In simple terms we can understand Participles as a word having the characteristics of both verb & adjective.

What is Participle?

A participle is formed from a verb & it modifies a noun, noun phrase, verb, or verb phrase. Most often, Participle acts as an adjective.

There are two types of Participles -:

  1. Present Participle – Word that ends with –ing, like running, playing, etc.
  2. Past Participle – Word that ends with –ed, -d, -t, -en or –n, like played, loved, taken, etc.

Participle Examples –

  1. Verb – to rise

Participle – rising

Sentence – He is our rising star.

In this example of Participle, the verb “to rise” is used. Rising becomes the participle as it is used as an adjective to describe “star”. What kind of star he is? He is rising star.

  • Verb – to cry

Participle – crying

Sentence – He is a crying baby.

Here, crying acts as an adjective & becomes Participle. What kind of baby is he? A crying baby.

Different types of Participle

  • Present Participle – These participles formed with the infinitive form of a verb.

(Infinitive Verb – verb in its basic form. Example – to run, to dance, to cry etc.)

Adding “-ing” to these verbs will create present Participle.

                       Verb – to think

         Present Participle – thinking

                      Verb – to care

        Present Participle – caring

Example in the form of Sentence-

  1. A laughing man is stronger than a suffering man.
  2. He was trapped inside the burning house.
  • Past Participle – These participle formed from the past tense of a verb. Past Participles often end with –en, -ed or –d.

                      Verb – to kill

         Past tense – killed

     Past Participle – killed

                       Verb – to take

           Past tense – Took

          Past Participle – taken

Example in form of the sentence –

  1. Do not waste time staring at a closed door.
  2. The broken record isn’t worth keeping.
  • Perfect Participle – These participles are formed from the infinitive of the verb “to have” & adding “ing”. Perfect Participle will start with “having” & be followed by a past participle.

                                       Present Participle – having

                                             Past Participle – played

                                       Perfect Participle – having played

Example – Having played with her grandmother. She ran into a tunnel.

Functions of Participles

  • Participles as Adjectives – Past & Present Participle often used as adjectives and describes the noun.

Example – 1. This is a very shining shoe.

                    Here, Shining is present participle & acts as an adjective.

                   2 I hated the smoked fish.

                   Here, Smoked is Past Participle & acts as an adjective.

  • Participle as Multipart Verbs – Present & Past Participle are used to create verb forms. These forms come with a combination of auxiliary verbs. The verb forms include perfect & progressive tenses.

Example – 1. My Pet dog has been stalking neighbourhood cat.

                      Here, been is used as Past Participle and stalking acts as Present Participle.

Difference between Participles & Adjectives

Participles always comes from a verb (i.e., past participle = verb +ed, etc & present participle = verb + -ing)

Whereas, Adjective are independent words & it is related to a noun in order to modify or describe it.

Difference between Verb & Participle

Verb tense indicates when the action is taking place in the past, present or future.

A Verb Participle doesn’t indicate any time frame of action. Verb participle never focuses on time of action, it functions as an adjective that describes learning.

Difference between Participles & Gerunds

Participles that ends with –ing looks like Gerunds. Gerund will always function as a noun whereas participle will not act as a noun.

(Gerund – Gerund is the –ing form of a verb that function as a noun.)

Example – Eating is fun.

(It is a gerund acts as a noun.)

Example of Present Participle – The swimming pool is very clean.

                      (Swimming is present participle)

Example of Gerund – Swimming is my favourite sport.

                       (Swimming is a gerund that act as noun.)  


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