Participial adjective and participial relative clause

December 2, 2010pdf

Participial adjective

A participial adjective is a word which is identical in form to the present or past participle of a verb. A participial adjective functions as an adjective.

Examples (in brackets)

  • (Stolen) watch
  • (Broken) wings
  • (Fallen) heroes
  • (Missing) child
  • (Smiling) face
  • An (unexpected) visitor
  • A (surprising) visit
  • Barking dogs seldom bite. (Here the participle barking functions as an adjective and modifies the noun dogs.)
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss. (Here the participle rolling functions as an adjective and modifies the noun stone.)
  • Just then an unexpected visitor turned up.

Participial relative clause

A participial relative clause is a clause which resembles a relative clause but which contains a participle instead of a finite verb. In the following examples, the first member of the pair contains a participial relative clause while the second contains an equivalent full relative clause.

  • The passengers injured in the accident were taken to hospital.
  • The passengers who were injured in the accident were taken to hospital.
  • The boy standing at the gate is my son.
  • The boy who is standing at the gate is my son.
  • The man arrested for stealing the watch has been released.
  • The man who was arrested for stealing the watch has been released.
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