Understanding the uses of participle
- A participle is that form of the verb which takes the nature of both a verb and an adjective. Hence, a participle performs the functions both of the verb and the adjective. There it is also called verbal adjective.
Kinds of Participles
A participle indicates an action in progress or an action that is completed. Thus participles are of three kinds:
- Present participle (verb + ing, e.g. running, dancing, playing, singing, etc.)
- Past participle (third form of the verb usually ending in –ed, –d, –t, –en, –n, e.g., tired, learned, burnt, broken, hurt etc.)
- Perfect participle (having + past participle, e.g. having completed, having seen etc.)
Forms of Participles
Participles have the following forms:
|Active voice||Passive voice|
|Present form||loving||being loved|
|Perfect form||having loved||having been loved|
Uses of the Participle
Since the participle performs the same functions as the adjective, it can be used in three ways like the adjective.
- Attributive use
- a) He jumped off a running bus.
- b) The wounded child was carried to the hospital.
- Predicative use
- a) He seems much tired.
- b) I had to keep searching.
- Absolute use (with a noun or pronoun going before)
- a) The sun having set, we shall go home.
Note that under the absolute use, the part containing the participle is quite independent of the main part.
How Participles Can Be Used
In English language Participles are used with auxiliary verbs to make verb tenses such as the present continuous and the past perfect:
Past Participles can be used in accompaniment with the auxiliary verb, to be, to form the passive voice of verbs:
Participles can be used as adjectives:
Participles can be used as nouns:
When a present participle is used as a noun, as in the last set of examples, it’s also known as GerundOpens in new window: