వ్యాకరణపు అన్వయం

Participle (-ing and -ed) clauses

Meaning and use

Present and past particples are used as parts of certain verb constructions but they can be used in a number of different ways.

Present participle (verb-ing) clauses can be used without a subject pronoun and an auxiliary when the subject of the sentence does two things at the same time or when one action interrupts another.

  • I was sitting on the sofa. I was watching TV. = Two actions at the same time:
    I was sitting on the sofa watching TV.
  • I was running for the bus. I fell over. = One action interrupted by another:
    I fell over running for the bus.

They can be used to explain why someone did something. In this case, the participle clause usually comes first.

  • Being exhausted I fell asleep on the train. = 
    I fell asleep on the train because I was exhausted.

  • Seeing the bus come round the corner he started to run.=
    He started to run because I saw the bus come round the corner.

Another use is in a shortened form of an active relative clause:

  • Is that someone knocking at the door? =
    Is that someone who is knocking at the door?
  • Do you know the man talking to you mother? =
    Do you know the man who is talking to your mother?

Past participle (verb-ed) clauses can be used without a subject pronoun and auxiliary in shortened forms of passive relative clauses.

  • The dog hit by the car wasn't hurt. = 
    The dog that was hit by the car wasn't hurt. 
  • The gold stolen in the robbery was never recovered. =
    The gold that was stolen in the robbery was never recovered.

Take note: perfect participles (having + past participle)

If you are talking about two actions that happen one after the other, you can use a perfect participle for the first one. You can use a comma between the actions if you like.

  • Having missed the bus, we decided to drive into town.=
    We missed the bus. We decided to drive into town. 
  • Having finished the cake we started on the cheese. =
    We finished the cake. We started on the cheese.

The same meaning can also be expressed with after + present participle.

  • After missing the bus we decided to drive into town.=
    We missed the bus. We decided to drive into town. 
  • After finishing the cake, we started on the cheese. =
    We finished the cake. We started on the cheese.


Take note: hanging participles

Be careful when using present participle clauses that the subjects of the clauses are the same.

  • Walking down the street the trees looked beautiful in the autumn sun.

In this sentence we expect the participle clause: Walking down the street to have the same subject as the main clause: the trees looked beautiful ... The subject is the trees and obviously the trees weren't walking down the street! This meaning of this sentence is better expressed in this example:

  • Walking down the street, I noticed the trees looking beautiful in the autumn sun.