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🔔Grammar: Types of Participle Phrase**🔔
Participle phrases are an efficient way of giving more information about a noun and can often replace a defining relative clause. Compare these examples:
The man is very noisy. The man lives upstairs.
»The man who lives upstairs is very noisy. (defining relative clause)
»The man living upstairs is very noisy. (active participle clause)
The portrait was lovely. The portrait was painted by my brother.
»The portrait which was painted by mo brother was lovely. (defining relative clause)
»The portrait painted by my brother was lovely. (passive participle phrase)
We can only use a participle phrase to replace a defining relative clause if the subject of the main clause and the relative clause is the same. We can't use a participle phrase if there is another subject between the relative pronoun and the verb:
❌The house living in is over a century old.
✅The house which we live in is over a century old.
❌The man engaged to has disappeared.
✅The man who Trudy was engaged to has disappeared.
In defining phrases, we only use an active participle phrase (-ing form) when we are describing a continuing action or situation, We can't use an -ing form for a single completed action:
❌ The thief taking her bag has been arrested.
✅The thief who took her bag has been arrested. (single completed action)
Phrases of reason,condition, and result
Participle phrases can often operate like clauses of reason, condition, result, and time:
»(Full Clause) She will be unable to answer your queries because she is not qualified.
»(Participle Phrase) Not being qualified, she will be unable to answer your queries.
»(Full Clause) If you treat it gently, teh fabric should last for years.
»(Participle Phrase)Treated gently, the fabric should last for years.
»(Full Clause) The corporation shut down the plant, with the result that many workers were left unemployed.
»(Participle Phrase)The corporation shut down the plant, leaving many workers unemployed.
»(Full Clause) As we turned the corner we saw the hospital in front of us.
»(Participle Phrase)Turning the corner, we saw the hospital in front of us.
*Note that the result is often not intended:
I stayed at work rather late, missing my last train home.
We usually use -ing participle phrases when two actions happen at the same time, or one happens immediately after the other. The -ing participle usually describes the background or earlier action. This is similar to the use of the continuous aspect for actions in progress and background situations:
Leaving the motorway, we noticed an overturned truck on the verge. (=As/When we were leaving the motorway, we noticed ...)
Switching off the lights, I turned over and buried my head in the pillow. (=After I switched off the lights, I turned over ...)
In written English an -ing participle phrase often describes the setting or background situation:
Living in Los Angeles, Brad was one of those ever-optimistic movie wannabes.
Note: When we want to emphasise that one thing happened before another, we can use a perfect participle for the earlier action. The participle phrase can come before or after the main clause:
Having passed my driving test, I was able to buy my first car. (=After I had passed my driving test, ...)
I was able to buy my first car, having passed my driving test.
The perfect participle can also describe reasons or causes as these usually come before a result:
Having forgotten to take my keys, I had to borrow a set from my landlord. (=Becuase I had forgotten my keys, ...)
When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.
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