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May 11, 2011

Difference between Participle and Participial Phrase

Participle Phrases

Participles are words that look like verbs and act like adjectives.
A participle phrase consists of a participle and its accompanying words. 
You could say that they have identity issues.
Words that are made of verbs but don't act like verbs are called verbals. There are two other kinds of verbals: gerunds and infinitives.


Like I said, these are made of verbs but act like adjectives.
They end in -ing, -d, -t, or -n.
Quick Refresher: Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns.
Here are some examples. Notice that each one is made of a verb but is modifying a noun.
shooting star (shoot = verb)crying babies (cry = verb)
frozen food (froze = verb)
burned toast (burn = verb)
Since these guys act as adjectives, they are diagrammed in a very similar way to how adjectives are diagrammed.
It's easy to see that they modify nouns and pronouns because they are diagrammed on a slanted, curved line underneath the noun or pronoun that they modify.

Participial Phrases

Phrases are groups of words that act as a single part of speech.
Participial phrases consist of a participle along with all of its modifiers and complements.
Here are three examples. Notice that each phrase is modifying a noun.
Example 1
Babies crying in the night bother me.
  • The participial phrase is crying in the night.
  • It modifies the noun babies.
Example 2
Food frozen for over five years tastes icky.
  • The participial phrase is frozen for over five years.
  • It is modifies the noun food.
Example 3
Burned on each side, the toast was inedible
  • The participial phrase is burned on each side.
  • It modifies the noun toast.

Diagramming Participial Phrases

When diagramming these, start by identifying the participle and the noun that it is modifying.
You already know that you diagram it by putting it on curved, slanted line under the noun that it modifies.
After that, find out what the rest of the phrase consists of and diagram it accordingly.
I'll walk you through the steps using this sentence:
The shoe filled with mud was very heavy.
  • Step 1: Find the participle. (filled)
  • Step 2: Find the noun that it modifies. (shoe)
  • Step 3: Find the rest of the phrase. (with mud)
  • Step 4: Figure out what the rest of the phrase is doing. This is where your other grammar knowledge comes into play. In order to diagram this, you need to know that with mud is a prepositional phrase.
    This prepositional phrase is modifying filled. That means that we diagram the prepositional phrase underneath filled.
    Check it out:
participial phrase 
 Exercise Directions: Find the participial phrases in the following sentences.  Write down the participial phrase and then give the noun or pronoun it modifies.
1. Working in the lab, the scientist created a robot.
2. Early films were still pictures projected on a wall.
3. Moving pictures came later.
4. Food sealed in cans was given to the campers.
5. Quickly frozen food is necessary to preserve the freshness.
6. Coming into the room, the boy threw his books on the desk.
7. Joe, searching for the code, was really excited.
8. The store sold packaged bakery.
9. Pork and beans canned in tomato sauce is my favorite.
10. Relaxing on his back patio, Jeff fell asleep.


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