last changed in 2002

A participle is traditionally an adjective-like form of a verb. For example, take (1).

(1) Pat is keen on linguistics and studying it at UCL.

The word studying must be a verb, like the other forms of STUDYv, because only verbs take objects such as it; this is not possible after adjectives, as witness the need for a preposition on after keen (compare *She is keen linguistics). Nevertheless, studying is also similar to keen, to the extent that they can be coordinated. This is because studying is a participle.

There are two clear examples of participles in English: the active participle (also known as a `present participle'), already illustrated by studying, and the passive participle, illustrated by studied in (2). These differ in `voice', and together they contrast in `aspect' with infinitives and perfects.

(2) Linguistics is only studied by the brightest students.







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