What Are Participles?

A participle is a word formed from a verb which can be used as an adjective.

The two types of participles are the present participle (ending ing) and the past participle (usually ending -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n).

Participle Phrases
It is really common to see participles in participle phrases. A participle phrase also acts like an adjective.


- The man carrying the sheep is my uncle.
(The participle phrase carrying the sheep describes the the man.)

Present participles end in -ing.


- A laughing man is stronger than a suffering man. (Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1880)

- The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams. (Tupac Shakur)

Present participles are not just used as adjectives. They are also used to form verb tenses.

Active past participles: advance points

-- past participle can be used as active meaning (only with adverb)


- A much-travelled man, a well-read person (NOT a read person).

-- active past participle can be used after be :


- Those curtains are badly faded.

- We are all grown up now.

The words: recovered, stopped, finished are used after be, not usually before noun

- Why are all those cars stopped at the crossroads ? (Not stopped car)

- I'll be finished in a few minutes.

- Those days are gone now.

- I hope you are fully recovered from your operation.
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