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  • Beware the participle claws! Get it? Clawslike the nails of an animal. Clauselike the

  • part of a sentenceno? Alright, look it doesn't matter. This is everything you need

  • to know about participle clauses. Stay tuned.

  • A participle is a form of a verb. A participle clause is a subordinate clause which begins with a participle.

  • They act like adverbs and are linked to the main clause of a sentence.

  • They usually show things like event order,

  • time, cause and effect.

  • Stepping on camera, I relaxed completely. or

  • Filmed inside, the footage was too dark to use.

  • There are present participles, ING, and there are past participles which are basically the

  • third form of the verb. Stepping on camerastepping is an example of a present participle. It

  • basically means 'When I stepped on camera'. Filmed insidefilmed is an example of a

  • past participle. It basically means 'Because it was filmed inside'. It is very important

  • to remember that participle verbs do not change their form to show tense. This actually happens

  • in the main clause, and participle clauses usually mimic the same tense as the main clause.

  • However, it is possible to put a tense in a participle clause by itself. For example:

  • Knowing I was filming today, I wore a shirt.

  • Participle clauses often have implied subjects. This means that the subject of the participle

  • clause is the same as the subject of the main clause and so it is omitted in the participle

  • clause. For example: Seeing the mistake, she corrected it immediately.

  • However, it is possible for a participle clause to have its own subjectand this is a

  • little bit more formal. So, for example: Seeing she had made the mistake, she corrected

  • it immediately.

  • To make a participle clause negative, we use 'not', and this comes before the participle

  • verb. So, for example: Not knowing the baby slept, she phoned.

  • However, the 'not' can come after the participle verb depending on your meaning.

  • So, for example: Not knowing the baby slept, she phoned.

  • versus Knowing not to call because the baby slept,

  • she waited until the next day. Got it?

  • To make clear that one action is finished

  • before the action in the main clause is begun, we use Having + the past participle. And this

  • basically works the same way as 'because' or 'after'. So, compare:

  • Putting away the equipment, they talked about going home. – that means 'while'

  • but Having put away the equipment, they went home.

  • that means 'after'

  • Finally, all sorts of prepositions can sit before the participle verb to further emphasise

  • or clarify events' order, time, cause and effect. Words like after, before, since, while

  • and with. So for example:

  • By practising every day, she passed her driving test.

  • or Without knowing it, I had ruined everything.

  • For more information, please go to our website at for further examples

  • and practice exercises. I've been Dan, you've been fantastic. Practise your participle clauses

  • guyskeep them sharp!

Beware the participle claws! Get it? Clawslike the nails of an animal. Clauselike the

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B1 participle clause main clause filmed knowing slept

BBC English Masterclass: Participle Clauses

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
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