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

Hello aunicorn,

It's probably more common to use a present participle to speak about the past, but you can also use it to speak about the present. You can see a few examples on this BBC page. This other BBC page might also be useful.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! I'm a bit confused about the sentence below.
He left home, denying and rejecting his own family.
Is it correct?

Hello Kastyri Das,

Yes, that sentence is fine and means that the act of leaving home was a denial and rejection of his own family.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

What is Dazzling participle ? Sir, I request you to give two or three example and usage of dazzling participle . When I shall use dazzling participle ? Thanks .

Hello Sagir Mondal,

I'm afraid I've never heard of such a thing. Are you sure you heard the term correctly?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hallow sir, How are you ? May be fine with the mercy and blessing of God . Well, Sir , By mistake , Dazzling Participle that was mistyped , The correct term is "Dangling participle " . I heard the term from Oxford Advanced learner's dictionary . As far as I know , Dangling participle that relates to a noun that is not mentioned . Dangling participles aren't considered correct . In the sentence " While walking home , my phone rang" , "Walking" is dangling Participle . A correct form of the sentence would be " While i was walking home , my phone rang . Sir , I request you that i did not totally make out about the dangling participle , so give simple example so that i make out . Sir , tell me in details about that term and usage . Thanks sir .

Hello Sagir Mondal,

The problem with the example sentence you ask about is that the subject of the subordinate clause ('While walking home' -- it's not completely clear, but I suppose the subject is 'I') is not the same as the subject of the second clause ('my phone rang', subject = 'my phone'). The subjects must be the same in this kind of construction; if they are not, they are referred to as 'dangling participles'.

I'd suggest you take a look at a different Oxford Dictionary page that explains this in much more detail.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
Can we use participle clauses in future sentences?
Regards
Aleya

Hello Aleya,

The time reference for participle clauses is always the same as the verb in the main clause and they can be used for any time reference, including future time. For example:

I will wait for you at the corner, wearing a red shirt and a black hat.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, She is going to bus stand with a purse held in her hand. Is this a right sentence using past participle 'Held' in it and Using past partciple with the preposition 'With' like in this sentense,what is this rule called ?

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