How can a participle be past, present, or dangling?

1 Answer
Jan 7, 2017

A participle is a form of a verb.


There are present and past participles , and present participles can act as adjectives and modify nouns .

(1) In one group of English verbs,

Some Infinitives are :
to walk, to carry, to type, to talk

Their present participles end in "-ing":
I am walking / carrying / typing / talking

and their past participle ends in "-ed":
I have walked / carried / typed / talked

This group of verbs merely adds "-ed" to form the past participle; the internal spelling doesn't change:
I walk, I walked, I have walked
I carry, I carried, I have carried
I type, I typed, I have typed
I talk, I talked, I have talked

(2) In another group of English-language verbs,

Some Infinitives are :
to swim, to run, to do, to give, to bring, to think, to see, to read

Their present participles are:
I am swimming / running / doing / giving / bringing / thinking / seeing / reading

and their past participles are:
I have swum / run / done / given / brought / thought / seen / read

This group of verbs changes internally to form the past tense and past participle:
I swim, I swam, I have swum,
I run, I ran, I have run
I do, I did, I have done
I give, I gave, I have given
I bring, I brought, I have brought
I think, I thought, I have thought
I see, I saw, I have seen

A dangling participle is a present participle that appears to modify a word in the sentence other than the one it's supposed to modify, as "plunging", in "Plunging hundreds of feet into the gorge, we saw Yosemite Falls" . {re-stated, from}

The people didn't go plunging, the falls did.

Check out this newspaper headline:
"Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant".

The defendant shot someone; the court is not going to shoot him.

"Shooting" is a present participle acting as an adjective that modifies "defendant".