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


Hello Sir,
"Peter M is a good teacher" "so is Kirk."
Now is the following sentence correct? If not what is the alternative way to tell the same idea using 'so' in short answers?
"I have been to New York" " so have London."

Hello quayum2s,

The correct way to express this is a little different:

I have been to New York and to London too/as well.


We can use 'so' when we want to provide an alternative to the subject of the first sentence:

I have been to New York.

So has Bob. / Bob has been to New York too.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

I want to ask the following sentences if they are correct or not, and they seem to
be unnatural or wrong.
'The man I was talking to was the man I was in debt to'.
'The man I was talking to was the one/man I owed to.'

Hi qayum2s,

The first sentence is correct and sounds natural to me. The second one just needs the word 'money' (or some other object) after the verb 'owed', since it is generally a transitive verb (which means it requires a direct object): 'the man I owed money to'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Sir, very much, please could you tell me what kind of sentences they are? Complex or compound-complex.

Hello qayum2s,

We have a page on various different sentence structures. You can find it here. Take a look at the information there and see if you can identify the types of sentences yourself. We'll be happy to tell you if you are correct.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I want to know the meaning of '101' and its usage. I dont know if it is even an English word. Anticipating your response.

Hi Muhammad Erad,

We'd need a bit of context to be able to answer that question. Could you please provide a full sentence and explain the ideas that come before and after it?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I want to say that seeing him reminds me
Now can I also rewrite the same thing like
this= (By) Seeing him, I remember
something, Or (By) Seeing him, I come to
remember somthing ?

By writing 'By' In front of both sentenses,
I want to ask you If we can use this word
'By' as a preposition or are these sentenses
better without 'By' ?

Hello SonuKumar,

We do not add 'by' here. You can rewrite the sentence using 'when' and a finite verb:

Seeing him, I remember something

When I see him, I remember something



The LearnEnglish Team