To make a modifier (adjective or adverb) from a verb, you should use a participle. English has two participles: the present participle and the past participle.
How to Make the Present Participle
Make the present participle using:
Note: the present participle looks exactly like a gerund (a verb that works like a noun), but they do different jobs.
Uses of the Present Participle
Present participles are used to do the following:
- Make the continuous aspect (sometimes called the progressive - "to be doing");
- Modify a noun (like an adjective);
- Modify a verb or sentence (like an adverb).
|1. The continuous/progressive aspect:||
I am sitting in my chair, listening to music.
While I was watching TV, the phone rang.
When will you be coming back?
|2. Modifying noun:||
I can hear a crying baby.
What an interesting movie!
I really hate going to long boring meetings.
|3. Modifying a verb or sentence:||
He went running.
She spoke, chewing gum.
Speaking of holidays, I am going to Fiji.
Improve your writing with present participles
Most people know how to do (1) and (2) above and use a participle to make a progressive. However, a sign of more sophisticated writing is using an -ING verb to modify a sentence or verb. Try doing that now and write a few example sentences for a teacher to check!
- Both the gerund (e.g. "talking") and the present participle (e.g. "talking") look the same in English. For a learner it is probably best just to think about [VERB]+ing. However, a gerund works like a noun whereas a present participle is a modifier.
- Often it is impossible for a learner to know if something is a gerund or a present participle just by looking at it. You must look at the job the word does in the sentence.
- Present participles are active; A past participle can be active or passive.