To get to know participle clauses, first of all, you have to be familiar with the concept of participles and clauses separately.
What Is a Participle Clause?
Participle clauses are subordinate, non-finite clauses that begin with a participle. They take a long sentence or structure and make it shorter.
Participle clauses are common in written English, especially literary, academic or journalistic style, because they allow us to include information without making long or complicated sentences.
Participle Clauses: Functions
A participle clause can function as:
- an adjective
- an adverb
- a noun
Participle Clauses Functioning as Adjectives
A participle clause can often functions as an adjective modifying a noun or a pronoun. When it functions as an adjective, the participle clause usually directly follows the noun. For example:
Three old men
Participle Clauses Functioning as Adverbs
Participle clauses can also function as adverbs giving information about the time, reasons, results, conditions, etc. of the events in the sentence.
Participle Clauses Functioning as Nouns
Only present participle clauses can function as a noun, for example, as the subject of a sentence:
Participle Clauses: Types
There are different types of participles, therefore, different types of participle clauses. We have:
Present Participle Clauses
We use the present participle:
- to show that two actions are taking place simultaneously
- to show that an action is the result of the other action
The volcano erupted,
- to show that an action is the reason of the other action
- to show extra information about the subject of the main clause
Past Participle Clauses
We use the past participle:
- To shorten a passive clause
- To show condition similar to an if condition
- To give the reason for an action
- To add extra information about the subject of the main clause
Perfect Participle Clauses
'Perfect participle' clauses are used to indicate a finished action that was finished before the action in the main clause. 'Perfect participles' are used to make either active or passive sentences.
Participle Clauses: Form
A 'participle clause' is used when the participle and the verb in the main clause have the same subject. Here's an example:
The Tense in Participle Clauses
These types of clauses do not have a specific tense. The tense in the main clause would decide the tense of the participle clause.
It is very important to remember that participle verbs do not change their form to show tense and they just mimic the tense of the main clause.
Participle Clauses: Negation
To make any kind of participles negative, all we have to do is to add the word 'not' before the participles. check out the examples:
Participle Clauses with Prepositions and Conjunctions
Prepositions such as 'before, after, instead of, on, since, when, while, and in spite of are common to be used after participles (especially present participles).
Finally, all sorts of prepositions can be followed by a participle to further emphasize or clarify events' order, time, cause, and effect.
Participle clauses begin with a participle. They are used to shorten a long structure or sentence. Remember participle clauses are non-finite. Participle clauses are used to express:
- same ideas
- What Is a Participle Clause?
- Participle Clauses: Form
- The Tense in Participle Clauses
- Participle Clauses: Negation
- Participle Clauses with Prepositions and Conjunctions