17.7 - Participles
Participles are derived from verbs. In English there are two types, the present active participle ending in -ing, as in "Can you see the man (who is) talking to the postman?" and the past passive participle most frequently ending in -ed or -en, as in "I enjoyed the play (which was) performed by the RSC".
In Ukrainian there are, in theory, four types of participle (present active, past active, present passive and past passive), but it is only the last of these which is productive in contemporary Ukrainian. Nevertheless, you need to be familiar with the others, mainly as lexical items.
All participles in Ukrainian, though, decline like adjectives, as suggested by their name, дієприкметник, which can be translated as "verbal adjective". Once you know how the participle is derived from the verb, the rest is easy.
Present active participles
These end in -учий, -ючий and are the equivalent of the -ing ending in English. They are no longer productive, and should be learnt simply as vocabulary items:
who/which is working
those who work, working people
a burning (scorching) sun
a knowledgeable person
There is a trend in contemporary Ukrainian to replace some active present participles with other forms as, for example, завідувач for завідуючий (supervisor, manager).
Past active participles
These end in -лий and are derived from perfective verbs which denote a process. There are relatively few of them, and they should be learnt simply as adjectives:
to go green
having gone green
|мідний знак, позеленілий від часу
a copper sign, green with age
to grow pale
having grown pale
The most appropriate rendering of these will depend on the context.
Present passive participles
These end in -мий, and only a small number are still in use, purely as adjectives:
|всесвітньо відомі вчені
world famous scholars
a familiar story
real estate (immovable property)
питоме і чуже
native vs foreign
|видимий рух сонця
the visible movement of the sun
Past passive participles
These are the most extensive group of participles. They are formed only from transitive verbs (those requiring an object), and end in -ний. They are easy to understand once you have identified which verb they are derived from (taking into account any consonant mutations). Examples of their formation are given below.
- Most 1st conjugation verbs:
to cut, slice
- Verbs in - увати/-ювати where the stress in the infinitive comes before the - увати/-ювати:
to await, expect
- Verbs in - увати/-ювати where the stress in the infinitive comes on the ва:
- Most 2nd conjugation verbs are formed from the 1st person singular:
- Most short verbs:
- Some verbs can have two variants:
(other verbs like this: колоти, пороти, замкнути)
Participles and passive sentences
As mentioned before, the passive is frequently avoided in Ukrainian, either by using the reflexive or the 3rd person plural. Passive may be used, however, if the "doer" of the action is unknown or unspecified, or there is no overt subject of the sentence.
Passive sentences are constructed with the help of the past passive participle, with the ending -о:
|написати||написаний||написано||Книжку вже написано.
The book has been written.
(There has been written the book.)
|зробити||зроблений||зроблено||Заходи вже зроблено.
Measures have been taken
To practise the passive go to Exercise 17.7A.