German Grammar Explained /

Participles as adjectives

In German, like in English, a participle is a verbal form that can often act as an adjective. This is the case both for Partizip I (present participle) and the Partizip II (past participle).
We use Partizip I as an adjunction that acts like an adjective when we want to describe two things that are happening at the same time.
Sie genießt ein entspannendes Bad. She enjoys a relaxing bath.
→ The bath relaxes and she enjoys.
It doesn’t matter if the action in question takes place in the present, the past or the future. Partizip I stays the same.
Sie hat gestern ein entspannendes Bad genossen. She enjoyed a relaxing bath yesterday.
Sie wird am Freitag ein entspannendes Bad genießen. She will enjoy a relaxing bath on Friday.
To formulate the Partizip I, also known as the Partizip Präsens, this is achieved in a way that is very similar to the English way of adding an -ing. In German, what you do is you take the infinitive form of a verb and add a-d at the end.
entspannen + d ⇒ entspannend
rauchen + d ⇒ rauchend
weinen + d ⇒ weinend
BUT!!
Because it acts as an adjective, you must remember to adjust its ending so that it matches the noun that it is describing in gender, case and number.
Sie genießt ein entspannendes Bad mit ihrem Partner.
She enjoys a relaxing bath with her partner.
entspannen = Infinitive to relax
d = Ending to make Partizip I
es = Adjective ending (neuter)
What about the past participle, Partizip II?
Partizip II describes either a state or two processes that take place at different times. These two processes don't happen at the same time, but rather build on one another.
Das frisch renovierte Bad ist modern eingerichtet. The freshly renovated bathroom is modernly furnished.
→ Das Bad ist frisch renoviert worden. Es ist modern eingerichtet. The bathroom was recently renovated. It is modernly furnished.
The Partizip II looks just like the perfect tense.
Ich habe ein gebrauchtes Auto gekauft. I have bought a used car.
Once more:
Partizip I: Das weinende Kind ist in der Küche. The crying child is in the kitchen.
Gleichzeitig: Das Kind ist in der Küche und es weint. At the same time: The child is in the kitchen and it is crying.
Partizip II: Sie essen das gebratene Huhn. They eat the roast(ed) chicken.
Nicht gleichzeitig: Das Huhn wurde vorher gebraten. Jetzt essen sie es. At different times: The chicken was roasted at some time in the past. They now eat the chicken.