Advanced English Grammar: Participles

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Hi.

Welcome to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam.

In today's video we're going to look at participles.

Now, this is a little bit more advanced grammar, but it's very useful and it's used in everyday

speaking, but especially for writing and reading because you're going to see participles everywhere.

What participles do is they help you get sentence variety, they help you make your sentences

shorter, if necessary, they give you a little bit of style.

Okay?

There are two participles that we need to look at, they are called the active or passive participle.

Sometimes you'll see them as present or past participle.

Past participles, you're familiar with.

Sometimes they're called the verb three, so: "eat", past tense "ate", past participle is "eaten".

Right?

So that's the participle.

Now, especially with the "ing" you have to be careful because "ing" words, although they

are verbs with "ing", they can be pretty much anything.

They could be a gerund, as you know, so they're nouns; they could be part of the continuous

verb, so "be going", so: "I am going", it's a continuous action; but "ing" words can also

be adjectives and adverbs.

When they are adjectives and adverbs they are actually participles.

So it's very important to recognize them and know how to use them.

So what I want to do first is I want to look at the adjective participles.

Now, what you have to remember about adjective participles, they are...

They are reduced adjective clauses.

You know an adjective clause, it's meant to modify a noun.

It identifies it or gives extra information about a noun.

A participle, an adjective participle is that adjective clause minus the subject and the verb.

Okay? But we're going to look at that in a second.

So let's look at this sentence first.

Oh, sorry, let me...

I made a little mistake here.

"Dressed in his class-A uniform, the marine looked like a recruitment poster."

So this is the passive or the past participle ending in "ed", it's a regular verb, so: "dressed".

"Dressed in his class-A uniform".

Now, if I rearrange the sentence, really, it says:

"The marine, who was dressed in his class-A uniform, looked like a recruitment poster."

Okay?

Like a poster that wants people to join the marines, etc.

But I can take that adjective clause, I get rid of the "who was" or "who is", depending

on the tense.

Get rid of that, and I'm left with a participle phrase.

Now, I can take that participle phrase and move it to the beginning of the sentence,

just like I have here.

The key when you're using participles at the beginning...

A participle phrase at the beginning of a sentence, you must make sure that the subject,

which is not there but it is understood: who was, who is the marine,

so the marine who was dressed in his class-A,

and then the subject of the independent clause must be the same subject.

Okay?

We're going to look at a couple more examples.

"Standing near the window, Marie could see the entire village."

Look at the other example: "Standing near the window, the entire village was in view."

Now, many people will look at both sentences and think:

"Yeah, okay, I understand them. They're both correct."

This sentence is incorrect.

Why?

Because the subject here is "the village".

Can the village stand near the window?

No, it can't.

So: "Standing near the window" means Marie.

"Marie, who was standing near the window, could see the entire village."

This subject cannot do this action, so you have to make sure that the implied or the

understood subject in the participle is the exact same as the subject of the independent

clause that follows it.

Okay?

That's very, very important.

So now what we're going to do, I'm going to look at a few more examples and I want to

show you that you can start the sentence with a participle phrase, but you can also leave

it in the middle of the sentence.

Okay? Let's look at that.

Okay, let's look at these examples now and you'll see the different positions the participles

can take.

And again, we're talking about participle phrases for the most part.

"The jazz musician, known for his tendency to daydream, got into a zone and played for an hour straight."

Okay?

So what we're doing here, we're giving you a little bit more information about the musician.

We're not identifying him.

We're giving you extra information, which is why we have the commas.

Because if this was a...

If this were a regular adjective clause, it would be a non-identifying adjective clause

and I would have...

The tense is not important.

It can be both.

"He is known" or "He was known", depending on the situation.

"Who was known", but whenever I have the relative pronoun of the adjective clause working also

as the subject, and I have a "be" verb, I can take them both out and leave only the

participle and whatever else comes with it.

If we have a participle and it's only the participle with nothing else after it, that

becomes the adjective and it goes before the noun, but I'll show you that after.

So this basically is telling you something about the musician, so it comes in the middle.

Now, in this sentence: "The woman talking to Jeff is his sister."

The woman who is talking to Jeff is his sister.

Now I'm identifying the woman, so I don't have a comma here because it's an identifying

adjective clause and I take out the relative pronoun subject, and again, the "be" verb.

Now, don't get me wrong.

You can make participles with other verbs beside the "be" verb, but we're going to look

at that another time.

For now this is just the basic structure, the basic way to make participles.

And again, identifying the woman.

Remember, when we're...

When we leave the participle inside a sentence then it's going to come right after the noun

it's modifying.

So you don't have to worry too much about making sure the subjects agree.

When you put it at the beginning make sure that the subjects agree,

with the implied subject, anyway.

"The station chief was fired, meaning there's an open position."

Open position means, like, a job you can apply for.

Now, here, again: "which means".

Basically, again, I have the relative pronoun, that's also the subject.

I have an active verb.

I squeeze them both together and I get a participle.

The "which" refers to the entire independent clause.

Okay?

So it doesn't have to be a "be" verb, it can be other verbs, too.

But, again, I'll show you construction in another time because it's a little bit more tricky.

You can't do it with every adjective clause.

You can't do it.

But this "meaning" is about the entire independent clause and it comes after the comma, because

again, it's not an identifying adjective clause and it ends the sentence.

Now, before I mentioned that if you don't have anything after...

Right.

So if I have, for example: "The broken window".

"The broken window was fixed."

So imagine the window that was broken, "that" out, "was" out, all I have is "broken".

I don't have a whole phrase.

So when I have only one-word participle, when I only have the one word left over after the

reduction, then I just treat it like a regular adjective and I put it before the noun.

Okay.

And I can do it with an "ing" as well.

Okay.

So far so good.

Now we're going to look at adverbs where it gets a little bit more confusing.

Okay, so now we're going to look at participles used as adverbs.

So, again, it's very important to understand: What's the difference between an adjective

clause and an adverb clause?

An adjective clause modifies a noun, it gives you extra information about it or it identifies it.

An adverb clause shows you a relationship between the adverb clause itself and the independent clause.

Same thing with the participle because an adverb participle phrase is also a reduced clause,

it's a reduced adverb clause, but it works in the same way which sometimes can

be a little bit confusing.

So let's look at the examples.

"Given the choice, most people would probably choose good health over good fortune."

So right now you can say: "Most people who are given a choice would probably choose",

you could say that.

You could tell me about which people, or you can show me the relationship about when they

would make this choice.

Now, this would give you a hint: "would choose".

It's a hypothetical.

So, technically, this is:

"If they were given the choice, most people would probably choose..."

So this is a conditional adverb clause reduced to a conditional participle, adverb participle.

So you have your conjunction, your subject, and your verb all squeezed into the participle.

But again, the subject must agree.

Okay? There must be the same subject.

Even if you don't see the subject here, even though it's not a clause, there is no subject,

it's a phrase, there is an implied...

An implied or a suggested subject in that participle, and that's the key to remembering

and to using participles.

Here: "Realizing that the...

The..." Sorry.

"Realizing that the police were on to him, Bernie quickly moved his millions off shore."

Now, here is where you have a little bit of a problem.

This sentence, this participle could be an adjective or it could be an adverb.

When it's not entirely clear, most people will assume or will think of this as an adjective participle.

So, Bernie who realized that the police were on to him, quickly moved his millions off shore.

Or as he realized or because he realized that the police were on to him,

Bernie quickly moved his millions off shore.

Both of them are correct, both of them are okay.

But if you ever want to make very sure that your adverb participle is understood as an

adverb participle, sometimes add the conjunction.

You can have the participle, but add the conjunction just to make sure.

So if I say: "Delivering his speech to the council, Frank had a heart attack."

So, Frank, who was delivering his speech to the council, had a heart attack.

But I don't want you to understand that I'm saying something about Frank.

I'm not saying that.

I'm talking about what happened during the time.

So at the same time two things were happening, a longer action and a quick action:

Delivering his speech and had a heart attack.

So, I would add the conjunction "while" to make sure you understand that I'm focusing

on the adverb relationship, not modifying Frank with an adjective.

Okay?

If you're not sure use the conjunction.

Now: "She refused to cooperate while targeted by the media."

In some cases you have to include the conjunction.

"She refused to cooperate targeted by the media" doesn't make sense.

because if you have this as an adjective, then there must be a noun just before it.

But here we don't have a noun, we have a verb.

So right away we understand that it's an adverb clause, but we have to use the conjunction

because by itself it doesn't work.

It looks like it could be an adjective.

We want to make sure you understand it's an adverb so we add the conjunction, and then

we can use the participle.

"She refused to cooperate while she was targeted by the media."

Okay, so there you are, an introduction to participles.

I know they're a little bit confusing and a little bit tricky,

but they're used all the time.

And especially if you're going to be doing a reading, if you're going to be doing a test,

if you're in school and you need to read, if you just want to read newspapers because

newspapers use them a lot, they can make all their writing shorter, you have to understand

how participles work and you have to know how to use them yourself.

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