “boiled fish”
Tykkäämme [uunissa paistetusta kalasta]. Kala on paistettu. “baked fish”
[Konsertissa soitetut biisit] ovat CD:llä. Biisit soitettiin konsertissa. “the played songs”
Pitkään toivottu raskaus on saanut alkunsa. Raskautta toivottiin pitkään. “long-hoped-for pregnancy”

2.4. As a Noun

Some of these participles can be used as nouns. Originally, these functioned as an adjective describing a noun, but now they can take the place of the subject of the sentence on their own.

Finnish English
Epäilty vangittiin viime tiistaina. The suspect was imprisoned last Tuesday.
Kuolemaantuomittu pysyy rauhallisena. The [person sentenced to death] remains calm.
Kaupunginvaltuutettu on rehellinen. The councilor is honest.
Äänioikeutettuja on tuhansia. There are thousands of [people allowed to vote].
Syytetty kieltää kuristaneensa uhria. The accused denies having strangled the victim.
Pidätetty saa yhden puhelun. The arrested is allowed one phone call.
Vastavihityt lähtivät häämatkalleen. The newlyweds left on their honeymoon.

2.5. In the Temporal Substitute Construction

The TU-participle is used in the temporaalinen lauseenvastike or temporaalirakenne. It’s used to replace a kun-sentence that expresses that something happened earlier. It condenses two sentences into one. For example: “Syötyäni lähdin ulos.” = “Kun olin syönyt, lähdin ulos.” = “When I had eaten, I went outside.”

You can learn more about the temporal substitute construction on its own page.

2.6. Tulla tehdyksi – Saada tehtyä

The TU-participle, combined with either the partitive or the translative, can express that something happened by accident or without any action done by the people involved. This is the case with certain verbs only: tulla and saada (sometimes also joutua).

2.6.1. Tulla

The verb tulla can be used to express the future: that something is going to happen a certain way (see #1 below). It can also be used to remove the person performing the action from the sentence. This makes the sentence less accusatory (#2), or it can otherwise just reduce the important of the do-er (#3).

In English, this may seem strange. It would be weird for the head of a family to say: “It’s great that the ham was bought yesterday!”, when it was actually the head of the family who bought it.

# Finnish English
1 Asiat tulevat pian hoidetuiksi. Things will be taken care of soon.
2 Suunnittelu tuli aloitetuksi liian myöhään. The planning was started too late.
3 Oli hyvä kun kinkku tuli ostetuksi eilen. Great that the ham was bought yesterday.
3 Täällä tulee joskus käytyä / käydyksi. One comes (= I come) here sometimes.

2.6.2. Saada

Saada tehdyksi and saada tehtyä show who is doing the action, and stresses – in positive sentences – that something succeeded (#1) and – in negative sentence – that something failed (#2). You can also use it in passive sentences (#3).

# Finnish English
1 Palomiehet saivat pelastettua 2 miestä. The firemen succeeded in saving 2 men.
2 Ravintola ei saanut hankittua jatkoaikalupaa. The restaurant didn’t succeed in acquiring an extension permit.
3 Kaikki eläimet saatiin pelastettua. All animals were saved.

2.7. Compound Verbs

Next, let’s take a look at a series of compound verbs that appear regularly in the TU-participle.

Finnish English
Puhelimessa on [sisäänrakennettu kamera]. There’s a built-in camera in the phone.
[Aliravittu lapsi] otettiin huostaan. The undernourished child was taken into care.
[Kovaksikeitetyt munat] säilyvät pitkään. Hard-boiled eggs will remain good for long.
[Suupuhallettu lasi] on ohutta ja kevyttä. Mouth-blown glass is thin and light.
Rakastan [vastaleivotun leivän] tuoksua. I love the smell of freshly-baked bread.
En halua [geenimuokattua lemmikkiä]. I don’t want a genetically modified pet.
[Vastavihityt] olivat onnellisia. The newly-weds were happy.
Ostin [kauko-ohjatun lennokin]. I bought a remote-controlled aircraft.
[Maailman yhteenlaskettu velka] on hyvin suuri. The total world debt is really large.
Näyttelijän tulkinta oli vahvasti yliammuttu. The actor’s interpretation was heavily overrun.
[Koulukiusattu poika] teki itsemurhan. The boy that was bullied in school killed himself.
Kaikki on ennaltamäärättyä. Everything is predetermined.
Olen etuoikeutettu ihonvärini takia. I’m privileged because of my skin color.
Vaalioikeutettu saa äänestää yhtä ehdokasta. An eligible voter may vote for one candidate.
Lehdenjakajat ovat alipalkattuja. Magazine distributors are underpaid.

3. The Formation of the Passive Past Participle

I think the easiest way to learn how the passive past participle is formed is to compare it to the passive imperfect. Both have the same number of -t’s going on, which is important because the marker for the past passive participle can be -tu/-ty or -ttu/-tty, depending on the verbtype.

Below, you can compare the passive forms to one another.

Verbtype Verb Passive Passive Past Participle
Verbtype 1 nukkua nukutaan nukuttiin nukuttu
Verbtype 1 leipoa leivotaan leivottiin leivottu
Verbtype 2 juoda juodaan juotiin juotu
Verbtype 2 tehdä tehdään tehtiin tehty
Verbtype 3 olla ollaan oltiin oltu
Verbtype 3 ommella ommellaan ommeltiin ommeltu
Verbtype 4 tavata tavataan tavattiin tavattu
Verbtype 4 haluta halutaan haluttiin haluttu
Verbtype 5 tarvita tarvitaan tarvittiin tarvittu
Verbtype 6 rohjeta rohjetaan rohjettiin rohjettu

4. The Inflection of the Passive Past Participle

You can inflect all TU-participle forms in all the Finnish cases, both in the singular and the plural. However, this comes with some consonant gradation surprises, so let’s look at that next!

4.1. Singular

The basic rules of consonant gradation for wordtype A words take place as it should. You can think of these words as nouns that end in -(t)tu); they’re grammatically not verbs anymore. This means that the basic form, the partitive, essive and illative will be strong, and all the other forms weak.

There is one exception to this rule: for verbtype 3 verbs that end in -sta, you will not use consonant gradation. Verbs like pestä (pesty) and nousta (noustu) will retain their -t- in all the inflections. This is due to the combination of -st- within these verbs, which is a consonant gradation exception.

Case VT1 VT2 VT3 VT3 VT4 VT5
Nominative odotettu nähty pesty kävelty siivottu tarvittu
Partitive odotettua näht pest kävelt siivottua tarvittua
Genitive odotetun nähdyn pestyn kävellyn siivotun tarvitun
Missä odotetussa nähdyssä pestyssä kävellyssä siivotussa tarvitussa
Mistä odotetusta nähdystä pestystä kävellystä siivotusta tarvitusta
Mihin odotettuun nähtyyn pestyyn käveltyyn siivottuun tarvittuun
Millä odotetulla nähdylla pestyllä kävellyllä siivotulla tarvitulla
Miltä odotetulta nähdyltä pestyltä kävellyltä siivotulta tarvitulta
Mille odotetulle nähdylle pestylle kävellylle siivotulle tarvitulle
Translative odotetuksi nähdyksi pestyksi kävellyksi siivotuksi tarvituksi
Essive odotettuna nähtynä pestynä käveltynä siivottuna tarvittuna

4.2. Plural

Just like in the singular forms, the basic rules of consonant gradation for wordtype A words will apply. For the plural, that means that the partitive, illative, essive and genitive will be strong.

Verbtype 3 verbs once again for the exception. For VT3 verbs that end in -sta, you will not use consonant gradation. Verbs like pestä (pesty) and nousta (noustu) will retain their -t- in all the inflections.

Case VT1 VT2 VT3 VT3 VT4 VT5
Nominative odotetut nähdyt pestyt kävellyt siivotut tarvitut
Partitive odotettuja nähtyjä pestyjä käveltyjä siivottuja tarvittuja
Genitive odotettujen nähtyjen pestyjen käveltyjen siivottujen tarvittujen
Missä odotetuissa nähdyissä pestyissä kävellyissä siivotuissa tarvituissa
Mistä odotetuista nähdyistä pestyistä kävellyistä siivotuista tarvituista
Mihin odotettuihin nähtyihin pestyihin käveltyihin siivottuihin tarvittuihin
Millä odotetuilla nähdyilla pestyillä kävellyillä siivotuilla tarvituilla
Miltä odotetuilta nähdyiltä pestyiltä kävellyiltä siivotuilta tarvituilta
Mille odotetuille nähdyille pestyille kävellyille siivotuille tarvituille
Translative odotetuiksi nähdyiksi pestyiksi kävellyiksi siivotuiksi tarvituiksi
Essive odotettuina nähtyinä pestyinä käveltyinä siivottuina tarvittuina


Check out the other Finnish participles here!

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In “Syötyäni lähdin ulos.” = “Kun olin syönyt, lähdin ulos.” = “When I had eaten, I went outside, both actions happen in the past but if it happens in the future….could it be like this?

Syötyäni (first) lähden ulos (then)
I’ll go outside but after eating.

if I’m wrong please could you explain it with some examples ?

kiitos ja hyvää uutta vuotta.

Inge (admin)

You’re right, you can also use the TU-participle in combination with the future!