Grammar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuous Tense (2)

In this lesson you will practice identifying the function of a present participle within a sentence.

I helped the screaming girl.

In this sentence, "screaming" is an adjective that describes the girl.

The girl was screaming.

In this sentence, "screaming" is the 2nd part of a two-part verb; "was screaming" is the continuous tense of the verb "to scream".

 

Whenever you see an -ing verb (properly known as a present participle), it could be functioning as an adjective, or it could be functioning as the 2nd part of the verb.

How can you tell the difference?

Mostly, use your common sense: Is the underlined word acting like an adjective or a verb? It's usually not hard to tell.

If you're still not sure, then look at the word before the present participle. Is it a form of the verb "to be"? If so, it's quite likely that you're looking at a two-word combination. The "to be" word is acting like a helping word—it's helping the -ing verb to form the continuous tense of the verb. Together, they tell the reader that the action is still continuing now (or was still continuing at some point in the past).

Instructions for the Quiz:

Determine the function of the present participle in the sentence. (The present participle is the underlined word).

I shot the growling tiger.

  • adjective
  • part 2 of the verb

 

Answer = A

In this sentence, "growling" is an adjective that describes the tiger.

 

The tiger was growling.

  • adjective
  • part 2 of the verb

Answer = B

In this sentence, "growling" is the 2nd part of a two-part verb; "was growling" is the continuous tense of the verb "to growl".