Definition: A participle is a word formed from a verb that can function as part of a verb phrase.

There are two participles: The present participle and the past participle. They can both be used as adjectives.

Present participle
The present participle is formed by adding "-ing" to the base form of a verb. It is used in:

  1. Continuous or Progressive verb forms
    • I'm leaving in five minutes.
    • The girl is swimming
  2. As an adjective
    • A dying man
    • Your mother is a charming person
  3. As a gerund
    • He is afraid of flying.

Note the exceptions in spelling when adding "ing":

Exception Example
Final e dropped (but: ee is not changed) come coming
agree - agreeing
Final consonant after short, stressed vowel is doubled sit sitting
Final consonant l after vowel is always doubled (in British English) travel travelling
Final ie becomes y lie lying

Past participle
The past participle is formed by adding "-ed" to the base form, unless it is an irregular verb. It is used:

  1. As an adjective
    • A tired group
    • Spoken words cannot be revoked.
  2. With the auxiliary verb "have" to form the perfect aspect
    • The gas station has closed
    • They've just arrived.
  3. With the verb "be" to form the passive
    • He was robbed a couple of days ago.
    • The letter was written.

Note the following exceptions in spelling when adding "ed":

Exceptions when adding ed Example
after a final e, only add d love loved
final consonant after a short, stressed vowel
or l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled
admit admitted
travel travelled
final y after a consonant becomes i hurry hurried

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