participle adjectives

Participles as Adjectives, I

Participles are verb forms that serve different functions. They are found in continuous and perfect sentences, and the passive voice. Participles also serve as gerunds and adjectives.

Present Participles in Continuous Sentences

Present participles (“ing-forms”) act as predicates in continuous sentences.

● My father is reading the newspaper right now.
● Doug and Linda couldn’t come to the meeting last Thursday; they were entertaining guests at their home.
● Tomorrow, I will be shopping for a birthday present for my flatmate.


Past Participles in Perfect Sentences

We use past participles (“verb-3’s”) in perfect sentences.

● I have finished my homework. Now I’m going to my friend’s house.
● Mrs. Kartini has purchased a new photocopier for her business.
● Virtually everyone in our class has attended a summer camp.



A present participle serving as a noun is called a gerund:

● I enjoy eating figs and persimmons.
● Visiting the Galapagos Islands was once in a lifetime experiences for the students.
● Digging ditches is backbreaking work.


The Passive Voice

Past participles are also found in the passive voice:

● Most items in this store are made in China.
● Certain operations in the company have been outsourced.
● Taxes will be raised next year.

Participles as Adjectives

In this unit, we look at participles used as adjectives.

The basic rule is that the past participle (verb-3) describes how people feel while present participles (ing-form) describe the agent (thing or person) that makes us feel that way.

● The lecture on the birds of Madagascar was very interesting. The ornithologist gave a very interesting talk. The audience was very interested in the lecture.
● The students are bored. They think the lesson is boring. And they find the textbook rather boring.
● Everyone was thrilled with the ride! It was a thrilling ride! The ride was thrilling!





Ask, answer, or respond to the following. Say why and give examples.

Subjects and Topics

1. I’m very interested in politics, economics, and history. True or false?

2. My friend gets bored with ______________ .

3. Students in my class think opera, theater, ballet and drama are boring, while Medieval and Renaissance fairs are exciting, fascinating and fun. Yes or no?

4. Writing reports, essays, research papers is the most tedious (tiring) task. Do you agree?

5. The most interesting TV programs are documentaries and news specials. What do you think?


6. Is your job relaxing or is it taxing (exhausting) or in the middle?

7. How can fatigued workers or students become more motivated and energized?

8. My colleagues are worried about their future pensions or social security. Is this right or wrong? Do you know anyone who is concerned?

9. What is your friend or coworker tired of or annoyed with?

10. What is the most fulfilling career or occupation?


11. Doing business is exciting and fun. Competing in the open market is thrilling, like sports or a game. What do you think?

12. Are any of your friends or relatives intrigued by politics and economics?

13. People are driven (motivated) more by money than anything else. Do you agree?

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