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

Sir,
Leave (soak) your dirty clothes in water and pour (mix) some washing powder in the water.
Now Can I make this sentence using present participle like this= Soak your dirty clothes in water (by) mixing some washing powder in the water or using past participle like this= Soak your dirty clothes in water with some washing powder mixed in the water ?

Hello SonuKumar,

Using the present participle like this implies that mixing the powder and water and soaking your clothes are the same thing. They are not the same thing, so the sentence is confusing.

The sentence with the past participle works, as it shows the powder has already been mixed in to the water.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, with the shop closed we went to the market.
Now did we close the shop and went to the market I mean (By closing the shop we went to the market) or because the shop was already closed, so we went to the market ? what does 'with shop closed' mean here ?

Leave your clothes wet in the water by mixing or pouring washing powder in them.

Leave your clothes wet in the water with washing powder mixed or poured in them

Now Do they mean the same thing or not ? are they both right and acceptable ?

Hello SonuKumar,

The sentence about the shop is ambiguous. It does not make clear if the speaker closed the shop or simply found it to be already closed, as you say. The context would presumably make this clear, or else the sentence would remain ambiguous.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say with the other sentences. Neither sentence is correct as written.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello
please help me with this sentences, why participle clauses are used below

1 . hang(verb) means : to fasten or support something at the top LEAVING the other parts free to move
not giving information about condition, reason, result or time!

2. the work will vary ACCORDING to your abilities

thank you.

Hello Rezaya,

The first example is related to time:

To fasten or support something at the top (while) leaving the other parts free to move

The second example looks like a participle phrase/clause but is actually something else. According to is a preposition - you can read more about this here or here, for example.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

"As globalization continues and the world heads into the future, the Earth's natural processes are altered, leading to major environmental challenges."

What kind of clause is ",leading to major environmental challenges."?

Hello Oloap,

This is an example of a reduced relative clause:

As globalization continues and the world heads into the future, the Earth's natural processes are altered, which leads to major environmental challenges.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

In this sentence
'The family suffered seeing how the man had been treated'
shouldn't there be 'in' before the participle seeing
I.e. The family suffered in seeing how........

Hello Miwa42',

There is no need for 'in' before the participle here. The participle clause describes what causes the suffering and it does not need any preposition before it.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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