German participle as adjectives
Participles are known as kinds of a verb. Therefore, in German there are used two different participles: the present and the past participle.
- 1.Present participle used as an adjective
- 1.1.Declension of present participles
- 2.Past participle used as an adjective in German
- 2.1.Construction of past participles
- 2.2.Transformation for regular verbs without a prefix
- 2.3.Transformation of regular verbs with separable prefix
- 2.4.Transformation of regular verbs with inseparable prefix
- 2.5.Transformation of verbs ending with -ieren
- 2.6.Transformation of strong verbs
- 3.1.Build the correct participle form!
- 3.2.Exercise on present and past participles used as adjectives
Present participle used as an adjective
The present participle is used, when two events happen at the same time. This kind of participle is always used as an adjective.
|Sentence without a participle||Sentence with a participle|
|Das Kind weint und steht im Garten. (The child is crying and is standing in the garden.)||Das weinende Kind steht im Garten. (The crying child is standing in the garden.)|
|Die Frau schreit und rennt aus dem Haus. (The child is crying and runs out of the house.)||Die schreiende Frau rennt aus dem Haus. (The screaming women runs out of the house.)|
As you might have recognized, the words weint and schreit are returned into the infinitive form and an -de was added to make it a present participle.
Declension of present participles
By using the present participle as an adjective, it has to be declined in order to adjust it to the noun it describes, depending on the gender, case and number of the noun. Due to different articles used, there exist different forms of declensions: weak declension (with a definite article), mixed declension (with an indefinite article) and strong declension (no preceding article). If you want to learn more about the four german cases just have a look at the special chapter about it.
Starting with the weak declension:
|Nominative||der weinende Junge||die weinende Puppe||das weinende Mädchen||die weinenden Kinder|
|Accusative||den weinenden Jungen||die weinende Puppe||das weinende Mädchen||die weinenden Kinder|
|Dative||dem weinenden Jungen||der weinenden Puppe||dem weinenden Mädchen||den weinenden Kinder|
|Genitive||des weinenden Jungen||der weinenden Puppe||des weinenden Mädchens||der weinenden Kinder|
Coming to the mixed declension:
|Nominative||ein weinender Junge||eine weinende Puppe||ein weinendes Mädchen||einige weinende Kinder|
|Accusative||einen weinenden Jungen||eine weinende Puppe||ein weinendes Mädchen||einige weinende Kinder|
|Dative||einem weinenden Jungen||einer weinenden Puppe||einem weinenden Mädchen||einigen weinenden Kindern|
|Genitive||eines weinenden Jungen||einer weinenden Puppe||eines weinenden Mädchens||einiger weinender Kinder|
And the strong declension:
|Nominative||weinender Junge||weinende Puppe||weinendes Mädchen||weinende Kinder|
|Accusative||weinenden Jungen||weinende Puppe||weinendes Mädchen||weinende Kinder|
|Dative||weinendem Jungen||weinender Puppe||weinendem Mädchen||weinenden Kindern|
|Genitive||weinendes Jungens||weinender Puppe||weinendes Mädchens||weinender Kinder|
It's also possible that the participle is in a non-attributive function, meaning that the participle is isolated in the sentence. For instance, "Der Auftrag ist dringend." (The order is urgent."). Then the -d ending is enough.
Past participle used as an adjective in German
The past participle, in contrast, signals that the noun of a sentence is in a certain condition or that two actions didn't happen at the same time. Many weak and strong verbs can be used as adjectives.
|Sentence without participle||Sentence with participle|
|Ich verkaufe das Auto. Das Auto ist gebraucht. (I am selling my car. The car is used.)||Ich verkaufe mein gebrauchtes Auto. (I am selling my used car.)|
Die Frau ist gebildet und ist Professorin. (The women is well eductaed and is a professor.)
Die gebildete Frau ist Professorin. (The well educated women is a professor.)
Construction of past participles
By constructing the past participle you have to be careful, because you need to transform the verb of a sentence into an adjective. By doing so, there are different options:
- Transformation of regular verbs without a prefix
- Transformation of regular verbs with seperable prefix
- Transformation of regular verbs with inseperable prefix
- Transformation of verbs ending with -ieren
- Transformation of strong verbs
1. Transformation for regular verbs without a prefix
- construction: ge - verb stem - (e)t
|kaufen (to buy)||ge-kauf-t||Bring bitte den gekauften Regenschirm mit. (Please bring the bought umbrella.)|
|öffnen (to open||ge-öffn-et||Bitte mach das geöffnete Fenster zu. (Please close the opened window.)|
2. Transformation of regular verbs with separable prefix
- construction: seperable prefix - ge - verb stem - (e)t
|aufrunden (to round sth. up)||auf-ge-rund-et||Ich habe die Summe aufgerundet. (I rounded the sum up.)|
|angebrannt (to be burnt)||an-ge-brann-t||Die Suppe ist angebrannt. (The soup is burnt.)|
3. Transformation of regular verbs with inseparable prefix
- construction: inseparable prefix - verb stem - (e)t
|zerstören (to destroy)||zer-stör-t||Die zersörte Stadt wird wieder aufgebaut. (the destroyed city will be rebuilt.)|
|entwickeln (to develop)||ent-wickel-t||Das entwickelte Computerprogramm ist gut. (The developed computer program is good.)|
4. Transformation of verbs ending with -ieren
- construction: verb stem - t
|repapieren (to fix)||reparier-t||Wo steht das reparierte Auto? (Where is the fixed car?|
|studieren||studier-t||Der studierte Informatiker weiß viel. (The studied computer scientist knows a lot.)|
5. Transformation of strong verbs
- construction: ge - verb stem - en
|kommen (to come)||ge-komm-en||Der gestern gekommene Katalog ist schön. (The catalog which arrived yesterday is fine.)|
|fahren (to drive)||ge-fahr-en||Die gefahrene Route war schneller. (The droven route was faster.)|
There are some exceptions to this rule, for instance the verbs sein (gewesen), haben (gehabt), werden (geworden).
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