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


Thanks sir...
sir I want to mention another sentence...
1.Education is enlightening.
Here 'enlightening' is participle as adjective?

Hello AminulIslam.
I would say that in this sentence 'enlightening' is an adjective. The verb 'enlighten' is usually a transitive verb so I would expect it to have an object.
I would not worry too much about identifying whether a particular present participle is functioning as an adjective or a verb, to be honest. It is often unclear (both are possibilities) and it does not seem to me that the knowledge will help you to use English better in any case.
The LearnEnglish Team

Could you help me?

I have a question.

a. Shouting loudly, Peter walked home.
b. Peter, shouting loudly, walked home.
c. Peter walked home, shouting loudly.
d. Peter walked home shouting loudly.

a = b = c = d

Is this right?

Hello generalenglish
I'd say d is the most natural, and then a. It would be a little unusual to write b or c.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi dear teachers,
I have a question about 'present participle' and 'perfect participle'.

"when I was younger I made a lot of money, and now I don't have any money problems."

can change this with perfect participle,although in 'when clause' I have used simple past,'made money' as following?

#having made money, I don't have any money problems.

because as I know,if correctly!, it is not the matter of time used in the first example(simple past) ,the process of 'making money' finished before the second action ' no problem with money' matters.

Best regards

Hi Mohsen,

We would probably keep the context in the sentence: Having made money when I was younger, I don't have...


Otherwise, you are correct. Well done!



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,
I'd like to know what kind of adjective this word English-speaking as in "an English-speaking country" is.
Can I say this is noun modifier or participle?


Hello Risa warysha,

English-speaking is a compound adjective. In your example it modifies the noun country.



The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to know whether this sentence i bumped into is correva. " The middle class started to occupy spaces that once had been of the monarchy's". It is the of + genitive that makes me wonder. Thanks

Hello Mitzi,

That does not look correct to me, though the sentence is not in context. You could use either 's or of, and I think 's is the most natural here:

The middle class started to occupy spaces that once had been the monarchy's.


Alternatively, you could use a phrase like ...once belonged to the monarchy.



The LearnEnglish Team