Participial Phrases

9 Grammar
 A phrase is a group of words, without
a subject and verb, that functions in a
sentence as one part of speech.
 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
broken cup.
Function – Verb or Participle?
 She coveted the ring
 The coveted ring was
soon hers.
 The accountant is
swindling his clients.
 The swindling
accountant was
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
 Mark,
running with his scissors, should be
 When a participial phrase is essential to the
sentence, it is not enclosed in punctuation.
 The
boy running with those scissors should be
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.
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