This is the fourth of our High English quizzes looking at non-finites. We have so far studied the infinitives, gerunds and participles. We found that there is an ‘-ing’ ending for both gerunds and present participles. In this quiz we study more uses of non-finites and also the past participles in infinitives of verbs.
Look at these sentences:
'I saw the old lady CROSS the road.’
'I saw the old lady CROSSING the road.’
In the first sentence, by the use of CROSS, we discern that the action of crossing the road is complete. In the second sentence, by the use of CROSSING, we discern that the action of crossing the road is just nearing completion.
We already know that the present participles of verbs end with ‘ing’ and act as an adjective in sentences and describe unfinished action. We have another form of the non-finite known as a past participle, which is similar to a present participle and functions as an adjective. Consider this sentence:
‘Bent with age, the old man totters along aimlessly.’
In this sentence, ‘bent’ is the past participle and it describes the old man (a noun) and hence the past participle acts as an adjective.
The defining characteristics of a past participle are that they end with ‘-ed,' '-d,' '-t' or '–en.’ They describe a completed action and function as adjectives. They can be used with all tenses. The time of the action is shown by the finite verbs. In our example above, ‘totters’ is the finite verb.
Another form of the past participle is the perfect participle, which represents an action as having been completed sometime in the past. Look at this sentence:
‘HAVING BEEN ELECTED To the Vidhana Sabha, the legislator left for Bangalore.’
Here we find the perfect participle in capitals indicates that the action of being elected is complete. Take the quiz that follows and learn more about non-finites, infinitives and verbs ending with 'ing'.