Do you know how to start a clause with a present participle (e.g. seeing) or past participle (e.g. seen)?

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, result, reason or time. For example:


CONDITION (with a similar meaning to 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.


RESULT (with a similar meaning to so or therefore):

The bomb exploded, destroying the building.

Compare: The bomb exploded so the building was destroyed.


REASON (with a similar meaning to because or since):

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 (with a similar meaning to 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.

Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Dear sir,

I was told by one of my teacher
that the example sentence: 'Being taken to the hospital, he died' is in "continueous participle clause in passive voice". I don't understand what "continueous participle clause in passive voice" mean. Could you please teach me about it ?

Dear sir,

I'm much confused between" being+past participle" and "having+past participle"
For example:
What's the differences in the meaning in the following sentences:
1. After being arrested, he was taken to the police station.
2. After having been arrested,he was taken to the police station.

Hello Englishlover,

The first sentence ('being arrested') tells us about one event immediately following another. The second sentence ('having been arrested') would be used when we want to provide information not about one event immediately before another, but rather something in the past which is relevant in some way to the present action. Therefore the second sentence is not a natural construction for this context. Generally we do not use 'after' with this construction, because there is not a direct sequence. For example, we might say:

Having been arrested several times in his life, he knew what to do when the police came.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Can i use 'being+past participle' to start the sentence as follows:

>1. Being taken to the hospital, he died.

(To mean: while he was being taken to the hospital, he died)

>2. Being beaten by mother to her son, the father arrived.

(To mean: While the son was being beaten by his mother, the father arrived.)

Hello Englishlover,

The first sentence, with an adverbial participle clause of time, could almost work, but without context, it's so vague that it's unnatural. Normally, participle clauses occur in somewhat formal sentences and in contexts that provide enough information to make the meaning of the participle clause clear. In this case, there isn't enough context and, I'm guessing, an important fact is that his death occurred on the way to the hospital, so really 'while' is needed. With 'while' (i.e. 'while being taken ...'), the sentence would be fine.

In the second clause, the subject of the participle clause ('the son') is different from the subject of the independent clause ('the father'). Normally the subject of the two clauses has to be the same. There are some exceptions to this rule, but here it doesn't work.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,
Do you think the following sentences don't need "Being",
If we don't use "being" in them, do the meaning of these sentences change ?

1. Being imployed in teaching at a school, I hardly manage time for painting.

2. Being teased, I hit him with a stick.

3. Being called by mother from home, I went to meet her.

4. "Being helped by Ram,I didn't have problems with repairing the watch."

5. Being taught about English grammar,I don't have difficulty writing in English.

Is it meaningless or worthless to start a sentence with" being+past participle" as I have shown in my example?

Dear sir Kirk,

All I want to know is starting the sentence from "being+past participle" as I have shown in my examples too
I thought that starting sentence with" being+p.p" gives the meaning the past participle continueous in passive. But I don't know what "continueous present participle in passive voice means".
For example:
1."Being taken to the hospital,he died."
Does it mean "while he was being taken to the hospital,he died"? Or do I have to add "while" in front of "being" in the sentence to get that meaning ?
If this(1) sentence doesn't give that meaning, is it worthless to start the sentence with" being+past participle" ?

Hello Englishlover,

It is possible to start a sentence with a present participle, as this page shows, and it is possible to use a passive form when it is necessary to ensure that the subject of each clause is the same. However, it is an unusual structure and generally used for states rather than actions in progress, and that is why your example does not work. You could say this, for example:

Being weakened by the virus, he was unable to survive the operation.

Here, the [being + past participle] form is describing a state rather than an action in progress.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,Peter M
What do you mean by "states rather than actions in progress" ?What kind of would it give if we started sentence using" being+past participle" ?