Participles

Participles

Participles

Participles

Participles in the English Language are used as verbs and adjectives. They are also known as verbal adjectives.

Examples of Participles:

  • I saw a student jumping.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • Driven by passion, he entered the teaching profession.
  • Having finished my work, I left my office.

There are three kinds of Participles in English, namely

  1. Present Participle: eating, playing, drinking, cleaning etc.,
  2. Past Participle: eaten, played, drunk/drunken, cleaned etc.,
  3. Perfect Participle: having eaten, having played, having drunk, having cleaned etc.,

 

Present Participle:

The Present Participles are the ‘ing’ forms of the verbs and show an action going on and incomplete. As a Participle, it is used as an Adjective.

Examples:

  • I found my friend sleeping soundly.
  • The crying girl had a beautiful face.
  • We saw a woman carrying vegetables.

 

Past Participle:

The Past Participle is the form of a verb ending in ‘-ed’, ‘-d’, ‘-t’ or ‘-n’ and shows an action as completed. As a Participle, it is used as an Adjective.

Examples:

  • Opened windows helped her escape easily.
  • Known by the fact, he didn’t attend the interview.
  • The students should not carry heavily laden bags.
  • Time misspent is time lost.
  • He is the most learned man in our community.

 

Perfect Participle:

The Perfect Participle is formed with ‘having’ +Verb and represents an action as having been completed sometime in the past.

Examples:

  • Having read this novel, I started reading another novel.
  • Having finished her work, she went to meet her friend.
  • Having not applied for the job, she did not attend the interview.

 

Uses of the Participle:

As a Main Verb in the Continuous and Perfect Tenses:

Examples:

  • She is reading a novel.
  • We are watching TV.
  • They were playing chess.
  • I shall be attending the classes tomorrow.
  • He has finished his homework.
  • You had forgotten to send an email.

As an Adjective in different positions and functions:

  • As an Adjective, before a Noun it qualifies:

Examples:

  • I appreciated her pleasing personality.
  • She reads only some interesting books.
  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • He picked up a wounded bird.
  • Don’t cry over spilled milk.

 

  • As a Predicative Adjective: (Modifying the Subject)

Examples:

  • The story is quite exciting.
  • The lecture is boring.
  • The girl came running. 
  • The news is shocking.
  • She seemed disappointed by the results.
  • The children felt excited about the tour.
  • They look worried.

 

  • As an Objective Complement: (Modifying the Object)

Examples:

  • I found him escaping.
  • The teacher heard the boys murmuring. 
  • He got his leg fractured.
  • They left her broken

 

  • As a Noun with the Definite Article:

Examples:

  • The dead leave their blessing upon the living.
  • The infected and dying need urgent medical care.

 

As an ‘Adverb’ used to describe verbs:

Examples:

  • The boy ran screaming out of the room.
  • The toys lay scattered on the floor. 

Absolutely with a noun or pronoun:

Examples:

  • The weather, being cool, they played outside.
  • My friends, having arrived, we started our programme.
  • God willing, we shall soon be rich enough.
  • Tagore, being a renowned writer, we always remember him. 
  • The teacher, being absent, the students went for games.
  • Their funds, having exhausted, they minimized their expenditure.

Note: 1

Here in the above sentences, the participle is used after a noun or pronoun and formed an independent phrase which is called an Absolute Phrase. The nouns or pronouns used in absolute phrases are called Nominative Absolutes.

Note: 2

We can easily change an Absolute Phrase into a Subordinate Clause:

Examples:

  • God willing, we shall soon be rich enough.
  • If God is willing, we shall soon be rich enough.

 

  • My friends, having arrived, we started our programme.
  • When my friends had arrived, we started our programme.

 

  • Tagore, being a renowned writer, we always remember him. 
  • We always remember Tagore because he was a renowned writer.

As a Participle Phrase:

A Phrase with a Participle is called a Participle Phrase.

Examples:

  • Expecting his arrival, we waited at the railway station.
  • Speaking of our principal, he is very much dedicated.
  • Who is the man sitting in the office?
  • Rejected by the interviewer, the candidate felt disappointed.

Use of ‘Being’ and ‘Having’ in the Participle Phrases:

We use the participle phrases to express the reasons. Participle Phrase carries the reason part. We don’t require to use the conjunctions like because, as, since or so.  A comma is placed after the Participle Phrase.

Use of ‘Being’ in a Participle Phrase:

Examples: 

  • Being a teacher, you have to motivate the students.

                 (As you are a teacher, you have to motivate the students.)

 

  • Being late, I was not allowed to the class.

                 (Because I was late, I was not allowed to the class.)

 

  • The teacher being absent, the class was monitored by the leader.

                  (Since the teacher was absent, the class was monitored by the leader.)

 

  • Not being an expert, I have not been considered for the job.

                 (As I am not an expert, I have not been considered for the job.)

 

Use of ‘Having’ in a Participle Phrase:

 

  • Having a test to write, she spent the weekend studying.

(She spent the weekend studying because she has a test to write)

 

  • After having some rest, she started preparation.

(As she has some rest, she started preparation.)

 

  • Having an idea to share, she got on to the stage.

(Since she has an idea to share, she got on to the stage.)

 

  • Having finished her work, she went home. 

(As she had finished her work, she went home.)

 

  • Having attended the interview, she is expecting to get the job.

(She is expecting the job because she has attended the interview.)

 

  • Having visited my friend, I decided to help him.
  • Having said that, I would provide all the bonuses.
  • Having been a teacher for several years, I know how to handle the students.
  • Having been to Delhi several times, I thought to visit Chennai instead.

 

Correct use of the Participle:

Same Subject:

When two sentences refer to the same subject, we often can make one sentence shorter (Participle Phrase) with the use of a ‘participle’ using the same subject. 

Examples:

  • Shankar went to the office. He happened to meet his friend.
  • Going to the office, Shankar happened to meet his friend.

 

  • Swetha was tired of preparation. Swetha spent the day leisurely.
  • Being tired of preparation, Swetha spent the day leisurely.

 

  • I entered the classroom. I found the student was sitting on a bench.
  • Entering the classroom, I found the student was sitting on a bench.

 

  • Mohan is hungry.  He stole the burger.
  • Being hungry, Mohan stole the burger.

Different Subjects:

When both the sentences have the same subject, a separate subject is not required in the Participle Phrase. 

When different subjects are used in two different sentences, we have to use a suitable subject in the Participle Phrase. Otherwise, it may not be clear who performs the action.

Examples:

  • It was a rainy day.  We did not go out shopping.
  • Being a rainy day, we did not go out shopping. (incorrect)
  • It being a rainy day, we did not go out shopping. (correct)

 

  • The snake bit the boy. The farmer decided to kill the snake.
  • Having bitten the boy, the farmer decided to kill the snake. (incorrect)
  • The snake having bitten the boy, the farmer decided to kill it. (correct)

 

  • The car is very expensive for me.  I can’t afford to buy a car.
  • Being very expensive for me, I can’t afford to buy the car. (incorrect)
  • The car, being very expensive for me, I can’t afford to buy. (correct)

Note:

Some Participles like regarding, concerning, considering, taking, speaking, touching, owing to can be used without the subject in the Participle Phrase.

Examples:

  • Considering his dedication, he was offered a promotion.
  • Taking this into consideration, I shall support you.
  • Frankly speaking, I don’t like your attitude.

 

 

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