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The Present Participle
The present particle form of a word contains the –ing suffix. They are used for many parts of speech. To identify which form they take, one must pay attention to their positioning the sentence. For the following lesson, we will be using forms of these verbs as examples: fish, type, discover, run, decide, love.
When used as verbs, the present participle takes the form of the present progressive tense, past progressive, future progressive and future forms.
I am cooking right now, can you call back later?
We were fishing all afternoon.
Tom is studying so please be quiet.
We will be working hard this weekend while everyone else will be playing!
I am leaving for New York on Friday! (future tense)
They would have been starting their first year of university this September, if only they had been accepted in a school! (3rd conditional)
Convert and use the rest of the verbs above into sentences using a different progressive form.
Describe what you did last weekend, last night, etc. using present participles as verbs.
Sometimes verbs function as nouns when they contain the –ing suffix. These are called gerunds.
Fishing is fun.
We love playing tennis in the summer.
My favourite hobby is going shopping.
Eating out at restaurants can be bad for your health.
Sometimes English-learners are confused when they should use a gerund or if the word they are using is a gerund. If you are unsure, and want to test yourself, replace the gerund that you would use in a sentence with a word that you definitely know is an uncountable noun, such as coffee or love. If the sentence is a grammatically correct sentence, then the word is a gerund.
So, if you were unsure about the above examples, you could replace them with the noun love:
Love is fun.
We enjoy love in the summer.
My favourite hobby is love.
Love can be bad for your health.
These are grammatically correct sentences (even though they may not seem to make sense), therefore fishing, playing tennis, going shopping, and eating out at restaurants are all gerunds.
Also, gerunds are sometimes replaced by the infinitive of its verb-form. However, this is rare, and sounds philosophical or poetic.
To fish is fun.
To live to a hundred years old is an amazing feat!
Convert and use the rest of the verbs above into gerunds and use them in sentences
Describe some activities that you like and dislike doing using present participles as gerunds.
Verbs forms with the –ing are used to describe nouns, functioning as adjectives.
He always wears running shoes, even to work!
I need to get my reading glasses before I read the newspaper.
What is the cooking time for this chicken?
You will find him down at the fishing hole.
Use the above verbs as adjectives to describe the following nouns: person, station, shoes, area
Describe some items of clothing and other objects that you own.
Heads of Participial Phrases: Adverbs
Often, verbs that are contained in subordinate clauses are reduced and act as adverbs in Participial Phrases.
Because he was fishing all afternoon, he forgot that he had to cook dinner.
Since they are never doing their homework, they always get poor grades.
Due to the fact that I am considering Hawaii too expensive, we are going camping on our holiday.
Fishing all afternoon, he forgot that he had to cook dinner.
Never doing their homework, they always get poor grades.
Considering Hawaii too expensive, we are going camping on our holiday.
Use the above verbs first for a subordinate clause, then reduce them and use them as a head of a participial phrase.