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The Participle and the Participle Phrase Verbals and Verbal Phrases • A VERBAL is a word that is formed from a verb but is used as a noun, an adjective or an adverb. • There are 3 types of verbals • The participle • The gerund • The infinitive The Participle • A participle is a verb form that can be used as an adjective. • 1. Present participles end in –ing • Ex) The smiling child waved. – Smiling, a form of the verb smile, modifies the noun child. • Ex) The horses trotting past were not frightened by the crowd. – Trotting, a form of the verb trot, modifies the noun horses. • 2. Most past participles end in –d or –ed. Some past participles are irregularly formed. Examples • Ex.) The police officers searched the abandoned warehouse. – Abandoned, a form of the verb abandon, modifies the noun, warehouse. • Ex.) This plate, bought at a flea market, is a valuable antique. • Ex.) Chosen for her leadership abilities, Dawn was an effective team captain. *One last Tip: • Do not confuse a participle used as an adjective with a participle used as part of a verb phrase. • ADJECTIVE: Planning their trip, the class learned how to read a road map. • VERB PHRASE: While they were planning their trip, the class learned how to read a road map. The Participial Phrase • A participal phrase consists of a participal and any modifiers or complements the participle has. The entire phrase is used as an adjective. • A participle may be modified by an adverb or an adverb phrase and may also have a complement, usually a direct object. Examples • Seeing itself in the mirror, the duck seemed quite amused. • The participal phrase modifies the noun duck. The pronoun itself is the direct object of the present participle seeing. The adverb phrase in the mirror modifies the present participle seeing. Examples • After a while , we heard the duck quacking noisily at its own image. • The participal phrase modifies the noun duck. The adverb noisily and the adverb phrase at its own image modify the present participle quacking. Examples: • Then, disgusted with the other duck, it pecked the mirror. • The participal phrase modifies the pronoun it. The adverb phrase with the other duck modifies the past participle disgusted. • A participial phrase should be placed as close as possible to the word it modifies. Otherwise, the phrase may appear to modify another word and the sentence may not make sense. • MISPLACED: Slithering through the grass, I saw a snake trimming the hedges this morning. • CORRECTED: Trimming the hedges this morning, I saw a snake slithering through the grass.
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