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Sentences showing the functions of participles

Participle as part of the continuous verb form:

I am going to school.

Present continuous

I was going to school.

Past continuous

I will be going to school.

Future continuous

Participle as adjective:

The smiling girl is pretty.

Adjective before a noun

The radio is broken.

Adjective after the verb "to be"

Participle as an adjective that describes feelings:

Tom looks bored.

Bored: Describes how Tom feels

Tom is watching a boring movie.

Boring: Describes the movie that causes Tom's boredom

Participles commonly used as adjectives:

amusing / amused
amazing / amazed
boring / bored
exciting / excited
disgusting / disgusted
embarrassing / embarrassed
confusing / confused
fascinating / fascinated
shocking / shocked
depressing / depressed
annoying / annoyed
exhausting / exhausted
frightening / frightened
horrifying / horrified
terrifying / terrified
satisfying / satisfied
discouraging / discouraged

How participles work as adjectives:


  • Verb: To bore
  • Meaning: To make someone feel bored
  • Participles: bored / boring
  • Bored: A person is bored, feels bored
  • Boring: Causes someone to feel bored

Usually a person is "-ed" by something that is "-ing":

  • I was bored by that boring movie.
  • NOT: I was boring by that bored movie.

Swimming is good exercise.

Participle as gerund, acting as a noun