Sunday, May 10, 2009

Participle Phrase Recognition

Definition: A participle phrase consists of a participle and its accompanying words. The whole phrase will modify a noun or pronoun. The accompanying words can be: prepositional phrase(s), adverbs, and a direct object. If you need help with what a participle is, go to the sheet entitled: Participle Recognition Practice.


Sitting in his office, the President called the Vice-president.

  • Sitting in his office is a participial phrase that modifies the noun, President. In his office is a prepositional phrase modifying the participle, sitting, and answers the question, "where sitting?". Thus, it is an adverb prepositional phrase.

Fearing failure, the student was very anxious about the test.

  • Fearing failure is the participial phrase modifying student. Failure is the direct object of the participle, fearing, and answers the question, "fearing what?"

Jen, waving good-bye, drove away.

  • Waving good-bye is the participial phrase modifying Jen. Good-bye is a direct object of the participle, waving.

Bill, steadily gaining confidence, was able to parallel park the car.

Steadily gaining confidence is the participial phrase modifying Bill. Steadily is an adverb, modifying the participle, gaining. Confidence is the direct object of the participle.

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