In Russian a participle and an adjective - two different parts of speech. The adjective designates sign of a subject while the participle designates sign of a subject of its action, that is is a special form of a verb. As the participle has properties of an adjective, sometimes it is confused with the last. Special difficulties give short forms of participles and adjectives which are said equally.
1. The most classical example of a short participle and short adjective - words "is brought up" and "brought up". Examples of phrases: "the girl is brought up", "the girl is brought up by the grandmother". In the first case the short adjective, appears in the second - a short participle. A participle - a special form of a verb. In the second phrase the person making action is given. The grandmother brought up action. Therefore in this phrase a word will "be brought up" by a participle. It characterizes process - education. The short participle is formed from a passive participle. The phrase can be replaced on "the girl who is brought up by the grandmother" in which the participle appears in a full form.
2. In a phrase "the girl is brought up" a word "mannerly" - a short adjective. In this case to this phrase it is possible to ask the question "girl what?". Here only characteristic of the girl - the fact that she is well-mannered appears. How exactly achieved result - not so important. It is possible to replace this phrase on "the well-mannered girl". In it there is an adjective at a full form.
3. Sometimes selection of synonyms will be suitable for definition of a part of speech. If to address the phrases considered above, then "the girl is brought up" it is possible to replace on "the cultural girl" where "cultural" - an adjective. Therefore will "be brought up" by a short adjective. The phrase "the girl is brought up by the grandmother" can be replaced on sense with "the girl the grandmother brought up". "Brought up" - a participle therefore "is brought up" - a short adjective.