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

Comments

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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I correct my question,, how many tenses are there in English? 12, 14, 16 tenses?

Hi again monarchy10,

As I said in my earlier answer, there are two tense in English.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there

As for tenses in English, I found the following list of 12 tenses. My question is why "Future in past" and "Future in past continuous" are NOT included?

totally how many questions are there in English? 12 , 14 or 16?

Here are the twelve English tenses as conventionally taught:

Simple Present: He sings.
Present Perfect: He has sung.
Present Continuous: He is singing.
Present Perfect Continuous: He has been singing.

Simple Past: He sang.
Past Perfect: He had sung.
Past Continuous: He was singing.
Past Perfect Continuous: He had been singing.

Simple Future: He will sing.
Future Continuous: He will be singing.
Future Perfect: He will have sung.
Future Perfect Continuous: He will have been singing.

Hi monarchy110,

Modern English grammar recognises two tenses in English: past and present. Other verb forms involve aspect (perfect and continuous), mood (modal verbs) and voice (active and passive).

As to your question, we can't explain to you why someone (who we don't know) has chosen to include or not include certain things on a list they made. You need to ask the author of the list.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
I have a question regarding the usage of participle clause. I have come across the following sentence:
'Underfunding is the reason for the youth employment scheme has reaching crisis point over the last few weeks'. I do not really get why participle clause is used here. I would say:
'Underfunding is the reason for the youth employment scheme has reached crisis point over the last few weeks' instead.
In my opinion, the participle in the first sentence acts like a main clause, but I can not find similar examples in any of grammar books. Does the first sentence make sense to you? If yes, could you make some other examples with similar structure, please?
Thank you for your help!

Hello egorkazakov12345,

I'm afraid the sentence is not grammatically correct. To make it correct, you need to remove 'for' and use a present perfect form, or else remove 'has' and use a participle:

Underfunding is the reason the youth employment scheme has reached crisis point over the last few weeks.

 

Underfunding is the reason for the youth employment scheme reaching crisis point over the last few weeks.

 

The first version has no participle clause.

 

In the second version for is a preposition with the object 'the youth unemployment scheme reaching crisis point over the last few weeks'. The participle phrase 'reaching...' describes the noun 'the youth unemployment'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Peter M & Kirk!

Good day! Hope everything is going great at your end! Can you please illuminate me with your suggestions on the usage of the participle phrase 'selling the bond when...' in the following sentence:

the investor may have difficulty selling the bond when other bond offerings enter the market, with more attractive rates.

My first question: Does the participle phrase 'selling the bond when other bond offering...' act as a complement of the adjective 'difficulty'?

My second question: Would it be possible to rewrite the sentence in following way:

the investor may have difficulty in selling the bond when other bond offerings enter the market, with more attractive rates.

What is the different between in+selling and selling in the above examples?

Thanks in advance!

Hi learner2018

In response to your first question, the phrase is actually 'have difficulty selling the bond', i.e. 'have difficulty' + verb-ing and yes, 'selling the bond' is the complement of the word 'difficulty' (though note that it's a noun instead of an adjective).

As for your second question, yes, it's possible to use 'in' in this and similar cases; it is a generally accepted usage and means the same thing.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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