Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 187 | Grammar | Participle Clauses

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.


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