One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A participle is a word formed from a verb, usually by adding -d, -ed, or -ing.
There are two kinds of participle in English, as follows:
The present participle
The present participle ends with -ing, e.g.:
We are going to Italy.
The company is building new headquarters in the UK.
The past participle
The past participle ends with -d or -ed for regular verbs, e.g.:
She had decided to go to Italy.
Fans had camped outside the studio.
and with -t or -en or some other form for irregular ones, e.g.:
New houses are still being built.
The glass is broken.
Participles are used:
We are going to Italy. [present continuous]
She had decided to go to Italy. [past perfect]
to form the passive voice of verbs (the past participle only is used, along with the auxiliary verb to be:
We were ordered to sit down.
as adjectives, e.g.:
The pavement was covered with broken glass.
He stared at me with bulging eyes.
as nouns, e.g.:
She was a woman of good breeding.
Len was ordered to cut down on his drinking.
When a present participle is used as a noun, as in the last two examples above, it’s known as a verbal noun or a gerund. Here are two more examples of verbal nouns:
Smoking is strictly forbidden.
Camping attracts people of all ages.
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