Participial Phrases


A participial phrase is a phrase made from a participle, a noun and possibly one or more adjectives.

participle + adjective/s + noun

Example

catching the ball

 

Participles are verbals. This means that they can be modified by an adverb.

Example

catching the ball carefully

 

Participle phrases may contain other phrases within them. In the example below, the prepositional phrase is acting like an adverb, telling us how he is catching the ball.

Example

catching the ball carefully with his teeth

how to form participial phrases
 

Practice: Forming Participial Phrases

 

Exercise 1:

Drag the words into the correct boxes to form a participial phrase.

 
 


the

 

in

 

box




 

Exercise 2:

Drag the words into the correct boxes to form a participial phrase.

 
 


beach

 

by

 

the




 

What do Participial Phrases Do?

 

Participial phrases function as adjectives in a sentence.

Example:

catching the ball carefully with his teeth, Ben won the game.

In this sentence, the participial phrase is telling us more information about Ben.

 

position of participial phrases in a sentence

 

Participial Phrases at the Beginning of a Sentence

Participial phrases can be placed at the beginning of a sentence.

Catching the ball carefully with his teeth, Ben won the game.

There are two rules for beginning a sentence with a participial phrase:

  • The participial phrase must be followed by a comma (,).
  • The participial phrase must be followed by the noun it modifies.

 

Participial Phrases at the End of a Sentence

Participial phrases can be placed at the end of a sentence.

Ben won the game, catching the ball carefully with his teeth.

There is one rule for ending a sentence with a participial phrase:

  • The participial phrase must follow a comma (,) if the phrase is separated from the noun it modifies. Do not use a comma if the phrase follows directly on from the noun it modifies.

 

Participial Phrases in the Midst of a Sentence

Participial phrases can be placed in the midst of a sentence.

Ben, catching the ball carefully with his teeth, won the game.

Ben catching the ball carefully with his teeth won the game.

There are two rules for putting a participial phrase in the midst of a sentence:

  • The participial phrase must follow the noun it modifies.
  • The participial phrase must begin and end with a comma (,) if the phrase is not essential to the meaning of the sentence.

Ben ran to the beach.

The monkeys in the tree are swinging.

Ben loves the Rebekah with long hair.

Ben took Rebekah on a date.

 

Please share Colourful English with your friends.