Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Present and Past Particples

The present participle is used after a finite verb in a sentence. So is the past participle. I shall explain what is meant by these through the following examples.

Example 1 : I stood there, staring at the cat.

In this sentence, the finite verb or the main verb is ‘stood’. There must not be any more finite verbs unless the sentence is joined to another sentence by a conjunction such as ‘and’. Hence we use ‘staring’, the present participle after the finite verb ‘stood’ has been used.
It will be wrong to write ‘I stood there, stared at the cat.’ but it is correct if we write ‘I stood there and stared at the cat.’

Example 2 : They went forward, driven by sheer determination.

The past participle in the above sentence is ‘driven’ and it is used after the finite verb ‘went’. The past participle can also be used somewhere in front of the finite verb. For example, it is correct if we write ‘Haunted by the unsolved problem, the man was restless the whole day.’
The use of present and past participle add variety to our style of writing. Students of English should master these two verb forms to produce good essays.

1 comment:

fwidman said...

I really enjoy reading these English lessons :) Keep them coming!