Team English -
Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: July 2, 2024


A participle is a form of a verb that typically ends in -ing (present participle) or -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n (past participle) and functions as an adjective or to form verb tenses. Present participles describe ongoing actions, while past participles often indicate completed actions. For example, in the sentences “The running water is cold” and “The broken vase was on the floor,” “running” and “broken” are participles modifying the nouns “water” and “vase,” respectively.

What is a Participle?

A participle is a form of a verb that functions as an adjective in a sentence, modifying nouns or pronouns. There are two types of participles: present participles, which end in “-ing” (e.g., “running”), and past participles, which typically end in “-ed” or “-en” (e.g., “baked,” “broken”). Participles can also be part of verb phrases, contributing to the formation of various tenses and aspects.


Examples of Participle

Examples of Participle
  1. Running
  2. Jumping
  3. Singing
  4. Eating
  5. Swimming
  6. Baked
  7. Broken
  8. Chosen
  9. Fallen
  10. Written
  11. Dancing
  12. Laughing
  13. Painted
  14. Taught
  15. Driven
  16. Played
  17. Opened
  18. Closed
  19. Cooked
  20. Forgotten
  21. Hiding
  22. Studying
  23. Shining
  24. Melted
  25. Painted
  26. Shattered
  27. Written
  28. Frozen
  29. Watched
  30. Prepared

Examples of Participles in Sentences

  1. The blooming flowers were lovely.
  2. The burned toast was inedible.
  3. The crying baby was comforted.
  4. The defeated team was disheartened.
  5. The decorated room looked festive.
  6. The demanding boss was intimidating.
  7. The destroyed building was a landmark.
  8. The dried fruits were tasty.
  9. The dripping faucet was annoying.
  10. The dying plant needed water.
  11. The excited crowd cheered loudly.
  12. The exhausted runner collapsed.
  13. The fading light signaled evening.
  14. The fascinated audience listened intently.
  15. The fixed computer worked well.
  16. The floating boat drifted away.
  17. The flying kite soared high.
  18. The frightened cat hid under the bed.
  19. The frozen pond was slippery.
  20. The giggling girls shared secrets.
  21. The growing child was healthy.
  22. The heated debate was intense.
  23. The hidden treasure was found.
  24. The improved design was efficient.
  25. The inspired artist painted furiously.
  26. The leaking roof needed repair.
  27. The loaded truck left the warehouse.
  28. The melting snow created puddles.
  29. The painted fence looked new.
  30. The shining stars lit up the sky.

Examples of Present Participles

Present ParticiplesPresent Participles

Examples of Past Participles

Past ParticiplesPast Participles

Examples of Perfect Participles

Perfect ParticiplesPerfect Participles
Having eatenHaving studied
Having walkedHaving finished
Having writtenHaving driven
Having playedHaving chosen
Having cookedHaving laughed
Having spokenHaving broken
Having dancedHaving opened
Having watchedHaving seen
Having sleptHaving known
Having sungHaving read
Having taughtHaving painted
Having grownHaving waited
Having builtHaving decided
Having runHaving traveled
Having jumpedHaving worked
Having swumHaving explored

Examples of Adjective Participles

Adjective ParticiplesAdjective Participles

Types of Participles

Participle TypeFormationExampleUsage
Present ParticipleBase verb + “-ing”RunningDescribes ongoing actions
Past ParticipleBase verb + “-ed” (regular) or unique form (irregular)Walked, WrittenUsed in perfect tenses, passive voice, as adjectives
Perfect Participle“Having” + past participleHaving walkedIndicates completed actions before another action

Participles are verb forms that function as adjectives or parts of verb tenses. There are three main types of participles: present participles, past participles, and perfect participles.

Present Participles

Present participles are formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb. They describe ongoing actions or states.
The running water was refreshing.
She saw him writing a letter.

Past Participles

Past participles are typically formed by adding -ed to the base form of regular verbs, though irregular verbs have unique forms. They describe completed actions or states.
The broken vase lay on the floor.
They have finished the project.

Perfect Participles

Perfect participles are formed by combining having with the past participle of a verb. They describe actions that were completed before another action.
Having finished the homework, he went to bed.
Having eaten, they felt satisfied.

Uses of Participle

Participles are versatile verb forms that can function in various roles within sentences. They can act as adjectives, form verb tenses, and create participial phrases. Here are the primary uses of participles:

1. As Adjectives

Participles can modify nouns and pronouns, describing characteristics or states. Using participles as adjectives adds descriptive detail to your writing, making it more vivid and engaging.
Example: The barking dog woke up the neighborhood. (Present participle)

2. Forming Continuous Tenses

Present participles are used with auxiliary verbs to form continuous tenses, indicating ongoing actions. Continuous tenses are useful for expressing actions that are in progress at a specific time or for describing repeated actions.
Example: She is running in the marathon. (Present continuous)

3. Forming Perfect Tenses

Past participles are used with auxiliary verbs to form perfect tenses, indicating completed actions. Perfect tenses are useful for showing that an action was completed before another action or time.
Example: She has finished her homework. (Present perfect)

4. Forming Passive Voice

Past participles are used with auxiliary verbs to form the passive voice, indicating that the subject is acted upon. Passive voice can be useful for emphasizing the action or the recipient of the action rather than the doer.
Example: The book was written by a famous author. (Past simple passive)

5. Participial Phrases

Participial phrases provide additional information about a noun or pronoun, often adding detail or background to the main clause. Participial phrases can make your writing more dynamic and detailed.
Example: Running down the street, she waved at her friend.

6. As Gerunds (Verbals)

Present participles can also function as gerunds, acting as nouns in sentences. Gerunds can be the subject, object, or complement of a sentence, adding variety to sentence structures.
Example: Swimming is my favorite sport


How is a present participle formed?

A present participle is formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb.

How is a past participle formed?

A past participle is usually formed by adding -ed to regular verbs, though irregular verbs vary.

What is the function of a present participle?

Present participles describe ongoing actions or states and can act as adjectives or form continuous tenses.

What is the function of a past participle?

Past participles describe completed actions or states and are used in perfect tenses and passive voice.

Can participles act as adjectives?

Yes, participles can modify nouns or pronouns, providing descriptive detail.

How are participles used in continuous tenses?

Present participles are used with auxiliary verbs to form continuous tenses, indicating ongoing actions.

How are participles used in perfect tenses?

Past participles are used with auxiliary verbs to form perfect tenses, indicating completed actions.

How are participles used in passive voice?

Past participles are used with auxiliary verbs to form passive voice, indicating the subject is acted upon.

What is the difference between a gerund and a present participle?

A gerund functions as a noun, while a present participle functions as an adjective or forms continuous tenses.

Can participles be used in all tenses?

Yes, present and past participles can be used to form various tenses, including continuous and perfect tenses.

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