Past Participle in Portuguese

Past Participle in Portuguese

Do you know what past participle is?

It’s a word that usually ends with -ed (chopped, devoted, painted, etc.) and people get confused when they need to classify. Is it an adjective? Is it a verb? For example: The wall was painted yesterday.

What do you think? Well… At this point, the classification is not that important and we will spend our time with other information. Important information by the way (Sorry if I disappointed you).

How to create a past participle (adjective) from a Portuguese verb

If the verb is regular, it’s easy:

1) Choose a verb.  Example: digitar (to type in a computer keyboard) / responder (to answer, to response, to reply)

2) Then you take out the two last letters: digitar – digit / responder – respond

3) At this point you have the root.

4) Now add -ado (for verbs ending with -ar) or -ido (for verbs ending with -er or -ir): digitado / respondido.

And nothing else.

O texto foi digitado pela Marilza. / The text was typed by Marilza.

O e-mail foi respondido duas horas atrás. / The email was replied two hours ago.

Most of the times, it will work wonders. However in one specific situation, it is tricky. Not when you form the participle, but when you translate the word. Let’s see!

Recently we have heard loads of news about the Osama Bin Laden’s death. And always the press have referred to him as ‘The most wanted man in the world”.

After most (mais in Portuguese), we need to use a past participle, which in the case is wanted.

How is to want in Portuguese? I’m sure that the first word off the top of your head will be querer. You are correct.

The past participle of querer is -through the steps above – 1) quer ; 2) querido.

HOWEVER querido means beloved. So a bad translation of  ’The most wanted man in the world’ would become ‘The most beloved man in the world‘ / ‘O homem mais querido do mundo‘. 😀

So, pay attention!

In this case the proper translation for ‘The most wanted man” is ‘O homem mais procurado‘. Procurado comes from procurar (to search, to look for).

That’s it.