Use of Participles - Present, Past, Perfect Participles

We have already discussed Non-Finite verb and Gerund in our previous posts. We have also provided a Practice Set for Non-Finite verbs. Now we will cover the use of Participles.

Read the Topic Called Common Errors from here. This topic covers a no of topics of Grammar.

There are three types of  Participles -

  1. Present Participles
  2. Past Participles
  3. Perfect Participles

Use of Present Participle -

1. Present Participle is used in Continuous / Perfect Continuous Tenses -

e.g. Children are playing cricket this time.

It has been raining since morning.

2. PP is also used as an Adjective -

e.g. Ruby has a smiling face.

3. The verbs like Catch, leave, see, find, feel, smell, notice, watch + Obj + PP.

Example -

I caught him stealing my purse.

4. If Time/ Money expressing words are used with the verbs like Spend, Waste, we use Present Participle -

e.g. He spends two hours reading a novel.

5. Be + busy + Present Participle -

e.g. They will be busy preparing for the exam.

6. To replace the following structure - As/ because/ since/if/though/although + verb -

e.g As he was tired, he did not go to school.

Being tired, he did not go to school.

7. To replace Relative Pronoun + Verb -

e.g. The students who wished to participate were allowed to go in.

The students wishing to participate were allowed to go in.

8. If two works are done by the same subject or if one work is immediately followed by another, we use Present Participle for the first work in the first sentence -

e.g. John jumped up. John ran away.

Jumping up, John ran away.

9. If two works are done by the same Subject, Present Participle shall be used for one work.

e.g. I was in the college. I was reading newspaper.

I was in the college reading newspaper.

10. Present Participle is also used after While or When -

e.g. We saw a lion while walking in the zoo.

11. If another action takes place during the continued action -

e.g. He burst into tears recounting his past life.

Use of Past Participle -

1. As an adjective -

e.g. A burnt child dreads the fire.

2. In the Present/ Past and Perfect Tenses -


He has already taken tea.

She had told a lie.

They will have finished their work.

3. In all the Passive Constructions -

e.g. Animals were killed by the hunters.

4. To make Perfect Participle -

e.g. Having taken breakfast, they went to college.

5. To replace Sub + Verb -

e.g. The teacher satisfied with my work, he gave me extra marks.

Satisfied with my work, the teacher gave me extra marks.

6. Past Participle is also used to express Permanent habit/state/character -

e.g. Rudra is a well-read boy.

Use of Perfect Participle -

1. When there is a little gap between one action and the other, we use Perfect Participle for the first one -

e.g. Having taken dinner, I went out to take a stroll.

Some Important Sentences related with Participles -

1. The weather being fine, we out for picnic.

This underline part of the sentence is called Absolute Phrase.

2. God willing, we shall meet again. ( If God is willing, we shall meet again)

3. Walking in the garden, we saw a snake.

4. It  being a rainy day, we didn't go out.

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