Participles as Modifiers 1  -ed / -ing

Express the receiver vs. the source of an experience

 

 

 

RECEIVER -ED

We use the past participle, ending in -ed , -en, or -t to modify a noun that is the receiver of the feeling or emotion. 

RECEIVER

Monkey family watching

VERB

The family was entertained by the clown. passive verb

ADJECTIVE

The family was entertained. be + past participle form

The family was very entertainedvery + past participle form

The family seemed entertainedseem  + past participle form

SOURCE  -ING

We use a present participle, ending in -ing, to modify a noun that is the source (agent or cause) of the feeling or emotion.

SOURCE

clown juggling

VERB

The clown was entertaining the family.  present progressive verb

ADJECTIVE

The clown was entertainingbe + present participle form

The clown was very entertainingvery + present participle form

The clown became entertaining.  become + present participle (adj.)

 

Tests for adjectives: (1) if you can put very (an adverb of degree) before the word, then the word form is an adjective or adverb but not a verb; (2) If you can replace the be verb with seem or become, then the participle form is an adjective and is not part of the verb.  (Huddleston 533, 541)

See Participles for other suffix (ending) forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participle Modifiers

Receiver vs. Source (agent)

 

 

 

Participle Modifier List

RECEIVER OF THE FEELING

The following participles may express how one feels as the receiver (recipient) of a particular activity or action.

alarmed

frustrated

amused

humiliated

annoyed

interested

astonished

intrigued

bored

overwhelmed

compelled

perplexed

concerned

pleased

confused

relaxed

embarrassed

relieved

encouraged

satisfied

energized

shocked

enlightened

stunned

entertained

surprised

excited

terrified

exhausted

tired

frightened

 
SOURCE OF THE FEELING

The following participles may express how one feels about the source (cause) of a particular activity or action.

alarming

frustrating

amusing

humiliating

annoying

interesting

astonishing

intriguing

boring

overwhelming

compelling

perplexing

concerning

pleasing

confusing

relaxing

embarrassing

relieving

encouraging

satisfying

energizing

shocking

enlightening

stunning

entertaining

surprising

exciting

terrifying

exhausting

tiring

frightening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participles as Modifiers to Nouns

-ed (receiver) / -ing (source)

 

 

 

Participial Modifiers -ed vs. -ing

PAST PARTICIPIAL MODIFIER -ED

The past participle modifies the noun that is the receiver of the feeling or emotion.

parent (monkeys) walking with monkey childan amused child

The child receives the feeling of amusement.

Interested people can sign up for the class.
(The people feel interest in the subject.)  

Bored speakers should find something exciting to say.
(The speaker feels boredom while speaking!)

Amused viewers enjoy the short films.
(The viewers feel the amusement.)

Overwhelmed students end up dropping a course or two . (The students feel overwhelmed.)

PRESENT PARTICIPIAL MODIFIER  -ING

The present participle modifies the noun that is the source of the feeling or emotion

monkey child on an amusement ridean amusing ride

The ride causes amusement.

Interesting people will speak during the class.
(People cause others to feel interest.)

Boring speakers put their attendees to sleep.
(The speaker causes others to be bored.)

Amusing short films are shown at the animated film festival.
(The films cause the amusement.)

Overwhelming amounts of work are given to high school students. (The amount of work causes the overwhelming.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*I was surprising to see sheep walking on the road.
Solution - lightbulb    Pop-Q "Sheep

*The towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are very impressing from below.
Solution - lightbulb    Pop-Q "Impress

*We had some unexpecting visitors.  We were unexpected.

SOLUTION

I was surprised to see sheep walking on the road.
Use surprised instead of surprising as the modifier for the receiver of the feeling or emotion.
That sheep were walking on the road was surprising.
It was surprising to see sheep walking on the road.
See Cleft Sentences (It / That…)

The towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are very impressive from below.
Use impressive instead of impressing as the modifier for the source of the feeling or emotion. (impressing is not a word) 
 

They were not expected by us.  They were unexpected  visitors
We were not expecting them.  We were surprised(re-phrase)

She was expecting. (a baby)   The baby was expected in June.

 

 

*Yellow highlighting indicates example of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

 

 

 

Traditional and Linguistic Description

TRADITIONAL DESCRIPTION LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

"The present participle serves as an adjective with an active meaing. The noun it modifies performs an action." 

"The past participle serves as an adjective with a passive meaning."  (Azar "Participal Adjectives" 11-8)

 

"When -ing forms are used like adjectives or adverbs, they have similar meanings to active verbs."

"Most past participles have passive meanings when they are used like adjectives or adverbs.  (Swan 408)

 

The "participial adjective" functions as a modifier. The term "participle" is reserved for verbs. (Huddleston 3 §1.3-4)

(1) complements copular and static verbs — be, looks, seem, appear, act

     He seems amusing.  / He seems amused.

(2) can be modified by a degree adverb very

     He is very amusing.  /  He is very amused.

(Huddleston Adjectival Passives 16 §10.1.3)

Clause; Subject / Predicate; Finite / Nonfinite; NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Det. – determiner

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Determining Source or Receiver

 

 

 

Determine which word best completes the sentence.

  1. Select your response from the list.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or the "check 1-20" button at the bottom.

 

1.
woman in bubblebath

 

2.
man sleepwalking


3.
mouse and cheese


4.
man working late


5.
man laughing


6.
film


7.
reporter on TV


8.
man shaking boy


9.


10.
embarrassed man


11.
an arrow in the butt


12.
ringing


13.
news


14.
King Kong


15.
massage


16.
Phelps win


17.
monamoi


18.
Kirk hears a sound


19.
before and after picture


20.
satisfying


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Reviews of Cirque du Soleil (a performance)

Circus
 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Determine whether the comment is grammatically correct. Select the option correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or the "check 21-30" button at the bottom.

 

 

21.
Blew My Mind
— I was hesitant to go, but when I got there, I was amazing.

   

22.
Must See
—This is my second time seeing this outstanding show.  The lighting and music are beautiful.

   

23.
Spectacular
—There were two flying guys who were fighting in the air —very entertaining!

   

24.
Too Marvelous for Words
We could not believe what we saw. Our eyes were overwhelming with color, music, dance and fighting all at once.

   

25.
Eh…I Could Live Without It
It was no big deal.  I was boring throughout the whole show.  I see more activity in my video games.

   

26.
Incredible Show
It's hard to imagine anyone who isn't completely impressed.

   

27.
We Walked Out
It was terrible!  We went to other shows and had "holy cow!" moments. But we just felt trapped during this performance—totally uninspired.

uninspired (v.) – not giving a feeling of creativity or spirit

   

28.
Best Cirque show EVER!!!
You will never see anything like this anywhere else. Some parts were beautiful and dream others were terrifying.

   

29.
A Jaw-Dropping Experience
The stage, props and performers where incredible and left you wondering how they did that.

jaw (n.) – the bones that hold the upper and lower teeth; chin

   

30.
Takes Your Breath Away!
We found this show intrigued. How do they suspend the performers and how do they appear to come from thin air.

intriguing / intrigued (adj.) –  fascinate, arouse curiosity and interest

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Electric Coupe

Tesla
 

 

Read for errors

The new Tesla electric sports coupe delivers an amazed amount of power. It goes from 0-60 in a surprising 4 seconds, and it has an unexpected battery range of 244 miles (392 km). People who come to the dealership to test drive the new electric car are overwhelmed by its impressing performance. This little car handles road curves as a more expensive sports car would. Its balance and ability to hug the road is satisfied for even our most experienced drivers.

The sleek lines and carefully thought-out design are very pleasing to customers who see it for the first time. The astonishing thing that people quickly learn about the Tesla is that it is a "green" technology. It releases no emissions. The battery takes a surprised three hours to fully recharge, and people are encouraged to learn that they can generate their own solar power to recharge it. Having heard so much about this car, customers are exciting to get behind the wheel of this newcomer to the auto world.

battery range (n.) – how far it can go on one charge of the battery

curves (n.) – rounded parts of road; arcs

dealership (n.) – store from which cars are sold

emission (n.) – gases given off into the air; often carbon dioxide

green technology (expression) – technology that does not harm the earth

handle (v.) – drives, manages on the road

hug the road (expression) – stay on the road; not roll over

newcomer (adj.) – recent arrival

sleek (adj.) – smooth (especially used for cars, exotic cats, and high-tech design)

test drive (v.) – try out

 

 

 

 

Edit for Errors

  1. Evaluate and write your corrections for the sentence in the text area
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or the "check 31-37" button at the bottom.

 

31.
The new Tesla electric sports coupe delivers an amazed amount of power. It goes from 0-60 in a surprising 4 seconds, and it has an unexpected battery range of 244 miles (392 km).


32.
People who come to the dealership to test drive the new electric car are overwhelmed by its impressing performance.

33.
This little car handles road curves as a more expensive car would.  Its balance and ability to hug the road is satisfied for even our most experienced drivers.

34.
The sleek lines and carefully thought-out design are very pleasing to customers who see it for the first time.

35.
The astonished thing that people quickly learn about the Tesla is that it is a "green" technology. It releases no emissions.

36.
The battery takes a surprised three hours to fully recharge, and people are encouraged when they learn that they can generate their own solar power to recharge it.

37.
Having heard so much about this car, customers are exciting to get behind the wheel of this newcomer to the auto world.