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A participle is a word formed from
a verb which can be used as an adjective.



past participle (usually ending -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n).
We usually use the past participle
(ending in –ed/irr) to talk about how
someone feels:
• I was really bored during the flight (NOT: I was
really boring during the flight).
• She's interested in history (NOT: She's really
interesting in history).
• John's frightened of spiders (NOT: John's
frightening of spiders).
We usually use the present participle
(ending in -ing) to talk about the person,
thing, or situation which has caused the

• It was such a long, boring flight (so I was

• I read a really interesting book about history
(so I was interested).
• Many people find spiders frightening (so
they're frightened when they see spiders).
Be careful! : 'I'm boring' is ≠ 'I'm bored'!
'I'm boring' means I cause other people to be bored.

• I was talking to such a (bore..) guy at the

party. He talked about himself for an hour!
• She's a really (interest..) woman. She's lived
all over the world and speaks five languages.
• My maths teacher at school was
really (frighten..)! He was always shouting at
the students.
These participle adjectives make their
comparative by using 'more' (not -er) and their
superlative by using 'most' (not -est):.
• I was more frightened of dogs than spiders
when I was a child.
• That book is more boring than this one.
• For 24 hours on the flight to Australia, I was
the most bored I've ever been.
• I think this is the most interesting talk we've
heard today.
a. My nephew was (amused / amusing) by the
b. I'm feeling (depressed / depressing) , so I'm
going to go home, eat some chocolate, and
go to bed early with a good book.
c. John was (fascinated / fascinating) by
Mandarin when he first started learning
languages. He decided to study more and
now he can speak it fluently.
d. Sometimes I get really (frustrated /
frustrating) when I can't express myself well
in English.
satisfying satisfied
John loves his new job as a teacher. He I'm very satisfied that I managed to order
says it's very satisfying when he makes a the meal in French.
student understand.

shocking shocked
What a shocking crime! It's terrible. I was shocked when my co-worked
admitted stealing some money.

surprising surprised
It's surprising how many people don't want She was surprised when she arrived at her
to travel to another country. class and found the other students doing
an exam. She'd thought it was a normal

terrifying terrified
What a terrifying dog! It's huge! My little son is terrified of the dark. We
always leave a light on in his room at
Participle Phrases
It is really common to see participles in participle phrases. A
participle phrase also acts like an adjective. In the examples
below, the participle phrases are underlined and the participles
are in bold

• The man carrying the bricks is my father. (The participle

phrase carrying the bricks describes the the man.)
• She showed us a plate of scones crammed with cream. (The
participle phrase crammed with cream describes the scones.)
• Whistling the same tune as always, Ted touched the front of
his cap with his forefinger as she dismounted.(The participle
phrase Whistling the same tune as always describes Ted.)
Susan who was dressed
• Dressed in her elegant gown, Susan looked like a
Matt who was standing
• Standing on the hill, Matt could see the entire

• Standing on the hill, the entire valley is was
in view
• A laughing man is stronger than a suffering man. (Gustave
Flaubert, 1821-1880)

• If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will

not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog
and a man. (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

• The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams. (Tupac

"Being unsure of what to do next, Paul decided to wait for his boss to give
him instructions."
Who is not sure about something?
- Paul. - Paul's boss -you

Dressed in his finest clothes, Cal went to the party with high confidence.
What type of participle is 'dressed'?
- present participle adjective
- past participle adjective.

Kelly left the interview __________ confident about her chances.

- Felt - she felt - feeling. -because feeling

The controversial bill _________ forth by the senator from Michigan for a vote was
likely the reason he failed to get re-elected.
- Bring - that brought -brought. - was brought

The man who is yelling at Bill is his boss.

Which of the following means the same as the sentence above?
- The man Bill is yelling at is his boss
- Bill's is yelling at Bill's boss
- The man yelling at Bill is his boss
- The yelling man is his boss.