Today’s topic is Common Mistakes With Spanish Adjectives and Participles.
“Anoche” (last night) while I was at the “gimnasio” (gym) I heard an American, ask the gym’s “empleada” something that caught my attention.
By the way, “empleada” literally means “employee” but in Colombia it also often used to refer to the “woman who does the ‘aseo’ or ‘limpieza’ (cleaning).”
This is what caught my attention:
Before entering the “vestuario” (locker room) to get dressed, he asked the “empleada” the following:
That’s not the correct way to ask “is it clean” But I can understand how he made that mistake. Normally, you can form adjectives in Spanish by taking the verb’s past participle and making it agree in gender and number with the noun it modifies. And unless the past participle is irregular you just simply change the -ar of the infinitive to -ado and for -er and -ir verbs you simply change the infinitive of the verb to -ido.
So applying this formula to the verb “limpiar” (to clean), you will get:
And since he was referring to a “vestuario” which is a masculine noun and he was referring to just one it would seem that the adjective is LIMPIADO
LIMPIADO is the past participle of “limpiar.” However, “limpiado” is NOT the adjective form of “limpiar.”
This is one of the very few instances in Spanish when the past participle and adjective are NOT the same.
I can give you countless examples where the past participle and adjective are the SAME in Spanish. Of course, you will still have to make the past participle agree in gender and number with the noun it modifies in order to form the adjective form.
He escrito las cartas.
(I have written the letters.)
Las cartas escritas están en las mesa.
(The written letters are on the desk.)
Carlos ya había firmado el contrato.
(Carlos had already signed the contract.buy spiriva inhaler online https://store.drhagmeyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/png/spiriva-inhaler.html no prescription pharmacy
El contrato está firmado.
(The contract is signed.)
No habríamos abierto las ventanas.
(We would not have opened the windows.)
Las ventanas están abiertas.
(The windows are open).
Ya has cubierto el sartén.
(You have already covered the frying pan.)
El sartén está cubierto.
(The frying pan is covered.)
But you cannot form the adjective form of “limpiar” just by taking the past participle (limpiado) and making it agree in gender and number with the noun it modifies.
“Limpiar” is one of the exceptions to the rule.
So how do you ask “is it clean?”
The adjective form of “limpiar” is “limpio/a” and NOT the same as the past participle which is “limpiado”
There are very few exceptions to the rule that allows you to form the adjective form of a verb just by taking its past participle and making it agree in gender and number with the noun it modifies. In fact, there are so few exceptions that I can only think of one other adjective that is exception to the above rule.
And the verb form of that adjective is “bendecir” or “to bless.”
See how the past participle (“bendecido”) functions:
El obispo todavía no había bendecido la casa.
The bishop still hasn’t blessed the house.
Now let’s see how the adjective “bendito” functions:
La casa todavía no estaba bendita.
(The house still wasn’t blessed.)
Then the past participle of the verb “bendecir” is “bendecido” and the adjective form is “bendito.” And the past participle of the verb “limpiar” is “limpiado” and the adjective form is “limpio.”
Now that I think about it, I can think of one more exception to the rule that allows you to form the adjective form of a verb just by taking its past participle and making it agree in gender and number with the noun it modifies.
But this exception only applies in Colombia. (I have read that it also applies in Argentina and Uruguay but I cannot tell you from personal experience about those countries.)
And the verb that forms this exception is “freír” or “to fry.” And the reason why it is an exception to the rule only in Colombia (and perhaps in Argentina and Uruguay) is because in other parts of the Spanish speaking world the verb “fritar” is used instead of “freír.
So in Colombia, you can form the past participle of the verb “to fry” (freír) by saying:
Lina no ha freído las papas.
Lina has not fried the potatoes.
But in some other parts of the Spanish speaking world you would form the past participle of the verb “to fry” (fritar) by saying:
Lina no ha frito las papas.
Lina has not fried the potatoes.
But in any part of the Spanish speaking world you can form the adjective form of the verb “to fry” by saying:
Las papas no están fritas.
The potatoes are not fried.
Another distinction I noticed about Colombia is that Colombians call french fries “papas a la francesa.” But in many other parts of the Spanish speaking world, french fries are called “papas fritas.”