Present participles come from active verbs. The present participle has an active meaning.
|If a book interests you, it is an interesting book.
Past participles come from passive verbs. The past participle has a passive meaning.
If you find fiction interesting, you are interested in reading fiction.|
Note: Passive verb phrases are formed with the auxiliary verb BE and the past participle of the main verb. The form of the verb BE signals past, present, or future time. The past participle of regular verbs looks the same as the past form; it ends in -ed (visited) or -d (fried). The past participle of irregular verbs ends in -d, -t, -n, or -en (as in hid, hit, begun, eaten). In the stative passive the past participle expresses a resulting feeling or state of mind.
Study the examples in the chart. Note that the present and past participles function as adjectives after linking verbs be, get, become, seem, look, feel, etc. They are subject complements that modify the subject.
|Verbs that often become participial modifiers||Present Participle/Active Meaning (Cause of something)||Past Participle/Passive Meaning (Resulting feeling or state of mind brought on by something)|
|Her explanation confuses Vadim.||Her explanation is confusing.||Vadim is confused. |
|The two-hour hike exhausted us.||The hike was exhausting.||We were exhausted. |
|Her shrill voice irritated the audience.|| Her shrill voice was irritating.|| The audience was irritated by her voice. |
Choose the Correct Participle: Read for meaning. In the context of the sentence, does the participle have an active (causal) meaning or a passive meaning (resulting in a certain feeling)?
1. Last night we listened to a report about new immigrants from India.
2. Many baseball players from the Dominican Republic are when they are selected
to play for a U.S. team.
3. When immigrants first move to another country, the experience can be .
4. Stephan felt very when his visa to the United States was denied.
5. Adjusting to life in a large urban area can be to newcomers.
6. Some newcomers are easily when they can't express themselves well in English.
7. Incidents of discrimination against immigrants are very to most Americans.
8. In some cases, immigrants are by the taste of American food.
9. During the first few years, many immigrants feel by their slow economic advancement.
10. On the other hand, the rapid economic advancement of some immigrants is .
11. After a few years in the United States, many immigrant parents are by the changes they see in their children.
12. Similarly, teenaged children of immigrants find their parents' attitudes .
13. The different generations are about understanding each other.
Content development by Kathleen Hanson, San Jose City College.
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