participle

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Old French participle (1388), ‘a noun-adjective’, variant of participe, from Latin participium.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

participle (plural participles)

  1. (grammar) A form of a verb that may function as an adjective or noun. English has two types of participles: the present participle and the past participle.

Usage notes[edit]

Participles can be combined with the auxiliary verbs have and be to form the perfect aspect, the progressive aspect, and the passive voice. The tense is always expressed through the auxiliary verb.

  • I have asked. (present tense, perfect aspect)
  • I am asking. (present tense, progressive aspect)
  • I am asked. (present tense, passive voice)

When not combined with have or be, participles are almost always adjectives and can form adjectival phrases called participial phrases. Nouns can occasionally be derived from these adjectives:

  • the following items
  • the following
  • the dying victims
  • the dying

In English, participles typically end in -ing, -ed or -en.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]