Participle clauses

Participle clauses are a form of adverbial clause which enables us to say information in a more economical way. We can use participle clauses when the participle and the verb in the main clause have the same subject. For example:

Waiting for John, I made some tea.

Waiting for John, the kettle boiled. [This would suggest that the kettle was waiting for John!]

 

Forming participle clauses

Participle clauses can be formed with the present participle (-ing form of the verb) or past participle (third form of the verb). Participle clauses with past participles have a passive meaning:

Shouting loudly, Peter walked home. [Peter was shouting]

Shouted at loudly, Peter walked home. [Someone was shouting at Peter]

If we wish to emphasise that one action was before another then we can use a perfect participle (having + past participle):

Having won the match, Susan jumped for joy.

Having been told the bad news, Susan sat down and cried.

 

The meaning and use of participle clauses

Participle clauses give information about condition, reason, result or time. For example:

Condition (in place of an if-condition):

Looked after carefully, this coat will keep you warm through many winters.

Compare: If you look after it carefully, this coat will keep you warm through many winters.

Reason (in place of words like so or therefore):

Wanting to speak to him about the contract, I decided to arrange a meeting.

Compare: I wanted to speak to him about the contract so I decided to arrange a meeting.

Result (in place of words like because or as a result):

I had no time to read my book, having spent so long doing my homework.

Compare: I had no time to read my book because I had spent so long doing my homework.

Time (in place of words like when, while or as soon as):

Sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

Compare: While I was sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

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Comments

Hello SonuKumar,

I'm afraid I still don't really understand your example. To help you express an idea we need to understand it but this sentence does not seem to make sense. Why would staying somewhere cause a person to doubt you? Or is staying an expression of existing doubt? How?

There is little sense in explaining a grammar point through a sentence which itself does not seem to make sense. I suggest you use examples which are logical and unambiguous rather than this kind of highly contrived and unlikely sentence. That way we will be able to help you rather than simply scratching out heads!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, I don't want anyone to doubt me by staying there. In this sentence phrase 'By staying there' refers to the one whoever can stay there but I wonder if I want to say that 'I don't want to stay there because anyone can doubt me, So Could I remake this sentence like this-
By staying there I don't want anyone to doubt me ? does putting phrase 'By staying there' in front of the sentence change meaning and refer to the subject I of the sentense and change the meaning ?

I wonder about the last sentence
While I was sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realized that I had left the oven on at home.
here we have two events the first one I had left the oven on at home
the second event I was sitting at the cafe
so we can use ing- clause with having done
having left the oven on at home, while I was sitting in the cafe
is there any wrong with my sentence?

Hi
"Shouted at loudly, Peter walked home." Is this mean, Peter was walking when someone was shouting at him? or Peter walked after someone shouted?
Another Question:
"Having been told the bad news, Susan sat down and cried." Is Susan who someone tell or hear?
Thanks in advance.

Hello Sezin,

The first sentence sounds a bit unnatural to me. 'Having been shouted at, Peter walked home' would sound better, but still quite strange, as this structure isn't used in ordinary conversation, which this sentence appears to be an exmple of.

The second one is correct, but also a bit strange given its familiar tone. Susan is the person who was told the news (i.e. a different person told her) and is also of course the person who sat down and wept.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, could someone help me whether I can put in the following sentence the present continuous tense instead of the simple one?

Please read my message to the end.

Being students, they didn't have much money and they usually worked as waiters at weekends.

So it will be like "Being studens, they weren't having much money and they were working as waiters at weekends"

I have read all examples on the page but I don't think my sentence is like those.
I tried to compare it to

Time (in place of words like when, while or as soon as):
Sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.
Compare: While I was sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

but there is some difference. Realised seems to be a performed and single action. But in my sentence there are to have and work as so I can't think of them as of a performed and single action, it is continuous isn't it? But simple tense can be continuous as well, I know. So can the continuous tense be used there? If can't, tell me why because I can't even understand that thing.

Hello Ingresed,

The continuous aspect would not be used in this sentence. The first verb is 'have', used with a meaning of possession. 'Have' does not occur in the continuous with this meaning. We say 'I have some money' not 'I am having some money', for example.

The second verb appears with an adverb of frequency ('usually'). This shows that it is a regular or typical action and so a simple form is used. If, for example, this was a temporary action then 'were working' would be fine here, but with adverbs of frequency the simple form is much more common.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi teacher,
'I was happy seeing him smile.' In this sentence, 'seeing' is considered gerund or participle? If it is the latter, what should the original sentence be? (before it is reduced to participle)
Thank you

Hello Kaisoo93,

This sentence is not completely unnatural, but the correct form in standard British English would be 'I was happy to see him smile'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Arvo there,

I've just got a question on grammar part which I cannot find it either via the Internet or in grammar books. we all know about participle phrases (or clause);" playing football, John broke his leg! " but there is other sentences that I cannot comprehend how they are formed: " speaking, I would say a vast majority of individuals all around the world have serious problems and they are just struggling to find a certain way", it means: "talking about 'speaking' (a skill in a certain language), I would say....". And maybe the original sentence was : if (or when) we are talking about speaking ( or if you ask me about speaking). Nevertheless, no matter which one the original sentence is, i'd like to know what's the rule behind that? ! How and when could I make sentences like this ?!

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