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Present Participle

What is the present participle? What is the difference between present participle and past participle? How do you make a present participle?

The Present Participle -ing
1) Most commonly we use the present participle -ing as an element in all continuous verb forms (the present continuous, the past continuous etc.). The auxiliary verb indicates the tense, while the present participle remains unchanging.

I was playing computer games all night. (past continuous)
2) The present participle is formed by adding -ing to the base form of the verb.

Verbs ending in -e drop -e and add -ing.

like – liking, write – writing

Verbs with one syllable, ending in one vowel and one consonant, double the consonant and add -ing.

sit – sitting, swim – swimming

Verbs ending -ie change -ie to -y and add -ing.

lie – lying, die – dying

The present participle is used not only to form verb tenses. It can be used:

a) after verbs of movement and position (often after the verb to go).

She went shopping.
They came running towards me.

b) after verbs of perception in the pattern verb + object + present participle to indicate the action being perceived.

We saw him moving the lawn.
Liz heard someone singing.

c) after verbs of movement, action, or position to indicate parallel activity.

He sat looking at the pedestrians.
July walks reading her newspaper.

d) as an adjective.

Have you heard of that amazing movie?
The family was trapped inside the burning barn.

e) to explain the cause or reason. The present participle is used instead of a phrase starting with as, since, because.

Feeling hungry, I made myself a sandwich. (=I made myself a sandwich because I was hungry.)

Knowing that his roommate was coming, James cleaned the living room. (=James cleaned the living room as he knew that his roommate was coming.)

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