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Participle adjectives With Meanings and Examples

Participle adjectives

There are two types of participles adjectives: present participles and past participles.


What is a participle?


A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective. A verbal is a word that is based on a verb but does not act as a verb. A participle is used to modify either a noun or a pronoun.

For example:

  • The barking dog wanted to come inside.

What is a adjective?


In linguistics, an adjective (abbreviated adj) is a word that modifies a noun or noun phrase or describes its referent. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun.

Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the main parts of speech of the English language, although historically they were classed together with nouns.

Nowadays, certain words that usually had been classified as adjectives, including the, this, my, etc., typically are classed separately, as determiners.

For examples:

  • That's an interesting idea.

Present participle as adjectives


A present participle is a word that ends "ing," is formed from a verb, and is used as an adjective or to form verb tense.

When it functions as a noun in a sentence, it becomes a gerund, and when it comes with a verb "be" to indicate continuous tense, it acts as a finite verb and loses the feature to be participle.

A participle noun as an adjective is used to describe something or someone and has "ing" at the end of it, some of the adjectives:


1. Amusing

  • That TV programme is really amusing.

2. Alarming

  • What an alarming noise!

3. Interesting

  • That was a very interesting book.

4. Surprising

  • It's surprising how many people don't want to travel to another country.

5. Frightening

  • What a frightening film! I don't want to walk home on my own now!

6. Fascinating

  • The brain is fascinating, isn't it? It's amazing how much it can do.

7. Exhausting

  • I hate doing housework! It's exhausting!

8. Exciting

  • It's a really exciting book. I couldn't wait to find out what happened at the end.

9. Embarrassing

  • That is the most embarrassing photo! I look terrible!

10. Depressing

  • This weather is depressing! Is it ever going to stop raining?

11. Confusing

  • I find these instructions very confusing! Could you come and help me?

12. Boring

  • I've never seen such a boring film!

Past participle as adjectives


A past participle is the form of a verb ending in –ed, -en, -d, -t, or –n when used as an adjective.

The past participle verbs are often used as adjectives and are used to describe how people feel about something or someone and have ed at the end, some of the adjectives:


1. Alarmed

  • I was alarmed by the loud bang.

2. Bored

  • The students looked bored as the teacher talked and talked.

3. Amused

  • He was amused to hear his little son singing in the bath.

4. Confused

  • I was confused; because I asked two people and they told me two different things.

5. Depressed

  • I was feeling depressed, so I stayed at home with hot chocolate and a good book.

6. Embarrassed

  • Ahmed was really embarrassed when he fell over in front of his new girlfriend.

7. Excited

  • I'm so excited! I'm going on holiday tomorrow!

8. Exhausted

  • Aya was so exhausted after her exams; she spent the next three days sleeping.

9. Interested

  • She's interested in animals, so she's thinking of studying to be a vet.

10. Satisfied

  • I'm very satisfied that I managed to order the meal in English.

11. Shocked

  • I was shocked when my co-worked admitted stealing some money.

12. Surprised

  • She was surprised when she arrived at her class. 

Participle phrase as adjectives

A participial phrase is a phrase that begins with a participle and includes objects or other modifi-ers. It also acts as an adjective.

Participial phrases are dependent clauses and are used as adjectives to describe nouns or pronouns. For example:

  • Barking loudly, the dog wanted to come inside.
  • Having been an athlete, Jenny knew that training took a lot of determination.
  • He noticed the girls running to the car to avoid the rain.



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