Welcome back to another ESL podcast, and today’s podcast is going to be about the complexity of participle clauses. Now, having taught in upcountry two months ago, I realized that participles are often confused with gerunds. Before we get into that , we normally use participle clauses to avoid repetition and say things in a more concise way. We use the present participle to convey an active meaning while the past participle has a passive meaning. They both look like -ed and -ing adjectives, at times.
Seeing the vast range of food on offer, i couldn’t help wanting to buy everything.
Given enough support, they should be able to complete the task.
If we want to say that one thing happened before another, we can use a perfect participle.
Having spoken to him on several occasions, I’m surprised he didn’t recognize me.
We use participle clauses:
- to replace a relative clause.
Many of the children spoken to in the survey said they were satisfied with the facilities.
(Many of the children who were spoken to…)
- to replace a conjunction with because or so.
Being too far to walk, we decided to get a bus home.
(Because it was too far…./it was too far……so)
- to replace a conjunction with after, when or once.
Having read a review of the film, I no longer wanted to watch it.
(Once I had read…./after reading….)
- to replace a conjunction with while.
He ripped his trousers climbing over the fence.
(while he was climbing…)
- to replace the if clause in a conditional.
Taken with just a little milk, tea is one of the most refreshing drinks.
(If it is taken….)
Although the subject is usually the same, the participle clause can have a different subject from the main clause.
All the other children having been collected, Alex started to wonder where his mother could be.