Introduction to Present Participles
In English grammar, a present participle is simply a verb form that ends with '-ing'. It is used to indicate actions that are taking place now or continuous actions. It is also used in creating continuous verb tenses. However, its usage is not confined to these areas alone. Present participles can be used in several different manners, which we will explore throughout this tutorial.
Formation of Present Participles
Creating the present participle form of a verb is generally straightforward. You simply add '-ing' to the base verb. For example, the present participle of 'run' becomes 'running', while 'eat' becomes 'eating'.
However, there are some exceptions which must be noted:
Uses of Present Participles
1. Continuous Tenses
The most common use of present participles is to form continuous (or progressive) tenses. In this case, they are used in combination with a form of the auxiliary verb 'to be'. Here are some examples:
Present participles can also be used as adjectives to describe a noun. In this case, the present participle indicates the characteristic or state of the noun. For instance:
When used as an adverb, a present participle modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb to provide more information about the action or occurrence. Here are some examples:
4. Participle Phrases
Participle phrases begin with a present participle and include other modifiers or objects. They are used to add more information about a noun or noun phrase in a sentence. Here are a couple of examples:
5. Reduction of Relative Clauses
Another usage of present participles is to reduce relative clauses in order to make the sentence more succinct. Here are some examples:
Some Common Mistakes
Although present participles are quite straightforward, there are a couple of common mistakes that you should be aware of:
Present participles are incredibly useful in English grammar, offering a way to form verb tenses, adjectives, adverbs, or to form participle phrases. With practice, you will easily grasp the rules and exceptions and feel more confident in your grammar skills.