Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 112 – Grammar – Participle Clauses

Another great sentence variation for you writers out there who are looking to improve your writing. You guys will love this!

Using the present participle

Walking to the shops, I bumped into an old friend.

Having walked to the shops, I started to buy the items on my list.

Using the past participle

Caught by the police, the gang confessed.

The subject of the participle clause must be the same as in the other half of the sentences.

Seeing him there, I waved.

We use the present participles (doing, watching, walking, etc) to talk about actions happening at the same time.

Running to catch the bus, I twisted my ankle. = When I was running to catch the bus, I twisted my ankle. 

We use the perfect form of the present participles (having done, having watched, having walked, etc) to say that this activity happened before the next activity in the sentence.

Having seen the weather forecast, we cancelled the excursion – After we had seen the weather forecast, we cancelled the excursion.

We can also use participles to explain the reason for something.

Needing a rest, I sat down. = Because i needed a rest, I sat down.

We use past participles as an alternative to the passive.

Watched by millions, the program was an immediate hit. = The program was watched by millions and was an immediate hit.


Choose the correct alternative. In on case, both alternatives are possible

  1. Damaged by the storm, the sailors/the boat managed to get back safely to the port.
  2. Being/been a good swimmer, she managed to get to the shore.
  3. After meeting/Having met her, I wasn’t surprised she managed to survive.
  4. When climbing/having climbed, you must pay complete attention.
  5. Written in true style, I really enjoyed this story/this story is one of my favourites.
  6. Blaming/Blamed for the accident, the workers lost their jobs.


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