Verbs in English have two participles, called present participle (e.g. walking, taking) and past participle (e.g. walked, taken).
Unfortunately, these terms can be confusing to learners, because:
- they don’t necessarily have anything to do with present or past time
- although past participles are used as perfects (e.g. has eaten) they are also used as passives (e.g. was eaten).
- He is walking to school. [present participle in a progressive]
- He has taken the bus to school. [past participle in a perfect]
- The photo was taken in the rain. [past participle in a passive]
The present participle is sometimes called the -ing participle or gerund participle. The past participle is also called the -ed participle. A present participle clause (also called an -ing-clause) is a clause with a present participle as its main verb. Example:
- Chewing on a sandwich, Pete tried to make a phone call at the same time.
A past participle clause (also called an -ed clause) is a clause with a past participle as its main verb. Example:
- Kate flung herself onto the sofa, exhausted by a long day's work.