Perfect Participles

A perfect participle is a participle that is used with an auxiliary verb to imply a special meaning. In this lesson, you will learn about perfect participle.

What Are Perfect Participles in English?

What Are Perfect Participles?

Perfect participles are a kind of participle that are used in combination with the verb 'have,' and imply a particular meaning.
Perfect participle is not technically a third type of participle. It is a grammatical phrase constructed by:
having + past participle.

Why Do We Use Perfect Participles?

Perfect participles are used to express actions or states that have just finished. They indicate that one action or event happened before another. Take a look at some examples:

Having talked to him, she felt awful.

Having started to rain, we decided not to leave home.

Structure of Perfect Participle

To make a perfect participle, all you have to do is to use the present participle form of the verb 'have' followed by the past participle of the main verb. So, the perfect participle is made of present and past participles. For example:

Having shouted at him, she left the room.

Having read the book, she spoiled all the story.

Using Perfect Participles

Perfect participles are followed by another clause that expresses the result or action by using a verb in the past tense. Here are a few examples:

Having done her homework, she could watch her favorite cartoon.

Having written the book, she felt relieved.

She cried, having been told that she couldn't pass the test.

Using Perfect Participles

Perfect Participles as Post-modifiers

Perfect participles can be placed after the subject of the clause and modify the subject. Check out these examples to learn more about them:

The girl having cooked tonight's dinner is a chef in a famous restaurant.

in this example, 'having cooked' is modifying 'the girl.'

The class having been cleaned recently is mine.

The Difference between Perfect Participles and Present Participles

Beside their structure and formation, perfect participles and present participles are used in different situations as well. We only use perfect participles when there is an action that has happened before another particular action in the main clause.
If the time of the earlier action is short or it nearly happens at the same time as the second action then we do not use perfect participles instead, we usually use present participle. For example:

Having sat down, he turned on the TV. → Sitting down, he turned on the TV.

Sleeping well the other day, she could stay up till late at night. → Having slept well the other day, she could stay up till late at night.

Negative Perfect Participles

To make a negative perfect participle, all you have to do is to add the adverb 'not' to the beginning of the perfect participle. Check out these examples for more clarification:

My sister left the country, not having said goodbye.

Not having paid the loan, he ditched his landlord.

Perfect Participles as Since-Clauses

The past perfect in passive voice can also be used instead of a since-clause. Check out the example to help you learn them:

Having been killed in his own building, the neighbors were the very first witnesses.

Since he had been killed in his own building, the neighbors were the very first witnesses.

Passive Perfect Participles

The structure of a passive perfect participle is: having + been + past participle. This formation is used when somebody else finished the earlier action. Here are the examples:

Having been caught, the thief admitted his crime.

In this example, the police caught the thief as an earlier action.

Having been hit by a car, she lost her feet.

Review

Perfect participle is a combination of the verb 'have' and the 'main verb'. The structure is as follows:

  • having + past participle

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