Definition 2024


present participle

See also: present-participle



present participle (plural present participles)

  1. (grammar) A verb form that indicates an ongoing action or state in the present and which can function as an adjective.

Usage notes

In English, a present participle is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of a verb. A participle can be preceded with a form of the verb to be to make what is called the progressive tenses. When a participle functions as a noun, it is called a gerund. A participle may also function as an adjective, especially in attributive use. It can evolve to become either a true noun or a true adjective, or both, with a shift in meaning, sometimes substantial. To see examples, look for words ending in “-ing” in Category:English adjectives and Category:English nouns.

Related terms

See also