As noun-modifiers, participles usually precede the noun (like adjectives), but in many cases they can or must follow it:
- The visiting dignitaries devoured the baked apples.
- Please bring all the documents required. (= Please bring all the documents that are required.)
- The difficulties encountered were nearly insurmountable. (= The difficulties that were encountered were nearly insurmountable.)
The present participle in English has the same form as the gerund, but the gerund acts as a noun rather than a verb or a modifier. The word sleeping in Your job description does not include sleeping is a gerund and not a present participle.
While English past participles, like past tense forms, are sometimes irregular, all English present participles are regular, being formed with the suffix -ing. The present participle in English is in the active voice and is used for:
The past participle may be used in both active and passive voices:
- forming the perfect: The chicken has eaten.
- forming the passive voice: The chicken was eaten.
- modifying a noun, with active sense: our fallen comrades (= our comrades who have fallen)
- modifying a noun, with passive sense: the attached files (= the files that have been attached)
- modifying a verb or sentence, with passive sense: Seen from this perspective, the problem presents no easy solution. (= When it is seen from this perspective,....)
Passive participles reflect past action in the passive voice, for example
- The dog, having been praised by its master, was happy, or more commonly, The dog, praised by its master, was happy.
Even irregular past participle verbs often follow the format -en or -ne, as may be seen from above. For examples:
|to help||holpen |
- What is a participle? Archived 2013-02-12 at the Wayback Machine in Glossary of linguistic terms Archived 2013-02-10 at the Wayback Machine at SIL International.
- progressive aspect = continuing
- Archaic form in early Modern English, used in the Book of Common Prayer version of the Magnificat, see e.g., King James Bible online. Accessed September 27, 2010.