9 Grammar Phrases PARTICIPIAL PHRASES Phrase A phrase is a group of words, without a subject and verb, that functions in a sentence as one part of speech. Participles A participle is a form of a verb that can act as an adjective Participles describe nouns or pronouns As adjectives, participles answer the questions Which one? or What kind? about the nouns and pronouns they modify Present participles always end in –ing Past participles usually end in –ed, sometimes -en Examples of Participles Present Participles Past Participles It was a taxing day. I drank chilled cider. The smiling child Throw out that waved. broken cup. Function – Verb or Participle? Verb She coveted the ring Participle The coveted ring was soon hers. The accountant is swindling his clients. The swindling accountant was apprehended. Participial Phrases When participles have complements or modifiers of their own, they become participial phrases The entire phrase acts as an adjective in the sentence Punctuating Participial Phrases When a participial phrase is not essential to the sentence, set it off with commas or other punctuation. Mark, running with his scissors, should be stopped. When a participial phrase is essential to the sentence, it is not enclosed in punctuation. The boy running with those scissors should be stopped. Improve your Writing Participial phrases can be used to combine short choppy sentences. That The girl is my sister. She is looking at us. girl looking at us is my sister. Improve your Writing Participial phrases can be used to add details and clarity to your writing. Sadeo had his reward. Sadeo, searching the spot of black in the twilight sea that night, had his reward. (Pearl S. Buck, “The Enemy”) The sun rose clear and bright. The sun rose clear and bright, tinging the foamy crests of the waves with reddish purple. (Alexander Dumas, Count of Monte Cristo) Improve your Writing Participial phrases can be used as sentence openers, subject-verb splits, or sentence closers. Whistling, he let the escalator waft him into the still night air. (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451) Eckels, balanced on the narrow path, aimed his rifle playfully. (Ray Bradbury, A Sound of Thunder) The entire crowd gathered in the saloon about me now, urging me to drink. (Richard Wright, Black Boy) Practice 3 Combining 27. A pile of new debris cluttered up the driveway, and the new tenants, gazing at the disgrace, watched with heavy hearts. Practice 3 Combining 28. The dog sat up, his mouth clenching the rolled newspaper, wagging his tail, and begged a reward. Practice 3 Combining 29. The upholstered pieces, the expensive, polished tables had been moved into the huge dining room, covered with endless painter’s cloths so that they would be protected from the spatterings of paint. Practice 3 Combining 30. The meeting that had been like a marathon among meetings continued, and the leader deliberated about his strategy, stalling after the last remarks from the representative with whom he had planned so many emergency ploys focusing upon every conceivable tactic for the suppression of the opposition.