Learning to Use Participles

Contributor: Linda Price. Lesson ID: 10115

What do a horror film, animated fish, and war film have in common? Though they were made in the past, they contain present participles. Use your video-watching and writing skills to learn participles!


Grammar, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


The Shining is a psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson. Finding Nemo is a computer-animated film starring Alexander Gould as Nemo. Saving Private Ryan is a war film with an all-star cast by Stephen Spielberg. The underlined word in each of these film titles is an example of a present participle. What function do participles play in our writing and speech?

Participles are verbs used as adjectives.

Remember, adjectives are words used to describe nouns. Adding -ing or -ed as a suffix on a verb turns the verb into a participle that can be used to describe a person, place, or thing.

  • The present participle acts as an adjective with an active meaning, e.g., The situation confuses the voters. It is a confusing situation.
  • The passive participle acts as an adjective with a passive meaning, e.g., The voters are confused by the problem. They are confused voters.

This seems simple enough, so continue on to the Got It? section for some practice.

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