Can any one of you tell me what exactly a past participle is and provide examples?It might sound silly and I didnt know where to post. Its a grammar related question. I find it very difficult to...

Can any one of you tell me what exactly a past participle is and provide examples?

It might sound silly and I didnt know where to post. Its a grammar related question.

I find it very difficult to explain pastparticiple to my students reason being I never understood it properly. It is one of the non finite verb and non finite verbs does not have tense subject or number but these verbs of past participle are in past tense.

 

Asked on by siri1987

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Wow, you sound like me when it comes to grammar! I teach English as well, and quake when it comes to teaching technical grammar. It is one thing to recognize or know what something is, but a completely different thing when it comes to defining it for others and providing exemplary examples.

To begin with an example:

Crying, he stumbled away from his wrecked bicycle.

Okay, the past participle is "wrecked" and it modifies "bicycle". Here, "crying" is also a participle, but a present one.

A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and most often ends in -ing or -ed. The term verbal indicates that a participle, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, since they function as adjectives, participles modify nouns or pronouns. There are two types of participles: present participles and past participles. Present participles end in -ing. Past participles end in -ed, -en, -d, -t, -n, or -ne as in the words asked, eaten, saved, dealt, seen, and gone.

Now if you are anything like me, this definition makes no sense! You simply have to find a way for it to make sense and then you will be more effective in teaching it.

So here is my "cheat", let us go back to my example:

Crying, he stumbled away from his wrecked bicycle.

"He stumbled away." This is a complete sentence. Participles help to define how things are using verbals (verb forms). We know what verbs are: actions. Verbals are verb words used in a different fashion.

He was crying as he stumbled away. The main verb is stumbled given this is what he did. "Crying" is how he stumbled away, therefore is a present participle. "Wrecked" is the action that describes the bike- therefore a participle and since it ends in "ed" it is a past participle.

One website that I always turn to is Owl at Purdue. It is wonderful for those tough grammar and writing questions. I am constantly using it and passing it out to students.

I hope that I did not confuse you further. Good luck.

 

 

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