You are here:

Italian Language/Italian Past Participles


Dear Lauren,

Can you please tell me if it is true that all Italian past participles can be used as adjectives.  

The reason I ask is because sometimes I cannot find a particular past participle listed in the dictionary as an adjective.  To try to explain my confusion – some Italian past participles are listed separately in the dictionary and identified as adjectives.  But, other Italian past participles are not listed as such.

For example  -  the past participle “seduto”.   I found “seduto” used in the following sentence from RosettaStone:  “Il bambino č seduto.”   I am thinking that “seduto” is being used as an adjective in this sentence.  But, “seduto” is not listed in any of my dictionaries as an adjective.  So, this leads to my thought that maybe all Italian past participles can be used as adjectives whether or not they are listed as such in a dictionary.    But, I have not been able to verify this from any of my reference books or from on-line research.   

Would you mind telling me if my assumption is correct that all Italian past participles can be used as adjectives.

Thank you very much.   I really appreciate your help.



P.S.  Would you also please tell me if the following translation is correct.  “Il bambino č seduto."  =  "The boy is sitting."

Hi Rich,

Yes you are correct - all Italian past participles can be used as adjectives (i.e. your translation of 'the boy is sitting is correct)

The only reason this will not be accounted for in the dictionary is because it would simply be far too time-consuming to have to relist every single verb in its past participle form. I expect that the most common examples would have been included for the reader to then take their own initiative and apply this rule to all other verb forms.

So for future reference, you can apply this rule to any Italian verb to create such examples as 'mangiato', 'fatto', 'scritto' etc.

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

See expertise section

Awards and Honors
Letter of recognition from the Italian consulate MA Applied Linguistics BA Hons Modern Language Studies CELTA qualified C1 CILS C2 DELE

Past/Present Clients
ZigZag Education Ultimate Lifestyle Project Victor Lujan

©2017 All rights reserved.