A participle is a word formed from a verb that can be used as an adjective. There are participles of present and past tenses, for example in English the participle from the verb “to write” is “writing” in the present tense, and “written” in the past tense. In the Russian language participles can be active or  passive.

First of all, let’s figure out what is the difference between active and passive participles and then consider each of them. Let’s take the verb ПРОИЗВОДИТЬ – to manufacture, and consider an active and a passive participles from it in a context:

ПРОИЗВОДЯЩАЯ КОМПАНИЯ – a manufacturing company (a company that manufactures) – this is an active participle, because it expresses an active action by a company.

ПРОИЗВОДИМЫЙ ТОВАР – an item that is manufactured – this is a passive participle, because there is not an active action, the item is manufactured but it is not known who manufactures.

In this lesson we will consider active and passive participles in the present and past tenses.

Active participles

Present tense

In order to derive an active participle from a verb in present tense, add the suffix [УЩ/ЮЩ] for verbs of the 1st conjugation and [АЩ/ЯЩ] for verbs of the 2nd conjugation, and change the ending to adjective’s ending regarding to a gender or plural: -ИЙ/ЫЙ(m), -АЯ(f), -ЕЕ(n), -ИЕ(pl).

ИГРАТЬ – to play, 1st conjugation. From this verb one can derive the participles: ИГРАЮЩИЙ(m), ИГРАЮЩАЯ(f), ИГРАЮЩЕЕ(n), ИГРАЮЩИЕ(pl)

ГОВОРИТЬ – to speak, 2nd conjugation: ГОВОРЯЩИЙ(m), ГОВОРЯЩАЯ(f), ГОВОРЯЩЕЕ(n), ГОВОРЯЩИЕ(pl).

Participles are declined as adjectives. Let’s consider some examples:

Девочка, ИГРАЮЩАЯ в песочнице, хочет пить. A girl (who is) playing in a sandbox wants to drink

Метро, РАБОТАЮЩЕЕ днём, не работает ночью. The metro (that is) working at day, doesn’t work at night

Also, one can form a participle from a reflexive verb, in this case one must add the postfix – СЯ:

Студент, УЧАЩИЙСЯ в университете. A student (who is) studying in the university.

Молодой человек, НРАВЯЩИЙСЯ ей. A young man liked by her/a young man whom she likes.

Past tense

Have you got confident with present tense participles? Now it is time to learn past tense participles. It differs from present tense ones only by suffix – [ВШ] for verbs of 1st conjugation, and [-ИВШ] for verbs of 2nd conjugation!

Examples of past tense participles:

ЛЕТАТЬ – to fly, 1st conjugation: ЛЕТАВШИЙ(m), ЛЕТАВШАЯ(f), ЛЕТАВШЕЕ(n), ЛЕТАВШИЕ(pl)

СВЕРЛИТЬ – to drill, 2nd conjugation:  СВЕРЛИВШИЙ(m), СВЕРЛИВШАЯ(f), СВЕРЛИВШЕЕ(n), СВЕРЛИВШИЕ(pl).

Also, one can form participles of past tense from perfective verbs: НАПИСАТЬ – НАПИСАВШИЙ, СКАЗАТЬ – СКАЗАВШИЙ, ВЫПИТЬ – ВЫПИВШИЙ.

Ребёнок, ИГРАВШИЙ в песочнице, хотел пить. A child, who played in sandbox wanted to drink.

Метро, РАБОТАВШЕЕ ночью. Metro that worked at night.

Писатель, НАПИСАВШИЙ эту книгу, написал новую. The writer who had written this book, wrote a new one.

Предмет, ИЗУЧАВШИЙСЯ в университете, был обновлён. The subject that was studied in the university was updated.

На выставке были картины, ПОНРАВИВШИЕСЯ нам. There were picture in the exhibition that we liked. (понравившиеся – past tense participle of the perfective reflexive verb понравиться – to like)

Студентка, ОТВЕЧАВШАЯ на вопрос, получила хорошую оценку. The student(female) who answered a question got a good mark.

Человек, ОТВЕТИВШИЙ на звонок, сказал что я позвонил не по адресу. A person who answered the call, said that I called not by address. (ответивший – past tense participle from the perfective verb ответить – to answer)

Passive participles

Present tense

The sense and difference from active participles was considered in the beginning of the lesson. The suffix of passive participles of present tense is [ЕМ] for verbs of the 1st conjugation and [ИМ] for the 2nd.


ДЕЛИТЬ – to divide, 2nd conjugation. ДЕЛИМЫЙ(m), ДЕЛИМАЯ(f), ДЕЛИМОЕ(n), ДЕЛИМЫЕ(pl).


РАБОТА, ДЕЛАЕМАЯ ХОРОШО – The work that is done well

РАССКАЗЫВАЕМЫЙ РАССКАЗ БЫЛ СКУЧНЫМ – The tale being told was boring

СЕРИАЛ, ПОКАЗЫВАЕМЫЙ ПО ТЕЛЕВИЗОРУ, НЕ ИНТЕРЕСНЫЙ – The series that is shown in TV is not interesting.

Past tense

The suffixes of past tense passive participles are: [АНН] for verbs of the 1st conjugation, and [ЕНН] for verbs of the 2nd.


РАЗДЕЛИТЬ – to separate, 2nd conjugation. РАЗДЕЛЕННЫЙ(m), РАЗДЕЛЕННАЯ(f), РАЗДЕЛЕННОЕ(n), РАЗДЕЛЕННЫЕ(pl).

Also, some passive participles in past tense have own form:

ВЫПИТЬ – ВЫПИТЫЙ to drink – drunk, БРИТЬ – БРИТЫЙ to shave – shaved, МЫТЬ – МЫТЫЙ to wash – washed.


У МЕНЯ ЕСТЬ ФАЙЛЫ, КОПИРОВАННЫЕ С КОМПЬЮТЕРА – I have files that are copied from the computer.

ЗАЧЕМ ПОДДЕРЖИВАТЬ ЭТУ НЕ ПРОДУМАННУЮ ИДЕЮ? – Why to support this not thought-out idea?

ОНИ КУПИЛИ НЕ ПРОВЕРЕННОЕ УСТРОЙСТВО – they bought a device that is not checked.

Also, it is important to mention that one can use usual verbs instead of participles to form sentences with the same sentences:

ПИВО, НЕ ВЫПИТОЕ НА ВЕЧЕРИНКЕ = ПИВО, КОТОРОЕ НЕ ВЫПИЛИ НА ВЕЧЕРИНКЕ – The beer that was not drunk in the party.


Make appropriate active or passive participle.

  1. Я никогда не видел  попугая (ГОВОРИТЬ – to speak) – I have never seen a speaking parrot
  2. Где мой  рюкзак? (СОБРАТЬ – to pack) – Where is my packed backpack?
  3. На этой полке лежат  книги (ПРОЧИТАТЬ – to read) – The books that are read lie on this shelve
  4. Мне нужен автобус,  здесь (ОСТАНАВЛИВАТЬСЯ – to stop) – I need a bus that stops here
  5. Менеджер,  в нашей компании, уволился (РАБОТАТЬ – to work) – The manager who worked in our company has quit
  6. Полицейский,  наши документы, отпустил нас (ПРОВЕРИТЬ – to check) – The policeman who has checked our documents, let us go
  7. Решите  задачу (ДАТЬ – to give) – Solve the given task
  8. Дети,  на улице, вернулись домой (ИГРАТЬ – to play) – The children, who played outdoors, have returned to home


1: говорящего, 2: собранный, 3: прочитанные,

4: останавливающийся, 5: работавший, 6: проверивший,

7: данную, 8: игравшие.