Thursday, 8 October 2009

Specific Grammar Exercises/Linking Devices - Participles

Linking Structures: Participles.







Problem Students are often confused by what they think is a verb tense, but is in fact a special linking structure. In addition to this, the matter is further confused by the fact that it looks like a gerund. But the gerund is used in a different way in grammatical terms (see separate exercise to be added later).


Remedy Study the following humorous(?) explanation and then try the exercise which follows.



.......................................................................................................................................................................



Examples which use participles and could have been made by joining two sentences
:




1. Present Participle Active.

My girlfriend made fun of me. She poked me with a sharp pencil. (Becomes....)

Example A: My girlfriend made fun of me, poking me with a sharp pencil.
(Simultaneous actions - both happening at the same time. The participle can come at the start instead. The active verb replaced would be "She poked..."

Example B: Opening the drawer I took out my gun.
(Consecutive actions - one after the other - but there is no possible confusion about which action came first and which second. You couldn't take out your gun until you had opened the drawer!)


2. Perfect Participle Active.

Having shot her pet dog, I carried it outside to put it in the rubbish bin.
(Consecutive actions. This makes it clear that the first action happened before the second, to avoid possible confusion. "Shooting her dog, I carried it outside....." suggests I was shooting it repeatedly as I carried it outside, which would be very cruel!)


3. Past Participle Passive.

Infuriated by the cruelty of my action, she strangled my parrot and flushed it down the toilet.

(This can be used for simultaneous or consecutive actions where there is no doubt which came first and which came second. The passive verb structure replaced is "She was infuriated....")


4. Perfect Participle Passive.

Having been beaten up by her many times before, I fled the house.

(The first action happened before the second. In addition, the first action had happened many times before; also it carried on over a long period of time. Both of these factors will require us to use a perfect participle, whether active or passive.)



If you understand everything above, try to use the structures below......












Exercise



Use an appropriate participle structure to join the following sentences:




1) The businesswoman drank a bottle of wine. She was unfit to drive.

Please write your answer here:[ANSWER]






2) The farmer was exhausted after his day's work. He threw himself on the bed.
[ANSWER]





3) The old lady offered to show us the way home. She realised we were lost
[ANSWER]





4) He was warned several times by his doctor about the dangers of smoking. He decided to give it up.
[ANSWER]






If you need some hints and clues, scroll down the page......











[ADVERT]










Hints and Clues




1) The businesswoman drank a bottle of wine. She was unfit to drive.

* Are the actions simultaneous or consecutive? (i.e. happening at the same time or one after the other?)
* If consecutive, then the first action is the one that needs to be converted into a participle.
* Would it be possible to drive and drink wine at the same time?
* If it is, then you need to make it clear that the first action is finished, to avoid confusion. You can do this by using a perfect participle.
* Don't forget, an active participle is used to replace an active verb, and a passive participle is used to replace a passive verb.
[ANSWER]








2) The farmer was exhausted after his day's work. He threw himself on the bed.

* Are the actions simultaneous or consecutive?
* If consecutive, then the first action is the one that needs to be converted into a participle.
* Do we need to make it clear that the first action is finished? Is there possible confusion about which action is first?
* If not, then the perfect participle is not necessary. More than that, it would sound strange to use it.
* Don't forget, an active participle is used to replace an active verb, and a passive participle is used to replace a passive ve
rb.
[ANSWER]







3) The old lady offered to show us the way home. She realised we were lost.

* Are the actions simultaneous or consecutive?
* If consecutive, then the first action is the one that needs to be converted into a participle. And it would be natural for that one to go at the start. Be careful!
* Is the first action finished at the time of the second?
* If not, then the perfect participle is not necessary. More than that, it would sound strange to use it.
* Don't forget, an active participle is used to replace an active verb, and a passive participle is used to replace a passive verb.

[ANSWER]






4) He was warned several times by his doctor about the dangers of smoking. He decided to give up.

* Are the actions simultaneous or consecutive?
* If consecutive, then the first action is the one that needs to be converted into a participle.
* If consecutive, then is the first action long-lasting or repeated?
* If it is, then it is normal to use a perfect participle.
* Don't forget, an active participle is used to replace an active verb, and a passive participle is used to replace a passive verb.

[ANSWER]







When you're happy with your answers, scroll down the page to see if they're the same as the ones I've suggested.......










[ADVERT]









Answers:



1) Having drunk a bottle of wine, the businesswoman was unfit to drive.
(Perfect participle active, replacing an active verb and showing that the drinking finished before the driving.)


Note 1: The verb goes "drink, drank, drunk". "Drunk" is in the same form as the past participle, and that's what we need here. It's the perfect participle active, and if you see the word "perfect", you can be pretty sure the past participle will be at the end of it. In this case the form is "having + past participle".

Note 2: The subject is more "comfortable" in the second part of the sentence.

Note 3: "The businesswoman having drunk a bottle of wine, she was unfit to drive", is also possible. It's more formal. But participles are quite formal anyway, so it's not necessary. And it's a bit of a "mouthful"; that is to say, it's not very smooth-sounding and natural English.

Note 4: "After drinking a bottle of wine, the businesswoman was unfit to drive", is also possible. Here we're using a preposition + gerund form.





2) Exhausted after his day's work, the farmer threw himself on the bed.
(Past participle passive, replacing a passive verb and showing that the first action was - clearly - finished before the second. Because it is obvious which action is first, the perfect form is not needed.)


Note 1: The verb is (again) the same as the past participle of a regular verb, ending in -ed.

Note 2: The subject is (again) more "comfortable" in the second part of the sentence.

Note 3: "Being exhausted after his day's work, the farmer threw himself on the bed", is also possible. This form emphasises the action rather than the result: see also the difference between continuous and non-continuous tenses (verb tense quiz 1).





3) Realising we were lost, the old lady offered to show us the way home.
(Present participle active, replacing an active verb and showing that the "realising" was - clearly - the first action. Because it is obvious which action is first, the perfect form is not needed.)


Note 1: The verb is in the same form as the present participle. It also looks like the gerund, but the different names just depend on the different grammatical uses.

Note 2: The first action ("realising") is more "comfortable" at the beginning of the sentence. That's because it happens first, and that is the action that usually goes at the start. However, the "realising" hasn't stopped before the "showing", so the perfect form is unlikely. The same pattern would often be seen with sentences starting with words like "thinking, knowing, believing, wanting, lacking, feeling, seeing" and other verbs of the mind, needs, emotions or senses. We might call these "personal" verbs.

Note 3: "The old lady offered to show us the way home, realising we were lost", is possible, but less likely. A complete change in word order gives a more natural form. That's why I warned you to be careful!





4) Having been warned several times by his doctor about the dangers of smoking, he decided to give up.
(Perfect participle passive, replacing a passive verb and showing that the first action was long lasting and repeated.)


Note 1: The perfect participle active would be "having warned". The passive form is "having been warned". This conversion follows the normal process for transformation of active to passive, namely: put the verb "to be" in the same form and add the past participle. See the exercise entitled "passive voice structures" for more information on this.

Note 2: Perfect participles are used when one of the following three conditions is true: a) You want to make it clear that the first action is completed before the second. b) The first action is repeated. c) The first action is long lasting.

Note 3: Here are a couple of examples to illustrate a) above:

i) Having eaten his breakfast he ran for the bus.
(He finished his breakfast at home.)

ii) Eating his breakfast, he ran for the bus.
(He's still eating his toast as he's running!)









Photo Album







We saw this turtle in a fish pond in Croatia. I dipped my hand into the water, but then the turtle swam towards my outstretched fingers with its mouth open. I quickly withdrew the hand as the creature looked hungry. Hardly had I done so, when he seized a little fish which was swimming past. Not only did he grab the fish, but he also started to eat it greedily. Only when he had swallowed it all down, did I realise how lucky I had been to keep my finger!



Grammar note


The examples highlighted show "inversion constructions". These show an inversion of the verb, which means that it ends up taking a question form, as in: had i done / did he grab / did I realise. Of course there is no question mark, because no question is being asked.

It's a very advanced grammar form, and will be dealt with on another page to be added later. Rarely used in speaking, it is still useful for written English and good academic form.
The structures are:

Hardly had I done so, when......

Not only
did he grab the fish, but he also......

Only when
he had swallowed it all down, did I realise......

Note that the inversion constructions are associated with the expressions underlined. They often have a "negative" sense. Notice also that in the last of these the inversion construction is actually in the second part of the sentence. The grammar form in this last one is very unusual, though the construction is in fairly common use.


Photo: Tristeno arboretum (tree park), north of Dubrovnik in Croatia, Eastern Europe. The turtle is called a "red-eared slider".









Do you get it?













Vocabulary

starved - short of food, but can be used for other things (e.g. "The business has been starved of cash.")

water hole - pool where animals drink

French kiss - kiss with the mouth open (in England people always kiss with the mouth shut)

can't stand it - can't bear it, can't take it, can't tolerate it any longer.

far from ("X") - exactly the opposite to ("X")

advances - loving approach

furious - very angry

chases - runs after

charging - running very fast

undergrowth - trees, bushes and other vegetation

gaining on - getting closer to

exhaustion - complete tiredness

deserted - empty of people

grab - pick up quickly and violently

helmet - protective hat

snog - French kiss



A gentleman gorilla has been high on the mountain for three months and has been starved of the company of other gorillas. In the end he can't stand it any longer, and decides to go down to the water hole in search of a lady gorilla to give him some love and affection. But when he finally arrives a the water hole there are no other animals there except for a rhinoceros.

He sits for a while watching the rhino, with a yearning desire growing inside him. In the end he can't take it any more. He runs across to the rhinoceros, grabs its ears in both hands and gives it a big French kiss. Far from returning his advances, the rhinoceros is furious. It throws him off and chases after him. Terrified, the gorilla runs into the jungle and tries to escape the charging rhino. But the rhinoceros is surprisingly fast, smashing through the undergrowth and gaining on the gorilla. The chase goes on, the rhinoceros getting ever closer and the gorilla nearing the point of exhaustion, when suddenly he bursts into a clearing where there is a deserted white hunter's camp. The gorilla grabs the hunter's helmet, picks up a newspaper that is lying on the ground and sits in the hunter's chair. Seconds later the rhino thunders into the clearing and looks around it until she sees the gorilla sitting there.

"Hey!" says the rhinoceros. "Have you seen a gorilla anywhere round here?"

"What," says the gorilla as he hides behind the newspaper, "you mean the one that snogged the rhinoceros?"

"Oh, my God," says the rhino, "don't tell me it's in the newspapers already!"





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