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Participle Modifiers 2  -ed / -ing

Completed State vs. Ongoing Process

 

 

 

Completed -ed /Ongoing -ing

COMPLETED STATE

Some past participles, ending in -ed or -en, -t, may be used to modify a noun and express a completed state.  The modifier has some adjective and some verb-like properties.

COMPLETED

roasted chicken 
This is a roasted chicken — done!

Grown children often move out of the house.

Broken dishes were all over the floor.

Fallen trees littered the forest floor.

Fried potatoes would taste good right now.

He was a well-loved child  (beloved)

ONGOING QUALITY OR STATE

Some present participles, ending in -ing, may be used to modify a noun and express a process that is still in action.

ONGOING

roasting checken 
This is  a  roasting chicken — still cooking!

Growing children need a lot of food.

Breaking dishes and shouts could be heard in the kitchen.

Falling trees are a danger to hikers.

Frying potatoes smell delicious.

He is a loving husband.

 

litter (n.) – to scatter (throw, leave, toss) objects, debris, rubbish, on the ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participle Modifiers  (Adjectival passives)

Completed vs. Ongoing

turning pages
 

 

 

Participle Modifier List

COMPLETED

Past participle modifiers are pre-position (placed before the word it modifies) and are derived from reduced clauses. They have the properties of Adjectives. See note¹.

aged (wine, cheese)

fried  (potatoes)

broken (glass)

exploded  (fireworks)

boiled  (milk)

frozen  (water)

brewed  (coffee)

grown  (children)

changed  (man)

loved  (person)

closed  (subject)

melted  (ice)

cooked (food)

occupied (region)

crossed  (lines)

rotten   (fruit)

cut    (flowers)

turned  (page)

dripped  (wax)

wound  (watch)

ONGOING

Present participle modifiers are also pre-position and are derived from reduced clauses. They do not share all the properties of Adjectives.                                     .        

aging    (parents)

frying   (potatoes)

breaking    (glass)

exploding  (fireworks)

boiling  (milk)

freezing  (water)

brewing  (coffee)

growing  (children)

changing  (times)

loving (person)

closing  (argument)

melting  (ice)

cooking  (food)

occupying (force)

crossing  (lines)

rotting  (fruit)

cutting  (remark)

turning (page)

dripping  (wax)

winding (road)

 

¹ Note: Adjective properties include (1) can modify a noun (2) can complement a be verb, a static verb (e.g., become, seem, appear, act, look); (3) can be modified by a degree adverb (e.g., very, so, completely, partly). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Participle Modifier

Is it a verb or an adjective?

 

 

 

Testing for properties of an adjective

PAST PARTICIPLE -ED

Normally, we can determine whether a word form is an adjective by (1) placing very or too before it; and (2) by replacing the copula verb be with seem or become, appeared. (This particular group of verbs is problematic¹.)

COMPLETED

roasted chicken 
This is a roasted chicken.  verb or adj?

This is a delicious chicken.  [true adj.]

CAN YOU CHANGE "BE" TO A STATIC VERB

YESThe chicken appears roastedseems, becomes, appears (tastes)

The chicken appears delicious[true adj.]

CAN YOU MODIFY THE -ED FORM WITH "VERY" OR "TOO"?

NO*The chicken was very roastedvery or too

The chicken was very delicious[true ad.]

PRESENT PARTICIPLE -ING

With this group of verbs, both of the participle form s accept other be-like verbs, but do not accept the degree adverb very. As modifiers, these participle forms have properties of both verbs and adjectives.

ONGOING

roasting chicken 
This is a roasting chicken. verb or adj?

This is a delicious chicken.  [true adj.]

CAN YOU CHANGE "BE" TO A STATIC VERB?

NO*The chicken appears roasting. seems, becomes, or appears

The chicken appears delicious[true adj.]

CAN YOU MODIFY THE -ED FORM WITH "VERY" OR "TOO"?

NO*The chicken was very roastingvery or too

The chicken was very delicious[true adj.]

 

*yellow highlight indicates as example of incorrect usage     
Test for adjective properties includes (1) can it modify a noun (2) can it complement a be verb, a static verb (e.g., become, seem, appear, act, look); (3) can it be modified by a degree adverb (e.g., very, so, completely, partly).  (Huddleston 533, 541)
¹adjectival passive (Huddleston 16 §10.1.3)  
Also see Gerund or Participle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participle Modifiers

State or Natural Quality

bird watching / spottingA spotted owl
 

 

Completed vs. Natural Quality States

-ED — COMPLETED STATES -ED — NATURAL QUALITY OR STATE

Past participle modifiers ending in -ed or -en may indicate the state of a process or activity completed by someone. (These are verb-like modifiers. Note that we cannot use very before these participle modifiers, which is true for adjectives.)

Past participle modifiers may indicate the natural quality or state of the noun (color, pattern, condition, etc.) 

COMPLETED STATE NATURAL STATE

The recently spotted owl was making a nest.  (an owl seen or located by someone usually with binoculars)

We saw a very spotted owl making a nest. (an owl with natural coloring including spots)

The black-eyed boxer walked into the ring. (an eye that was harmed by another fighter)

The black-eyed terrier walked into the ring. (a dog with naturally black eyes)

We made the pie with pitted cherries. (pits that were removed by us)

We made the sculpture from pitted wood. (wood with natural scars)

The freshly-washed dog sat in the sun. (a dog that was washed by someone)

The short-haired dog sat in the sun. (a dog with naturally short hair)

Would you like some frozen yogurt. (yogurt that was frozen by someone)

Would you like to visit the frozen tundra? (a Antarctic region that is permanently frozen)

She wore a shirt with rolled-up sleeves. (sleeves that were rolled up by someone)
 

She wore a long-sleeved shirt. (a shirt with long-sleeves)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participial Modifiers

Ongoing Process  or Function

sleeping dog
 

 

Ongoing Process vs. Function

-ING – ONGOING PROCESS OR STATE -ING – FUNCTION

Present participle modifiers ending in -ing may indicate something still undergoing a process or activity.  These are verb-like modifiers. Note that we cannot use very before these participle modifiers, which is true for adjectives.) 

Present participle modifiers ending in -ing may indicate the function of something.   These modifiers are noun-like.  [activity + noun]  Also see Noun Modifiers.

ONGOING QUALITY OR STATE FUNCTION

Don't awaken the sleeping dogs. (dogs that are sleeping)

The pups are in in their sleeping bag. (a bag for sleeping)

We have a talking parrot (a parrot that talks.)

We have a talking machine. (a device for talking, a text reader)

Look! It's a shooting star.  ( a star that is shooting across the sky)

He practices his rifle skills at the shooting range. (an area for target practice)

It's a slow-moving train.  (a train that is moving slowly)

It's a moving van. (a truck for transporting households)

A hiking party was seen to the north of the volcano. (a group that is hiking)

Mr. Hanson was wearing his hiking shoes (shoes that are for trekking.)

The waiting parents were very worried. (parents that are waiting)
 

The doctor's waiting room was brightly decorated. (a room for waiting)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commonly Confused

Confusion and Solution

 

 

 

Commonly Confused  (by native speakers)   

CONFUSION SOLUTION

olives

 

Are these pitted olives? 

 

 

While olives could be described as 'pitted olives' – a natural quality or state of having pits – more often they are just called 'olives'. The modifier is unnecessary: Does a naturally grown olive without a pit exist? Because of the confusion, some speakers clarify the terms as 'olives with pits' or 'olives without pits'.

pitted olives

 

Or are these pitted olives?

Pitted olives are those which have had the pit removed by someone.  

Also see Gerund or Participle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Completed or in Process?

 

 

 

Choose the modifier for the situation.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button to the right.

 

1.
fireworks

           

2.
exploded fireworks

           

3.
potatoes

           

4.
frying

           

5.
biking in the snow

           

6.
icecream

           

7.
Road

           

8.
string wound in a ball   

           

9.
a tree is falling

           

10.
a tree has fallen

           

11.
faucet

           

12.
paint

           

13.
ice caps

           

14.
water

           

15.
breaking egg

           

16.