Session 2

Present and past participles can be used for more than making verb forms. In some situations they can be used without subjects and auxiliaries. Having read this, if you want to learn more, read the activities and try the quizzes. 

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Activity 2

Past participle clauses

Using the past particple in clauses

There are some situations where you can use a past participle by itself without a subject.

Passive participle (having + past participle)

In the last activity we saw that we can use after + present participle when one thing happens after another.

  • After making the call I went back to my flat and started to clean myself up.

We can also express the same thing by using a passive participle (with or without a comma after the object):

  • Having made the call I went back to my flat and started to clean myself up.
  • Having washed the car, I took it for a drive.
  • Having received a bonus, I bought a new computer.

Read the text and complete the activity

Reduced relative clauses

Sometimes in relative clauses with a passive meaning you don't need a subject or an auxiliary. 

  • Cars parked here will be clamped. = 
    Cars which have been parked here will be clamped.

  • The gold stolen in the train robbery was never recovered.=
    The gold which was stolen in the train robbery was never recovered.
  • The bystander injured in the crash was airlifted to hospital.=
    The bystander who was injured in the crash was airlifted to hospital.


Relative clauses with an active meaning can be made in the same way but with the present participle.

  • Who is that talking to your mother? =
    Who is that who is talking to your mother?

  • Is that the cat making that noise?
    Is that the cat that is making that noise?


To do

Test yourself on more participle clauses in the quiz.

Participle clauses

5 Questions

For each question choose the best option to complete the sentence.

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Well done! Having finished this activity as well, you can now relax for six minutes and listen to Callum and Catherine discuss this topic in 6 Minute Grammar...

Session Grammar

  • Examples of past particples in clauses

    When one action is followed by another: the past particple forms past of the perfect participle.

    Having washed the car I took it for a drive.

    In reduced passive relative clauses:

    Cars parked here will be clamped. =
    Cars which have been parked here will be clamped.

    The gold stolen in the train robbery was never recovered.=
    The gold which was stolen in the train robbery was never recovered.

    The bystander injured in the crash was airlifted to hospital.=
    The bystander who was injured in the crash was airlifted to hospital.

Session Vocabulary