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

In my opinion, this answers the question "When did I grab the pizza?"
It can be rephrased as "While returning from the office, ......"

Hello Kamran Saif Qureshi,

That is correct. The present participle shows an action which happened at the same time as another action, as you say. Well done.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, could you refer some books regarding the adverbial use of participle phrases / clauses like in "Returning from the office, I grabbed a pizza from Tahzeeb Bakers."

Hello Kamran Saif Qureshi

The British Council does not offer recommendations regarding books, I'm afraid. We do not favour or advertise any publishers or authors. My suggestion would be to go to a good bookshop and find three or four different grammar books. Open each to the page for participle clauses/phrases and compare the information there. You'll be able to see which is the most accessible and complete, and which would be the best for you.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

"Following this, the surviving Malli surrendered to Alexander's forces, and his beleaguered army moved on, conquering more Indian tribes along the way."

I found the above line in an article where the details regarding the Indian campaign of Macedonian King Alexander is mentioned. The above statements specifically mention the information about Alexander's army at that time when it returned to Greece. I searched the meanings of "beleaguer" which are as follows:

1. Lay siege to.
1.1 Put in a very difficult situations

I think the first meaning out of these two is applicable in the case of above sentence.

However, the past participle form of "beleaguer" doesn't appear suitable here. As per the rules mentioned above, the past participle form shows a "passive voice". But, here the army was the one who beleaguered different places. So, it appears to me that the present participle form "beleaguering" should be used.

Hello curiouslearner,

'beleaguered' is an adjective here, not part of a passive construction. The second meaning of the two that you list is the correct one here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,

From the passage, ...
"... 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."

My questions are as follows.

Could I swap the phrase like this?
... Having spent so long doing my homework, I had no time to read my book.

And... Could we use this passage?
“... Using the modern devices as the communication mediums of humans, it could worldwide access the large volumes of data through the internet that creates the social convergence.”

Thank you.

Hello jarurote,

It is possible to change the order and begin the sentence with 'having'.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'could we use this passage'. There are several errors in there if your question is about the accuracy of the language. However, we don't provide a correction service on LearnEnglish but rather answer questions about how the language works and specific aspects of the language system.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, With 365 runs made, He won the match Or
Making or having made 365 runs He won the match. what I want to know is are these the same things or is there any difference, Can the one above with (with 365 runs made) interchange with the ones below, Can we do it every time with these two structures I mean Interchanging or does that depends on the context ?

Hello SonuKumar,

There is a slight difference in meaning which might be relevant in some contexts.

'Having made...' and 'With... made' place the run-making before the winning. In other words, the runs were achieved before the match was won.

'Making...' could also mean that the match was won during the run-making. In other words, there was no need to wait until later for the win; the two actions co-occurred. 

In most contexts (and certainly in this one) the forms are interchangeable. However, the dfference above could be important in some contexts.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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