Present and Past Participles By Marsha Barrow A participle is: • a verbal (a verb form used as another part of speech). • a verb form used as an adjective. The present participle and the past participle of a verb can be used as an adjective. Remember that adjectives answer the questions: what kind? how many? which one? So, the participle will do the same thing. Examples: The running track is covered with mud. running is the participle, describing the noun, track The tired animal walked slowly across the highway. tired is the participle, describing the noun, animal A participle can come before or after the noun or pronoun it modifies. Examples: The depressing news on the television made us sad. Most of the news on television is depressing. Irregular past participles are used as adjectives also. Examples: burnt toast forgotten memories fallen leaf broken heart The mangled pair of sunglasses, bruised face, broken arm, and bleeding knees meant Gary had taken another spill on his mountain bike. • Which pair of sunglasses? The mangled pair. • Which face? The bruised one. • Which arm? The broken one. • Which knees? The bleeding ones.