Participial clauses

The participle is a non-finite form of the verb which has verbal, adjectival and adverbial properties. There are two participles in English: Present Participle (or Participle I) and Past Participle (or Participle II). Present Participle is formed by adding the ending -ing to the infinitive without the participle to [1, 102]. Past Participle is formed by adding the ending ed to the infinitive without the participle to.

Participial clauses often express condition, reason, cause, result or time in a similar way to full adverbial clauses, only more economically.


Used sparingly, the Franklin fund (which charges a 2.25 percent sales commission) can help diversify a portfolio [COCA, NEWS, 2003].


Desiring peace, she reached for his hand [COCA, FIC, 2008].


Having taken one of his primary responsibilities quite seriously – the hiring of a new head of school from outside the Bullis community – Pensky, founder and then president of his expanding Britches of Georgetown clothing company, researched board literature and what it said about not only independent school boards but also about boards of other nonprofits [COCA, ACAD, 2006].


Using this approach, I’ve built a portfolio of more than 40 articles in 12 Pacific Northwest travel magazines and newspapers, which has further opened up travel-writing opportunities in international magazines and a regional in flight [COCA, ACAD, 2011].


Taking a breath, she squares her shoulders and reaches for the phone [COCA, FIC, 2011].

Semantically Participial clauses can express:

Communication (used as breaking into a conversation, paying attention on some important things). The next verbs can be used:

Agree, Deny, Disagree, Speak/ Talk about, Say, Judge, Regard

Well, talking about what Marc Klaas just said, do you feel that this was foul play, or do you feel that she’s alive somewhere, part of the homeless population or someone that just had to get away [COCA, SPOK, 2011]?

Should the federal government try to coerce the seceding states, the governor warned, ” Missouri will not be found to shrink from the duty which her position upon the border imposes: her honor, her interests, and her sympathies point alike in one direction, and determine her to stand by the South. ” (Judging by printed sources, Jackson seems to have been a man who spoke frequently in italics [COCA, ACAD, 2011].)

 Regarding the mode of teaching of English, the participants expressed their dissatisfaction with the manner in which their courses are delivered [COCA, ACAD, 2011].

Thinking (express some mental work). The following verbs and phrases can be presented in the Participial clause:

Believe, Consider, Doubt, Expect, Imagine, Know, Mean, Realize, Suppose, Suspect, Treat, Think, Understand, Crack my brain

For instance:

Doubting her presence, Orpheus, filled with fear, And anxious too a lover’s eyes to cheer, Looked around [COCA, ACAD, 2008].

By treating each blank canvas as a challenging opportunity, these artists continually sharpen their skills of perception and execution [COCA, MAG, 2008].


Being, Existing

For being around the league this long, and having been here half a season, I haven’t taken it for granted yet [COCA, NEWS, 2011].


Adore, Appeal, Appreciate, Desire, Describe, Detest, Dislike, Envy, Fear, Feel, Forgive, Hate, Like, Love, Mind, Need, Pity, Prefer, Satisfy, Trust, Want, Wish

For example:

Besides feeling nervous, Wendy was now shivering with cold [COCA, FIC, 1991].

Like many of Laikipia’s ranchers, Perrot tries to avoid killing problem predators, preferring to see them trapped and released away from the livestock [COCA, NEWS, 2001].


Appear, Hear, Look, Notice, Recognize, Resemble, See, Seem, Smell, Sound, Taste

Mr. Clinton, looking confident and relaxed at a news conference Friday night, said he had already met his goals for the summit: spurring on the world trade talks, gaining agreement among the Western allies on a Russian aid program, and taking steps “to restore the ability of all of our countries to create jobs and opportunities” [COCA, NEWS, 1993].

Possession and relationships between thing

Belong, Concern, Consist, Contain, Cost, Depend, Equal, Fit, Have, Include, Involve, Lack, Measure, Owe, Own, Possess, Suit, Weigh

For example:

Two gender-specific focus groups, consisting of both school health center users and nonusers, were held at 6 school health centers in May and June 2009 [COCA, ACAD, 2010].

Speaking about position in the sentence, participial clause as means of expressing Parenthesis is usually used at the beginning of the sentence, rarer in the middle and in the end. There some examples of positional usage of participial clause:

By omitting such facts, the articles blaming guns for increasing American suicide evaded the inconvenience of having to explain exactly what social benefit nations with few guns received from having their youth suicides occur in other ways [COCA, ACAD, 2007].

One thing everyone who knew the couple – including the neighbors – seemed to agree on was that whoever Susan’s killer was, it certainly was not John Hamilton [COCA, SPOK, 2010]. But there was no fire elements left in Oran, Zorah insisted, even knowing the truth [COCA, FIC, 1991].