I was reviewing some exercises with a student on past participles and the exercise was as follows.
Directions: Complete these sentences with a verb from the list. Put the verb into the correct form: simple past or past participle.
verb to be conjugated: to speak
Ex: Many different languages are ________ in the Philippines.
The correct answer is spoken.
When the student asked why it is a past tense sentence, I couldn't think of the answer. In Portuguese we conjugate the verb in its past tense for the same equivalent translation of the sentence and it stumped me as to why.
However this is not a 'past tense sentence', rather it is a present tense passive voice sentence. The verb comes in the past participle form because that is the way one forms the passive - always. The passive is formed with the verb to be, conjugated in the appropriated tense, followed by the main verb in the past participle form.
In Portuguese it is the same: "Muitas línguas diferentes são faladas nas Filipinas" - exactly the same: "faladas" is the Portuguese "particípio" form.