I'm really confused about the object

the doctor specialized will help you


the documents required

How can I tell in the future, if I have to use the past participle or the adjective? And what's the name of this structure?


There is no "difference" in the sense that a word i necessarily one or the other.

The participle (present and past) can be used as an adjective in many cases, in exactly the same way other adjectives would be used.

What the teacher said, has interested the student.
The student was interested in what the teacher was saying.
The interested student was listening to the teacher.

In the first sentence we see interested as a participle, and that same participle is used in the third sentence as an adjective. In the second sentence, it can be read as either the participle or as an adjective.

We can do the same with the present participle:

The student is talking while the teacher speaks.
The teacher tells the talking student to keep quiet.

  • I would see "The student was inerested in..." as an adj, and not as a participle.
    – rogermue
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:01
  • He interested them in his cause passivises to They were interested in his cause [by him]. The classic 'is it a stative adjective or a transformational verb usage?' The window was broken. Apr 5 '14 at 9:08
  • Thanks, I added another sentence and included the dual interpretation of the (now) second sentence.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:10
  • You might also want to sling in Chomsky's famous example of syntactic ambiguity, 'Flying planes can be dangerous.' Though this introduces the noun factor as well. Apr 5 '14 at 9:21
  • Let's not _over_complicate things, shall we :) Flinging Chomsky at questions can be fun, though :)
    – oerkelens
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:56

The basic forms of the verb to break are break broke broken. The third form is called past participle. The Latin term participle means something that takes part (in two things) and the third verb form is called participle because it is a verb form that can be used as an adjective as in - a broken window/ a broken man/ The window is broken or as a form with verbal character as in- The window broken by the school boys must be repaired. "broken by the school boys" is a shortened relative clause: - The window that was broken by the school boys ...

So, from the way how a past participle is used in a sentence you can see whether it is used as an adjective or a participle.


Adjective: a word that describes/qualifies noun or pronoun. E.g.,

He is a good boy.

Here, in the above sentence good is an adjective which describes the noun boy.

Past Participle: it is considered to be the third form of verb.

You need to perceive the usage of past participle by learning more about English grammar. If you have knowledge about grammar, then you can easily learn to mechanize and distinguish between an adjective and a past participle.

Here is an example, which I hope will illustrate my meaning.

He has demolished his house to reconstruct it.

The above sentence is in the present perfect. We already know about that in present perfect or perfect tense of other tenses i.e future or past have the mechanism of past participial form of verb. So from here we get the past participle form which is always preceded by the helping verb. In the above mentioned sentence, demolished is used as a past participle form of the verb demolish. We come to know after that it is preceded by a helping verb.

Usage of irregular adjective: adjectives which end with the addition of ing or ed forms. They are mainly called irregular adjectives.

Point to Ponder: keep in mind adjectives must precede the noun or pronoun.

An interesting match
The interested candidates

These are irregular adjectives with the same meaning of the noun precedent.

  • 2
    Interesting and interested certainly have not the same meaning!
    – oerkelens
    Apr 5 '14 at 8:33
  • Both are adjectives with same meaning but have a bit difference in usage for entities. ''Interesting'' is used for the state of thing while ''interested'' is used for the desireble state or feeling of a person. e.g interesting story/interested man
    – Farhan Ali
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:01
  • 1
    Sorry, but no. I can say of a person both that "he is interesting"or that "he is interested" and the meaning is very different! Compare to "you are boring/tiring" and "you are bored/tired".
    – oerkelens
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:03
  • Oh! No, You are using ''interesting'' as a present participal here in the sentence not using an adectives try to grope it.
    – Farhan Ali
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:06
  • "An interesting man" does not mean the same as "an interested man". Now tell me those are not adjectives, and tell me they mean the same, and I'll open a question about it :)
    – oerkelens
    Apr 5 '14 at 9:12

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