Present participle adjective masterclass

This lesson helps us understand what a present participle adjective is and how to use it correctly in a sentence.

What is a Present participle adjective?

A present participle adjective is an ING form of a verb (V1+ING) that functions as an adjective.

It is a growing company.

The word ‘growing’ is modifying the noun ‘company’. It is a present participle that’s working as an adjective; it is telling us the state of the company.

present participle adjective
present participle adjective

Examples:

  • Everyone is here to see the burning train.
  • India is one of the developing countries in the world.
  • Look at the shinning car. It must be very expensive.
  • That was an inspiring speech. We all loved it.
  • You have put me in this confusing situation.
  • A smiling man is better than a crying man.
  • The movie was boring. Nobody liked it.
  • This entire situation is a bit overwhelming to me.

NOTE: A present participle also comes after the object of some verbs (generally verbs of perception like see, watch, hear, observe, etc)

  • We saw him eating your lunch.
  • I heard her crying.

Position of a Present participle adjective

A present participle adjective can take the following positions in a sentence:

  1. Just before the noun it modifies
  2. After a linking verb
  3. Just after the noun it modifies

Let’s study all the cases separately.

1. Just before the noun

This is the most common position of a present participle adjective. The present participle, here, sits right before a noun and gives information about it.

Examples:

  • I appreciate the encouraging words.
  • The swimming pool is closed today.
  • I can’t do a teaching job.
  • It was an amazing match.

2. After a linking verb

This is also a common position where a present participle adjective is placed in a sentence.

Examples:

  • The fight coming up is really interesting.
  • You are outstanding.
  • This book is interesting. You should give it a read.
  • His story is very motivating.
  • This job should be exciting.

3. After a noun it modifies

When a present participle adjective comes right after a noun, it is often a part of a present participle phrase.

Examples:

  • The man shouting there is my cousin.
  • Look at the guy sitting next to the tree.
  • The girl dancing on the stage is my sister.
  • People working with me are happy.
  • Nobody likes to talk with the man sitting on the rock alone.

Present participles that are often used as adjectives

  • Shocking
  • Demotivating
  • Tiring
  • Exhausting
  • Terrifying
  • Petrifying
  • Frightening
  • Confusing
  • Frustrating
  • Embarrassing
  • Depressing
  • Boring
  • Exciting
  • Thrilling
  • Motivating
  • Inspiring
  • Amusing
  • Overwhelming
  • Relaxing
  • Satisfying
  • Amazing
  • Interesting

Examples:

  • His story is shocking.
  • The book is really motivating.
  • That was one demotivating speech.
  • It was a tiring day.
  • Doing this job can be exhausting.
  • We can’t forget those petrifying visuals.
  • Talking to her again will be really embarrsing for me.
  • The movie that we watched last night was very depressing.
  • This case is getting confusing.
  • What an exciting match it was!
  • Your story is really inspiring.
  • Watching kids play is so satisfying.
  • Do you find it amusing?

Also, check out this post on past participle adjectives.

Leave a Comment