Present and past participles

There are mainly two types of participles – present participles and past participles

Present participles are forms like singing, running, working, writing and playing.

Past participles are forms like sung, worked, written and played.

Note that past participles tend to end in –ed or –en. There are several exceptions to this rule.

Present participles are mainly used to form continuous and perfect continuous tenses.

Study the examples given below.

I am working now.

He has been looking for a job.

It has been raining.

She was crying.

Past participles are mainly used to form perfect tense forms.

I have finished my job.

He has found a new job.

He has written several stories.

Somebody has broken the window.

Participles as adjectives

Participles can also be used as adjectives. As adjectives, they modify a noun.

Note that both present and past participles can be used like adjectives.

He is nursing a broken heart.

It was an abandoned house.

I love the noise of falling rain.

Note that when present participles (-ing forms) are used like adjectives, they have similar meaning to active verbs.

Falling leaves = leaves that fall

Barking dogs = dogs that bark

Rolling stone = stone that rolls

Singing doll = doll that sings

Chirping birds = birds that chirp

When past participles are used like adjectives, they have passive meanings.

Broken arm = arm that has been broken

Shattered dreams = dreams that have been shattered

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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