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 dlis,

That's correct -- the noun phrase 'eating too much fat' is the subject of the verb 'causes'. In general, we call an -ing form a gerund when it acts as a noun (though note that gerunds have can objects -- in your example, 'too much fat' is an object) and a participle when it acts as an adjective, a part of a verb or as part of a participle clause.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, Which is the rule by which you are able to tell if "Challenging" refers to subject or object as in this case it refers to object plea, in my sentence above In the previous comment and generally How to know if a present participle refers to a subject or a object ?

Hello SonuKumar,

The participle follows the noun which it modifies. For example:

 

The lady waiting at the bus stop saw me. [the lady was waiting]

The lady saw me waiting at the bus stop. [I was waiting]

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, Is there any difference in using the conjunction 'While' or not in both sentences below ?
"An aeroplane crashed while taking off" And
"An aeroplane crashed taking off" ?
And In this sentence below what form is participle "Challenging" in, in adjective form or is it just referring to the subject "Supreme court", that how it works ?
"Supreme court will hear a plea today challenging centre's notification banning cattle trade for slaughter" What does Challenging refer to Subject 'Supreme court' or object a plea and How to Know simply what a present participle like that refers to subject or object in the sentence like this ?

Hello SonuKumar,

There is no difference between the examples with and without 'while'.

'Challenging...' describes 'plea' and has an adjectival function.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
When we reduce adverb clause to reduced form,which cojunction should be omitted and which of them are better to keep?
Thankyou

Hello Azim,

There are many different possibilities. If you'd like to tell us how you think it should be with an example sentence, we'll be happy to help you with it.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, There some sentense "Are you the one who will come at my home tomorrow ?" Could I change it like- "Are you the one coming at home tomorrow ?" And also I think I should use "Coming rather than Come" in this reduced clause sentence Should I not ?
apart from it please take a look at sentences below.
"I have seen all the episodes of a serial coming yet" I think coming yet rather than Come yet right ?
and "He is the boy best known ever for his work" is a right sentence changed from this one-He is the boy who is best known ever for his work.
"He is the one ever coming at my home" Sir could use "Yet" rather than "ever" and are these interchangeable in some conditions like "Coming yet and coming ever" please help understand ?

Hello SonuKumar,

Those are a lot of questions! Answering all of them would take a long time, as I'm afraid most of them are not grammatically correct. So I will answer the first one.

Yes, the reduced relative clause here should have an -ing form, not a baseform. So 'Are you the one who will come to my home tomorrow?' and 'Are you the one coming to my home tomorrow?' are both correct. Though note that we say 'go home', but 'come to my home'.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, There is sentence "Are you the person like that who needs to be reminded something again and again ?" and I think Its clause can't be reduced I don't know why but I feel little strange in making it like this- "Are you the person like that needing to be reminded something again and again ?" Could we make it like this or not and also where should we not reduce clause ? Please help understand...

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