A participle is used as an adjective and ends in various ways. A present participle always ends with ing as does the gerund, but remember that it is an adjective. A past participle ends with ed, n, or irregularly. Examples: played, broken, brought, sung, seeing, having seen, being seen, seen, having been seen. Participles modify nouns and pronouns and can precede or follow the word modified. (Do not confuse participles that end in ing with gerunds. Participles are used as adjectives; gerunds are used as nouns.)
A participial phrase is made up of a participle and any complements (direct objects, predicate nominatives, predicate adjectives, or modifiers) like the gerund. A participial phrase that comes at the beginning of the sentence is always followed by a comma and modifies the subject of the sentence.
Instructions: Find the participial phrases in these sentences and tell what word they modify.
1. Taking my time, I hit the basket.
2. Shouting angrily, the man chased the thief.
3. Exhausted from the hike, Jim dropped to the ground.
4. Grinning sheepishly, the boy asked for a date.
5. Trying to open the gate, I tore my coat.
–For answers scroll down.
1. Taking my time modifies the subject I
2. Shouting angrily modifies the subject man
3. Exhausted from the hike modifies the subject Jim
4. Grinning sheepishly modifies the subject boy
5. Trying to open the gate modifies the subject I
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