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a)In this function the participle may precede its head-word. Usually it is a single participle.

Boiling water turns to steam.

The team was welcomed by cheering crowds.

The experiment must be done under controlled conditions.

Sometimes we can put an adverb before the participle.

fanatically cheering crowds

properly trained staff

We cannot use longer phrases.

b) A single participle often comes after its head-word.

We couldn’t agree on any of the problems discussed.

The people questioned gave very different opinion.

I watched the match because I knew some of the people playing. (=…the people who were playing).

Those is often used with Participle II to mean “the ones who are/were…”.

Most of those questioned refused to answer.

A few participles change their meaning according to their position.

Compare: a concerned expression (‘worried’)

the people concerned (‘the people who are affected, involved’)

c) If the participle has accompanying words, as a rule it follows its head-word.

Who is this fat man sitting in the corner?

Applications sent in after 23rd March will not be considered.

d) Participle I Perfect Active and Passive is never used as an attribute, as Participle I in this function cannot express priority: a relative clause must be used instead.

The gang who stole the jewels got away.

Participle I Indefinite Passive is seldom used attributively.

Industrial training is the subject being discussed in Parliament this afternoon.

e) An attribute expressed by the participle may be detached (“loose”), i.e. it has a certain independence in the sentence, the connection between the participle and its head-word is loose. A detached attribute is usually separated by a comma. In meaning, it is close to an adverbial modifier.

To Robin, sunbathingon the beach, all his problems seemed far away.

The housekeeper went out of her room, attracted by the ringing of the bell.

16.2. Adverbial Modifier

In this function, Participle I is often, and Participle II always, used after conjunctions when, while, as if/though, if, etc.

Participial adverbial modifiers are rather literary.


- Adverbial Modifier of Time

Kate fell asleep watching television last night.

If the action expressed by the Participle I is simultaneous with that of the finiteverb, the conjunction when or while is often used.

Mike hurt his hand while playing badminton.

The participial adverbial modifier can come first.

Coming up the steps, I fell over.

It may also come at the end of the sentence.

She took a note from her purse, slamming it down on the counter.

Participle I Indefinite of the verb to be is not used as an adverbial modifier of time. It is an adverbial modifier of cause. Time can be expressed by a clause(When you are ready…, When he was a boy,…) or a phrase (When ready,…, When a boy,…).

While in Germany, he got to know a family of musicians.

Participle II in this function is used after the conjunctions while, when(ever), until, once.

This pattern is common in instructions.

Once opened, the contents should be consumed within three days.

-Adverbial Modifier of Comparison

In this function, the Participle is used after the conjunctions as if and as though.

He said it as if thinking aloud.

Mrs. Carrington shook her head as if lost in wonder.


Participle I is also used as an adverbial modifier of


Being rather busy, I completely forgot the time.

Not feeling very well, James decided to lie down.

- manner and attendant circumstances:

They dumped waste into the river, killing all the fish.

Participle II is also used as an adverbial modifier of

- condition:

If taken daily, vitamin pills can improve your health.

- concession:

Though asked, she would not say a word.

16.3. Predicative

The terrorists’ car was stolen. (=It was not theirs.)

Compare: The car was stolen by the terrorists. (=the Passive form, denotes an action)

His indifference was infuriating.

16.4. Part of Compound Verbal Predicate (See 18.2.)

Presently other footsteps were heard crossing the hall below.

The jewels were believed lost.

16.5. Part of a Complex Object (See 18.1.)

Have you ever heard a nightingale singing?

I can make myself understood very well in French.

16.6. Participle I is used as a Parenthesis.

Strictly speaking, you can’t come in here unless you are a club member.

Broadly speaking, …; Considering everything,…

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