Some uses of the participle – Part I

October 6, 2010pdf

The participle has the following uses:

1. To form the continuous and perfect tenses.
Here is a quick review of the tenses that use the present and past participles.

  • I am writing. (Present continuous)
  • I was writing. (Past continuous)
  • I will be writing. (Future continuous)
  • I have written. (Present perfect)
  • I had written. (Past perfect)
  • I will have written. (Future perfect)

2. As an adjective

The participle can serve all the functions of the plain adjective.

  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk.

In the following examples, the participles are used as part of the predicate.

  • The story was interesting.
  • He was left stranded.

In apposition to a noun

The participle can be used in apposition to a noun.

  • The woman, quivering and trembling, ran away.

As an object complement

A participle can be used as an object complement.

  • I found him somewhat recovered.
  • She found the story quite interesting.

Here the participles recovered and interesting are the complements of the objects – him and study.

The participle can be used as a noun by placing the definite article before it.

  • The injured were taken to the hospital.
  • The dead leave their blessing upon the living.

As an adverb

The participle may be used as an adverb modifying an adjective.

  • It is piping hot.
  • He was dead drunk.
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