1.10 Forming Participles

Participles are verb forms that combine with auxiliary verbs to create different tenses.

  • To form perfect tenses, use had, has, or have with the past participle.
  • Example: My dog has eaten twice today.
  • To form progressive tenses, use a form of the verb to be with the present participle, or gerund.
  • Example: My dog is eating a treat.
  • To write in passive voice, use a form of the verb to be with the past participle.
  • Example: The treat was eaten by my dog.

See Chapter 15 “Sentence Building”, Section 15.2 “Choosing Appropriate Verb Tenses” for a more extensive overview of the relationships between participles and verb tenses, and see Chapter 16 “Sentence Style”, Section 16.3 “Using Subordination and Coordination” for more on passive voice constructions.


Adapted from Appendix A, “Writing for Nonnative English Speakers” in Writer’s Handbook v 1.0  used according to Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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