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Participles and Participial Phrases

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Participles and Participial Phrases

Participles and Participial Phrases

Participles

A participle is a verb form that can be used as an adjective.

There are two kinds of participles: present participles, which always end in –ing, and past participles. Regular verbs have past participles that end in –d or –ed. Irregular verbs have irregularly formed past participles.

PRESENT PARTICIPLES 
  • the exciting news 
  • a surprising outcome 
[Adding –ing to the verbs excite and surprise makes them present participles that function as adjectives.] 

PAST PARTICIPLES 
  • a welcomed guest 
  • polished windows 
  • the worn book 
[Adding –d to the verb welcome and –ed to the verb polish makes them regular past participles. Worn is the irregular past participle of the verb wear. All three past participles function as adjectives.]

reminder

You will often see participles in verb phrases, such as have been welcoming or is worn. If a participle appears with these helping verbs, it is not an adjective. It is part of the verb phrase.

Participial Phrases

A participial phrase consists of a participle and any modifiers or complements the participle has. The entire phrase is used as an adjective.

Like single-word adjectives, participial phrases modify nouns and pronouns.

EXAMPLES 
  • Watching thoughtfully, Kent noticed a change in the solution’s temperature. [The present participle Watching is modified by thoughtfully. The whole phrase modifies the proper noun Kent.]
  • The moviegoers, concerned for the hero’s safety, sat on the edges of their seats. [The past participle concerned is modified by the prepositional phrase for the hero’s safety. The whole phrase modifies the noun moviegoers.]

Participles and Participial Phrases Quiz

Participles and Participial Phrases Quiz

Using the verb suggested in the parentheses, add a participle to create a participial phrase. Hint: If you are not sure whether to use a present participle (–ing) or a past participle (–d, –ed), try both forms and choose the one that makes sense in the sentence.


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