Present Participle Phrases with their Functions and Examples

5 minute read

Present participle phrases: In English grammar, when it comes to verbs, many pointers need to keep in mind, the fact that they depict actions or states of being. Present participial phrases in the sentence use verbs ending in “-ing” to describe an action that’s occurring at the same time as the main verb, or an ongoing state. In this blog, we are going to study everything you need to know to master these present participles including their definition, functions, examples and more.

Read more: 31+ Best English Phrases for Beginners with Examples

Present Participle Phrases Functions

Present participle phrases are grammatical constructions formed utilising present participles (verbs ending in “-ing”) and attending words. Here are present participle phrase functions described in simple terms:

Descriptive Action 

Present participial phrases that describe continuous actions. They provide more information regarding the subject of a sentence.


They also change nouns or pronouns in a sentence, adding fact or clarification. This helps to paint a better image in the reader’s mind.

Brief Description

Present participial phrases condense knowledge, allowing authors to get involved in actions or states compactly and efficiently.

Efforts in Progress

They suggest actions that are happening at the same time as the primary action in the sentence. It also helps to get a sense of simultaneity.

Starting Sentences

They can be utilised at the start of a sentence to deliver essential information such as putting the scene or context for what follows.

Adding Type 

Present participial phrases add type to sentence structure, making writing more attractive and interesting.

Conjunction with Primary Clause

They usually work in conjunction with the primary clause of a sentence, delivering additional points or background information.

Role of Compound Sentences

They can be part of compound sentences, adding complexity by presenting another action or factor to consider.

Active Voice

They contribute to keeping an active voice in writing, which typically makes sentences more direct and interesting.

Creating Imagery

By conveying ongoing activities, present participial phrases create vivid imagery, allowing readers to visualize scenes more effectively.

Also read: 75+ Best Classroom Phrases in English

Present Participial Phrase Examples

Mention below are some examples of present participle phrases, that will provide some help to students:

examples of present participle
  1. Smiling warmly, the professor welcomed her students. (describes the teacher’s action)
  2. Running through the garden, the dog chased a frisbee. 
  3. Sipping her tea, Ria reviewed the morning news.
  4. Covered in flour, the baker emerged from the kitchen.
  5. Rustling through the leaves, the squirrels explored for acorns. (describes the leaves’ action)
  6. Winking rapidly, he tried to focus on the blurry screen. (describes my action)
  7. Shimmering in the daylight, the river looked inviting. (describes the river’s state)
  8. Concerned about his grades, John decided to study harder. (describes John’s state)
  9. Humming a tune, the mail carrier delivered the packages. (describes the mail carrier’s action)
  10. Lost in thought, he did not listen to my name being called. (describes my state)
  11. Damped from the rain, they crowded under the roof. (describes our state)
  12. Inspired by his dreams, Amit continued his training. (describes Sarah’s state)
  13. Yawning widely, everyone in the room felt the afternoon slump. (describes everyone’s action)
  14. Waving excitedly, the children welcomed their parents. (describes the children’s actions)
  15. Balancing carefully, the gymnast conducted a complex routine. (describes the gymnast’s action)
  16. Regarding the cool breeze on my face, He closed his eyes and relaxed. (describes my action)
  17. Decorated with colourful lights, the house looked beautiful. (describes the house’s state)
  18. Cooking lunch, the aroma of spices filled the house. (describes the action and its resulting state)
  19. Working with the heavy box, He called for help. (describes his action)
  20. Hidden behind the curtains, the cat waited for its prey. (describes the cat’s state)

Present Participle Phrase Exercise

Instruction: Rewrite the sentences and frame them in a present participle.

  1. He was talking to his sister and forgot everything around him.
  2. Since they watch the headlines every day they know what’s going on in the world.
  3. We are vegetarians and don’t eat non-veg.
  4. The dog wagged its tail and bit the postman.
  5. While he was cleaning up his room he found some old stuff.
  6. She was a good girl and helped her mother in the kitchen.
  7. As we did not have enough money we spent our holidays at home last year.
  8. The woman was sitting in the restaurant. She was reading a book.
  9. Since he did not feel well he did not go to the cinema.
  10. He walked home and met a cousin.


  1. Talking to his sister he forgot everything around her.
  2. Watching the headlines every day they know what’s going on in the world.
  3. Being vegetarians they don’t eat non-veg.
  4. Wagging its tail the dog bit the postman.
  5. Tidying up his room he found some old stuff.
  6. Being a good girl she helped her mother in the kitchen.
  7. Not having enough money we spent our holidays at home last year.
  8. The woman was sitting in the cafe reading a novel.
  9. Not feeling well he didn’t go to the cinema.
  10. Walking home he met a cousin.
5 Important Types of Phrases with Definitions & Examples11+ Useful Phrases for Group Discussion in the English
50+ Examples of Phrase Preposition55+ Phrases with Meaning to Boost Your Vocabulary
35+ Common Phrases for Daily Use You Should Know!List of Idioms and Phrases for IELTS


What rules are followed in the present participle?

The rules that are followed in present participles end in –ing, while past participles end in –ed, -en, -d, -t, or –n. A present participle is the –ing form of a verb when it is used as an adjective.

How you can teach present participle?

The present participle of a verb consists of the base verb plus an ‘-ing’ ending. It is utilised with a helping verb to show ongoing action, as in ‘I am reading’. It is also utilized with a verb of perception to indicate what an object is doing, as in ‘I saw you talking’.

What present participle noun is also called?

For example, we can also identify it as a present participle when utilised as a noun a present participle is used as a noun or we can call it a gerund.

This was all about the present participial phrases in Learn English. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow the website of Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *