What Is A Participle?


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A participle is a word which is formed from a verb. The present participle in English is always recognisable as it ends in -ing (lookiing, playing...) The past participle in irregular verbs ends in -ed; in irregular ones, it's the third or present perfect form (eaten, driven, worn...)
Used as a verb in combination with an auxiliary ("help verb"), the participle gives information about when something is happening: "we are/were walking", "he has/had fallen." The past participle with "to be" forms the passive voice: "I was robbed."
It can also be used to turn verbs into adjectives, e.g. "folding umbrella", "padded jacket." Occasionally this can cause uncertainty; for instance, "working man" could mean "man who is working at the moment" or "man who works for a living (probably manually"). If in doubt, use a hyphen for the adjective form ("working-man.")
A few participles have become fixed as adjectives and are no longer used as verbs at all: "rotten apples," "drunken drivers."

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