Lesson 22 – Participles

By | April 16, 2019

Lesson 22 – Participles

Lesson 22 – Participles

What is a Participle?

A participle is a verbal; that is, a word formed from a verb. There are two forms of participle that indicate present and past actions or states: present particle and past participle. Present particles are formed by adding the suffix –ing to the base form of verbs: be – being; laugh – laughing; hope – hoping. Past participles are formed by adding the suffix –ed to regular verbs or by changing the form of the verb, typically the ending for irregular verbs.

Both participles ending in -ing and –ed function as adjectives that modify nouns or pronouns and are known as participial adjectives. Besides adjectives, participles can also be used as nouns.

What Are Participles?

A participle is a word formed from a verb which can be used as an adjective.

The two types of participles are the present participle (ending ing) and the past participle (usually ending -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n).
Here are some participles being used as adjectives:

The VerbThe Past ParticipleThe Present Participle
To risethe risen sunthe rising sun
To boilthe boiled waterthe boiling water
To breakthe broken newsthe breaking news
To cookthe cooked hamthe cooking ham

Present Participles

Present participles end in -ing. Examples:

  • boiling water
  • caring nature
  • deserving recipient

Some more examples of present participles (shaded):

  • laughing man is stronger than a suffering man. (Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1880)
  • If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)
  • The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams. (Tupac Shakur)

Present participles are not just used as adjectives. They are also used to form verb tenses. Here are the verb tenses (present participles shaded):

The 4 Past TensesExample
simple past tenseI went
past progressive tenseI was going
past perfect tenseI had gone
past perfect progressive tenseI had been going
The 4 Present TensesExample
simple present tenseI go
present progressive tenseI am going
present perfect tenseI have gone
present perfect progressive tenseI have been going
The 4 Future TensesExample
simple future tenseI will go
future progressive tenseI will be going
future perfect tenseI will have gone
future perfect progressive tenseI will have been going

Read more about present participles.

Past Participles

Past participles have various endings, usually -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n. Examples:

  • broken window
  • painted frame
  • destroyed bridge

Some more examples of past participles (shaded):

      • swollen eye is God’s way of telling you to improve your interpersonal skills.
      • Do not waste time staring at a closed door.
      • I like children…if they’re properly cooked. (W.C. Fields)

    (Remember, an adjective can also appear after the noun it is modifying. See

predicate adjective

Past participles are also used to form verb tenses. Look at these verb tenses (past participles shaded):

The 4 Past TensesExample
simple past tenseI went
past progressive tenseI was going
past perfect tenseI had gone
past perfect progressive tenseI had been going
The 4 Present TensesExample
simple present tenseI go
present progressive tenseI am going
present perfect tenseI have gone
present perfect progressive tenseI have been going
The 4 Future TensesExample
simple future tenseI will go
future progressive tenseI will be going
future perfect tenseI will have gone
future perfect progressive tenseI will have been going

Read more about past participles.

Perfect Participles

Perfect participles are formed like this:

“Having” + [past participle] 

Examples:

  • Having taken
  • Having eaten
  • Having played

Some more examples of present participles (shaded):

  • Having heard the news, he quickly sold his brother’s record collection.
  • Having been promised a steak dinner, she looked less than impressed with her Happy Meal.