A Participle is that form of a verb that ends in -ing/-d/-ed/-t/-n/-en. A Participle is a Double Part of Speech -a verb and an adjective combined.

  • The rising sun is peeping on the horizon.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • I saw her weeping.
  • Hearing this, he felt very sad.
  • He died leaving four sons behind.
  • He is a retired officer.
  • The man seems worried.
  • Having heard the lecture, we returned home.

In the above sentences, rising, rolling, weeping hearing, leaving, retired, worried, and having heard are Participles.


Participles are of three types

  • Present Participle (verb + ing) – Getting the packet, I gave it to him.
  • Past Participle (verb + -d/-ed/-en/-t) – I have got the packet in time.
  • Perfect Participle (having + verb + -d/-ed/-en/-t) – Having got the packet, I opened it immediately.


USE 1: To form Present Continuous Tense

  • I am sleeping.
  • She is smiling.
  • They are laughing.

USE 2: To form Past Continuous Tense

  • I was reading.
  • He was crying.
  • They were playing.

USE 3: To form Future Continuous Tense

  • I shall be playing.
  • She will be dancing.
  • They will be swimming.

USE 4: To form Attributive Adjective

  • A barking dog seldom bites.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • A blooming flower is nice to look at.
  • Don’t put your hand into the boiling water.
  • This is an interesting story.

USE 5: To form a Predicative Adjective

  • The news was shocking.
  • The story was interesting.
  • The film was boring.
  • They found the Giant playing in the garden.
  • He came running at top speed.
  • The patient was gasping.

USE 6: To form Object Complement

  • He kept me waiting.
  • I saw him sleeping.
  • She found me reading a novel.

USE 7: Being placed independently with a Noun or a Pronoun

  • The weather being fine, the boys came out to play.
  • God willing, I shall get the prize.
  • The match being over, they left the place.

USE 8: To be modified by an Adverb

Loudly knocking at the door, he asked for admission.

USE 9: To take degrees of comparison like an Adjective

  • Primary education is the most pressing need of our time.
  • Unemployment is the most burning question of the day.

USE 10: To govern a Noun or a Pronoun like an Infinitive

  • Hearing the noise, the boy woke up.
  • Opening the drawer, he took out the purse.
  • Turning back, my friend called me.

USE 11: To denote a causative sense after the verb ‘have’ or ‘leť

  • I won’t have/let you cleaning the shoes in the kitchen.
  • I won’t have/let you cutting the grass in| my garden.


  • A smiling face
  • A dancing girl
  • A sinking ship
  • A drowning man
  • The rising sun
  • Look at the setting sun.
  • This is her dying declaration.
  • Do not rouse the sleeping lion.
  • Do not jump from a running train.
  • A hunting dog is not a panting dog.
  • He came running at top speed.
  • The hound came bounding to the hunter.
  • Rahaman shot dead a flying bird.
  • I have seen him riding on a horse.
  • We saw the girl carrying a basket of flowers.
  • He kept me waiting.
  • I saw him reading a novel.


USE 1: To form the Present Perfect Tense

  • I have done the work.
  • He has gone home.
  • They have played football.

USE 2: To form Past Perfect Tense

  • The patient had died before the doctor came.
  • The train had left before we arrived at the station.

USE 3: To form Future Perfect Tense

  • The film will have started before we reach there.
  • They will have done their homework by evening.

USE 4: To change the Active Voice into Passive

  • The work is done by them.
  • He was given a book by me.
  • The thief was arrested.
  • Let the door be opened.
  • Who was called by you?

USE 5: To form an Attributive Adjective

  • The stolen car has been found.
  • The broken window has been repaired.

USE 6: To form a Predicative Adjective

  • We are tired.
  • They are disappointed.
  • She is frustrated.
  • We saw the trees laden with fruit.
  • It is already widely circulated.

USE 7: To form a Participial Phrase

  • Deceived by his friends, he lost all hope.
  • Driven by hunger, he stole a piece of bread.
  • Blinded by a dust storm, they lost their way.

USE 8: To form a part of an Adjective Phrase

  • He gave me a pen made in China.
  • Her ring is made of gold.
  • The nurse bandaged the player injured in the game.
  • The director staged a play written by himself.

USE 9: To form a Nominal Compound

  • A well-read man can easily understand it.
  • He is an outspoken man.
  • Being upset, the traveller returned home.
  • It is a well-known fact.

USE 10: To denote a causative sense after the verb ‘have’ or ‘get’ [The term ‘causative’ means “causing something to be done by somebody.”]

  • He had his watch repaired.
  • He got his house built.
  • I had the building constructed by an engineer.
  • He must have his clothes pressed/ironed.

NOTE: Present Participles are used when the phrase is active in meaning, but Past Participles are used when the phrase is passive.

Present participle in Active sense: Hearing the noise, I turned around.
Past Participle in Passive sense: Injured by an accident, he was taken to hospital.


  • A deserted village
  • An invited guest
  • A moonlit night
  • A ruined temple
  • A faded (withered) flower
  • A barefooted boy
  • An outspoken man
  • Condensed milk
  • He is a retired employee.
  • The broken bottles were lying in the street.
  • The wounded man was sent to a hospital.
  • A burnt child dreads the fire.
  • At last, we had to return with a broken heart.
  • He is now absorbed in meditation. [Predicatively used Past Participle]
  • Their friendship is now severed. [Predicatively used Past Participle]
  • Rome was not built in a day. [Predicatively used Past Participle]


There may be a combined participle called a Perfect Participle. It is formed by adding having / having been with the Past Participle.

USE 1: In the case of two actions of the same doer, one after another

  • Having rested a while, he started again. [The same doer]
  • Having heard the lecture, we returned home. [The same doer]
  • Having visited the museum, we decided to go to the ‘Maidan’. [The same doer]
  • Having been examined, I came back. [The same doer]

USE 2: As a Nominative Absolute [In case of two actions of the different doers, one after another]

  • The sun having risen, the fog dispersed. [Different doers]
  • The fog having dispersed, the soldiers marched. [Different doers]


As the Participle is a verb-adjective, it must be attached to some noun or pronoun. In other words, it must always have a proper ‘subject-object’ reference.


  • I saw a dead cow walking in the field. (Incorrect)
  • I saw a dead cow, while I was walking in the field. (Correct)
  • [Or] Walking in the field, I saw a dead cow. (Correct)
  • (Or] While walking in the field, I saw a dead cow. (Correct)
  • Sitting on the gate, the teacher rebuked him. (Incorrect)
  • Sitting on the gate, he was rebuked by the teacher. (Correct)
  • Entering the room, the light was quite dazzling. Incorrect)
  • Entering the room, I found the light quite dazzling, (Correct)
  • Being a very hot day, I remained in my tent. (Incorrect)
  • It being a very hot day, I remained in my tent. (Correct- ‘being’ Nom. Absolute)

NOTE: However, when there is no such confusion, usage permits such construction of the participle without a proper subject of reference’.

He is fond of playing cricket.Playing cricket, he spent a lot of time.
I don’t like laughing so loud.They went on laughing.
The old man is tired of walking.Walking along the road, the old man felt tired.


A. Fill in the blanks with the Present Participle or Past Participle forms of the verbs given in the brackets:

  • They have found out their……….car (steal).
  • A………..stone gathers no moss (roll).
  • This is an………..story(amuse).
  • A………opportunity never returns (lose).
  • The boy went away………..(laugh).
  • His………..clothes need mending (tatter).
  • We had the doors………..(paint).
  • ………..the noise, the boy turned around (heart).
  • I heard your name………..(call).
  • …………by hunger, he stole a piece of bread (drive).

B. Shorten the following pairs of sentences by using ‘-ing’ or ‘-ed’ participles :

  • The train is running. Do not jump from it.
  • I saw a deer. The deer was running in the park.
  • The lion is sleeping. Do not rouse it.
  • He kept the book on the desk. He left the room.
  • The jar is broken. It cannot be repaired.
  • He came to the spot. It was covered with ice.
  • He left the house. The house was haunted.
  • The water is boiling. Do not put your hand into it.
  • Dipu heard the noise of the crowd. The crowd was roaring.
  • The swallow bird saw the sailors. They were hauling big chests.

C. Rewrite the following sentences by using ‘-ing’ or ‘-ed’ words:

  • A fox that is sleeping catches no poultry.
  • The glass that is broken cannot be used.
  • The heart which is broken cannot be healed easily.
  • I saw the man who was dying.
  • The lady who was wearing a blue-bordered sari was Mother Teresa.
  • There are many areas in Assam which produce tea.
  • It is a story that is amusing.
  • She is a typist who breaks records.
  • This is a method that saves labor.
  • In our country, there are many child labourers who work hard.

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