For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-4. If you would prefer to dive straight into note 59, then please read on…
Yesterday in note 58, I talked about past participles which have different rules for regular and irregular verbs. Present participles don’t appear to be like that.
According to John Seely in his book the Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation, the present participle is “a form of the verb made by adding –ing to the verb stem (if the verb stem ends in e, that letter is removed)”. It can also be used to form continuous tenses and in non-finite clauses which I have included in the examples below.
- Verb stem: Look
- Present participle: Looking
- It’s use with continuous tenses: I am looking (present continuous tense)
- It’s use with non-finite clauses: The men looking at him were frowning
Explanation of last point: ‘Looking at him’ is a non-finite clause containing no finite auxiliary verb; you will notice that although the words ‘who were’ are missing, the sentence still makes sense. The long form would be ‘The men who were looking at him were frowning’.
- Verb stem: Cheat
- Present participle: Cheating
- It’s use with continuous tenses: I was cheating (past continuous tense)
- It’s use with non-finite clauses: The pupil cheating in the exam got away with it.
Explanation of last point: ‘Cheating in the exam’ is a non-finite clause containing no finite auxiliary verb; you will notice that although the words ‘who was’ are missing, the sentence still makes sense. The long form would be ‘The pupil who was cheating in the exam got away with it’.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Past and present participles can be quite fun and easy to work out once you know how. I’m unsure what I am going to blog about tomorrow, so if you have any requests please let me know. Otherwise, we’ll hopefully meet again at note 60!
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John Seely The Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation, USA