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englisch:participles-relative-clauses

Participle constructions instead of relative clauses

What are participles and how can they be used?

There are two different participle forms in English. Here’s how they are formed:

  1. the present participle: it is formed by adding “-ing” to the end of the verb (e.g. talking, listening, writing)
  2. the past participle: it is formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the verb, it is the “3rd verb form” of any verb (e.g. talked, listened, written)

How are they used?

Both participles are part of various [verschieden] other grammar constructions, e.g.

  1. the present participle
    1. is part of the progressive form (I am walking)
    2. can be used to make an (active) adjective from a verb (the winning team)
    3. can be used as a gerund (Walking is good for you)
  2. the past participle
    1. is part of the perfect verb forms – present perfect and past perfect (I have walked, I had walked)
    2. can be used to make a (passive) adjective from a verb (the defeated team)

On this page, you can learn another common [verbreitet] use of participles: They can be used to replace [ersetzen] relative clauses.

Participles to replace relative clauses

Speakers of English often use participle constructions instead of relative clauses. Compare the following constructions. Both |of them have the same meaning.

#relative clause constructionparticiple construction
1One morning I saw a man who walked along the river. One morning I saw a man walking along the river.
2The person who was walking next to me looked really tired.The pupil walking next to me looked really tired.
3We visited the city which was mentioned in our travel guide. We visited the city mentioned in our travel guide.
  • As you can see, the participle construction on the right replaces [ersetzen] the relative clause construction on the left. The meaning of both constructions is the same. Participle constructions are especially common in written English. They sound more formal [förmlich] than relative clauses.
  • The present participle has an active meaning (walking) and the past participle has a passive meaning (mentioned).
  • The present participle can replace a simple form or a progressive form (see examples 1 + 2).
  • In German, you usually translate a participle construction with a relative clause because the German language doesn’t have such a construction.

Practice

englisch/participles-relative-clauses.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 16.05.2017 (08:46) von retemirabile