Past Participle as Adjective? Where, When, How, Why, Uses, Examples


Past participles are verbs that describe an action that took place and got over in the past. However, some people may use past participles as adjectives. In such cases, the said word, even though looks like a verb, it functions only as a descriptor. Ahead, we’ll learn more about it past participle as adjective.

  1. My friend fixed my broken clock and gave it back to me.
  2. I prefer tied hair over open hair on myself since it’s more convenient.
  3. I kept the neatly folded laundry in my drawers.
  4. We love eating boiled eggs on toast for breakfast.
  5. They got a whole roasted chicken for the potluck lunch.
  6. We saw a frightened kitten on the side of the road so we took her home.
  7. In this particular given situation, the only thing we can do is wait and watch.
  8. The amused parents looked at their toddlers cutely playing with their dog.
  9. The amazed professor congratulated his student on her great work.
  10. The spoilt milk had to be thrown out since it was of no use anymore.
  11. The confused child tried to fit the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
  12. We ordered burnt garlic fried rice at the restaurant.
  13. I have been reading a beautifully written book and I’d recommend you read it too.
  14. The trained animals followed their master around the farm.
  15. Although he’s an adult he seldom behaves like a grown man.
  16. The bored kids wanted to leave the museum and go to the eatery across the street.
  17. The tired teacher looked at the pile of papers that he had to correct.

Past participle as adjective examples

1.     My friend fixed my broken clock and gave it back to me.

The word ‘broken‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

2.     I prefer tied hair over open hair on myself since it’s more convenient.

The word ‘tied‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

3.     I kept the neatly folded laundry in my drawers.

The word ‘folded‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

4.     We love eating boiled eggs on toast for breakfast.

The word ‘boiled‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

5.     They got a whole roasted chicken for the potluck lunch.

The word ‘roasted‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

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6.     We saw a frightened kitten on the side of the road so we took her home.

The word ‘frightened‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

7.     In this particular given situation, the only thing we can do is wait and watch.

The word ‘given‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

8.     The amused parents looked at their toddlers cutely playing with their dog.

The word ‘amused‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

9.     The amazed professor congratulated his student on her great work.

The word ‘amazed‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

10.  The spoilt milk had to be thrown out since it was of no use anymore.

The word ‘spoilt‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

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11.  The confused child tried to fit the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

The word ‘confused‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

12.  We ordered burnt garlic fried rice at the restaurant.

The word ‘burnt‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

13.  I have been reading a beautifully written book and I’d recommend you read it too.

The word ‘written‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

14.  The trained animals followed their master around the farm.

The word ‘trained‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

15.  Although he’s an adult he seldom behaves like a grown man.

The word ‘grown‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

16.  The bored kids wanted to leave the museum and go to the eatery across the street.

The word ‘bored‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

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17.  The tired teacher looked at the pile of papers that he had to correct.

The word ‘tired‘ is an example of a past participle being used as an adjective since it has been placed in front of a noun and therefore is describing the said noun.

How to use past participle as adjective?

  • One can use a past participle as an adjective by putting it in front of a noun.
  • It might seem impossible to see verbs as descriptors in theory, but when they’re used in front of nouns, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Example- She gave me a torn book.

In the above example the word ‘torn’ is a past participle if seen individually.

But in context of the sentence, it is an adjective since it is describing the state of the book.

When to use past participle as adjective?

  • A past participle can be used as an adjective when someone wants to describe the state of something or someone.
  • All adjectives function as descriptors however, participles as adjectives, in this case, past participles especially help in describing the predicament of certain people, places and things.

Example- Look at that exhausted man.

In the above sentence, the word ‘exhausted’ briefly and clearly describes the state of the man.

Why to use past participle as adjective?

  • As mentioned above, a past participle can be used as an adjective as it helps one describe the state of a certain person, situation, place or thing.
  • It also helps one understand what must’ve transpired around the person, thing or place being described.

Example- The drilled hole in the wall.

In the above sentence, one can figure out that a hole was drilled in a wall just by the way the sentence is structured.

Where to use past participle as adjective?

  • Past participles can be used as adjectives only and only when placed in front of nouns.
  • When used individually, past participles function in their basic from, that is, as verbs.
  • But when placed in front nouns, they turn into adjectives.

Example- An excited toddler ate his ice-cream.

The word ‘excited’ is used in front of the noun ‘toddler’ and therefore, even if it’s a verb it’s being used as an adjective.

Use of past participle as adjective

  • Past participles when used as adjectives show one’s hold on English Grammar.
  • They help one describe the state and predicament of a certain person, thing, situation or place.
  • They give an idea of what must’ve transpired for one to use said past participle as an adjective.

Example- We’re glad to have a satisfied customer.

The word ‘satisfied’ is describing the word ‘customer’ and showcasing the state and predicament of the said customer.

All in all, one can see that past participles can often be used as adjectives to explain the state of certain people, objects, situations or places in a brief manner.

Vriddhi Kapoor

Hi.....I’m a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. I wish to do a Masters in the same field someday and continue my career in Academia. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vriddhi-kapoor-513bb4202

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