A participle is a form of the verb that can be employed as an adjective (the hidden treasure) or as a component of some tenses (we are hiding the treasure). The two main categories of participles are the present participle and the past participle.
When used as adjectives, participles can also form longer participle phrases, such as “hidden in the bushes, the treasure was hard to see.”
Even though English participants are frequently used, understanding them can be challenging. The numerous kinds of participles, how to use them correctly, and how to prevent the dreaded dangling participle, a common grammatical error, are all covered in this guide.
What Is Participle?
A verb or term derived from a verb that describes a state of being and ends in -ing (present tense) or -ed, -en, -d, -t, -n, or -ne (past tense) and serves as an adjective is called a participle.
Participles are a specific kind of verb and have two major functions:
● To modify nouns, change the verb into an adjective.
● To generate distinct tenses, such as the present perfect tense, combine using helping verbs.
Past Participle Examples
● The running water sounded so peaceful
● The crying baby woke up the entire neighborhood
In these examples, the verbs run and cry are not acting as verbs; they’re acting as adjectives because they modify the given nouns.
● She had finished her work before leaving the office.
● She has been staring at the door for hours.
● They are studying for their mid-term exams
Participles Vs Infinitives:
Be cautious not to mix infinitives, another type of verb that can modify nouns, with participles. Infinitives typically start with the word to, while participles do not.
Participle: a refreshing juice
Infinitive: a juice to refresh
Types Of Participles
The creation of various verb tenses, particularly perfect and continuous tenses, is the second function of participles. The present continuous tense, which is created with the verb be and a present participle, or -ing form, of the verb, is used, for instance, when something is being done now or in the near future.
Following are the two main types of participles:
● Present Participle
● Past Participle
Now we will explain both types individually.
What is Present Participle?
When describing an activity that is presently occurring, the present participle is employed in continuous tenses or as an adjective.
● The dog is barking outside my house.
● The barking dog is outside my house.
Present Participle Use In Continuous Tenses :
The continuous tenses require the present participle and a conjugated version of the verb be. The present participle always takes the same -ing form in the present continuous, past continuous, and future continuous tenses when using a continuous tense.
The present form of be + Present Participle
● She is singing in the choir this weekend.
The past form of be + Past Participle
● She was dancing in the living room.
Will + Be + Present Participle
● They will be participating in the speech contest.
Present Participle Use In The Perfect Continuous Tenses :
The perfect continuous tenses—the present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, and future perfect continuous—use the present participle just like the regular continuous tenses do. Again, all three of these employ the identical form of the present participle.
Present Perfect Continuous:
Has/Have + Been + Present Participle
● She has been working at the company for six months
Past Perfect Continuous
Had + Been + Present Participle
● They had been playing football for three hours.
Future Perfect Continuous
Will + Have + Been + Present Participle
● By the time you arrive, I will have been cooking for 2 hours.
What Is Past Participle?
When describing finished actions or in perfect tenses, the past participle is used as an adjective. It’s also crucial to employ the passive voice, which we will describe below.
● The bird was singing in my garden
● The singing birds were in my garden
Past Participle Use In The Perfect Tenses:
The present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect all require the use of the past participle. The past participle is the same in every perfect tense, regardless of the helping verbs
Has/Have + Past Participle
● The patient had died before the surgery.
Had + Past Participle
● By the time the ambulance arrived, the man had died
Will + Have + Past Participle
● I will have eaten already when the burger comes.
Past Participle Use In The Passive Voice:
We advise using the active voice wherever possible in the dispute between the active and passive voice. Yet, there are some situations where using the passive voice is unavoidable. Use the conjugated form of the verb be along with the past participle in these situations.
Conjugates form of be + Past Participle
● The car was repaired by the mechanic.
● The cake was baked by my sister
What Are Perfect Participles?
Because they use the perfect tense, perfect participles are a particular kind of participial phrase that begins with having. They are very helpful for illustrating the chronological order of events, such as by demonstrating one situation or condition that existed before another.
● Having studied for the exam, he felt confident.
What Is Participle Phrase?
Because a participle can function as an adjective, it can also produce an adjective phrase or “participle phrase.” Participial phrases, like other adjective phrases, are collections of words that begin with a participle and serve to characterize a noun.
● We tried to meet the person wearing a Santa costume.
A participial phrase other words describe how the action in the participle is carried out. The sentence as a whole effectively describes the person in the example above, even though the participle wearing is used to describe what was being worn—a Santa costume.
A prepositional phrase that describes the participle’s action, such as when or where it is carried out, can also be included in participial phrases.
If a participial phrase appears at the end of a sentence, a comma should follow. Therefore, there is no need for a comma if the participial phrase occurs after the word it is modifying
● Walking on the road, we saw Santa again.
If a participial phrase appears at the end of a sentence, a comma should follow. Therefore, there is no need for a comma if the past participle phrase occurs after the word it is modifying.
● Santa saw us walking on the road.
A participial phrase should always be placed right next to the noun it is modifying in order to avoid the grammatical error known as the dangling participle, which is described below.
In this article, we have described the English Participles and their types in detail.
Understanding participles is crucial if you’re having to learn or teach English because verb tenses, adjectives, and the passive voice are all fundamental parts of the language