Daily Grammar

Lesson 228

Parts of the Sentence - Verbals - Participles

A participle is a verbalA verbal is a verb form used as some other part of speech.  Source: Lesson 206 and is used as an adjectiveAdjectives modify or affect the meaning of nouns and pronouns and tell us which, whose, what kind, and how many about the nouns or pronouns they modify. They come before the noun or pronoun they modify.  Source: Lesson 151.  Participles end in various ways.  They modify nounsA noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Examples: man, city, book, and courage. Nouns often follow words like a, an, and the. Source: Lesson 16 and pronounsA pronoun is a word that replaces a noun or a group of words used as a noun.
Source: Lesson 21
and can precede or follow the word they modify.

A present participle always ends with ing as does the gerundA gerund is a verbal that always ends in ing and is used as a noun.  Source: Lesson 215, but remember that it is an adjective.  A past participle ends with ed, n, or irregularly.

played, broken, brought, sung, seeing, having seen, being seen, seen, having been seen


A participial phrase is made up of a participle and any complements (direct objectsA direct object receives the action performed by the subject. The verb used with a direct object is always an action verb. Another way of saying it is that the subject does the verb to the direct object.
Source: Lesson 109
, predicate nominativesA predicate nominative or predicate noun completes a linking verb and renames the subject. It is a complement or completer because it completes the verb. Predicate nominatives complete only linking verbs. The verb in a sentence having a predicate nominative can always be replaced by the word equals.  Source: Lesson 102, predicate adjectivesAn adjective that comes after a linking verb and modifies the subject.
Source: Lesson 155
, or modifiers) like the gerund.  A participial phrase that comes at the beginning of the sentence is always followed by a comma and modifies the subjectThe subject tells who or what about the verb.  Source: Lesson 91 of the sentence.

Participial phrases are useful in combining pairs of sentences.


Instructions: Combine the following sentences using a participial phrase at the beginning of the sentence.

1. The flag flapped against the pole. The flag was twisted by the wind.

Twisted by the wind, the flag flapped against the pole.

2. The cat clawed wildly in self-defense. The cat was cornered by two dogs.

Cornered by two dogs, the cat clawed wildly in self-defense.

3. The food was completely destroyed. It had been covered by the flood for two weeks.

Having been covered by the flood for two weeks, the food was completely destroyed.

4. Dr. Doolittle commanded the bee to stop the noise. He was annoyed by the humming.

Annoyed by the humming, Dr. Doolittle commanded the bee to stop the noise.

5. We had planned a party for our boss. We were pleased with our bonuses.

Pleased with our bonuses, we had planned a party for our boss.

© 1996 Word Place, Inc.