Participial Phrases



Participial Phrases :



Participle Clauses

1. I saw a girl standing in the pond.
2. I saw a girl who was standing in the pond.

1. Most of the people invited to the reception were old friends.
2. Most of the people who had been invited to the reception were old friends.

1. When he saw the policeman, he hid behind a fence.
2. Seeing the policeman, he hid behind a fence.

1. Spring advancing, the swallows appear.
2. When spring advances, the swallows appear.

1. God willing, it may rain.
2. If God is willing, it may rain.

Note :

Absolute phrases or participle phrases can be changed into subordinate clauses and vice versa.

The participle phrase is usually adjectival. There are three main structures in which it is used.

The pattern is….

Adjectival + Subject + Verb + the rest of the sentence
Going into the chemist's / I / met / Mrs. Booma.

(Being) covered in mud / the footballers / played / on.
Surprised by the sudden rain, / she / quickened / her pace.

The participle phrase comes at the end.

The pattern is…

Subject + Verb + Adjectival

1. Nicola sat in the sun wondering what the future would bring.
2. I walked slowly on aching in every joint.
3. The child was lying there trying to get up.

The participial phrase may also come in the middle of the sentence.

The pattern is….

Subject + Adjective + Verb

1. My car + skidding wildly + crashed into a tree.
2. The damage + caused by the storm + was dreadful.
3. The coffee + served after dinner + was black and strong.


Sometimes the participial phrase is adverbial. It then usually expresses reason.

This adverbial phrase can come in the same three positions as the adjectival. But the commonest position is at the beginning of the sentence.

1. Having lost his purse once, Reagan became more cautious.
2. Thinking she must be late, Mrs. Booma took a taxi.
3. Not wishing to make a noise, I took off my shoes.
4. Feeling ill, my wife decided to go to bed.
5. Tired by a hard day's work, Mr. West stayed at home.

Study the following. Study the participial phrases in the sentences below.

1. Generally speaking, we receive what we deserve.
2. Having gained truth, keep truth.
3. The fat of the body is fuel laid away for use.
4. Encouraged by his wife, he persevered.
5. Mr. Davis, looking beautifully sunburnt, told us about his holiday on the Rivieria.
6. We lay in the tent listening to the rain, falling on the light canvas.
7. The train, arriving at platform four, is the fast one to Delhi.
8. The person, climbing up the cliff, looks as if he will fall.
9. Surprised by the sudden rain, the little girl ran for shelter.
10. Anu could not move the table screwed as it was to the floor.

Study the following. Note the Participial Phrases and the clauses.

1. While I was walking along the street one day, I met with an accident.

2. Walking along the street one day, I met with an accident.


1. Having done my day's work, I came out to look at the sunset.

2. After I had done my day's work, I came out to look at the beautiful sunset.


1. Following my advice, you will reach your target.

2. If you follow my advice, you will reach your target.


1. Possessing all the advantages of education, wealth and status, he failed to make a name in life.

2. Even though he possessed all the advantages of education, wealth and status, he failed to make a name in life.


1. Having finished her shopping, Mrs. Jones went home.

2. Mrs. Jones had finished her shopping. She went home.

Participial Phrases



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