[Exercise 1] From verb to present participle
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Congratulations! Now you know how to form present participles. Let’s continue to see how to use them.
If you have read well the previous page, this task should not be difficult for you.
What is the present participle of the verb laugh? Fill it in below!
The present participle of the verb laugh is .
Don’t you remember? We just take the verb and add -ing to it. That should not be too difficult, or what do you think? Let’s try!
Okay, let’s try this one more time. Please fill in the present participle of “work” into this sentence!
Where’s dad? – Oh, he’s not here at the moment. He is .
Feel like you can’t do it alone? 🙂 Remember, for the present participle, we…
- Use our verb.
- Add “ing” to it.
- That’s it – there is not even a third step! 🙂
Let’s turn to something a little more interesting this time – a little challenge.
Every year in the United States, in northwestern Nevada, there is a big festival. For this festival, all the people taking part construct a temporary city called “Black Rock City”. This festival is all about community and art, self-expression and self-reliance. On the sixth day, something special happens, which is why the festival carries this name.
Challenge: Go on a small search for the name of this festival – and fill in the present participle in the gap below!
I’ve found it! The name of this festival is the Man festival.
Just go to an internet search site of your choice and choose some search terms that might help you to find the name of this festival. Maybe try the name of the town, the state, combined with the term “festival”?
For the following task, you need to know something. Every time, when a verb ends in -e, we erase the -e and add “ing” straight to the verb’s stem.
- make => making
- write => writing
You’ll now see the lyrics of an old song from the year 1964, a real classic. There are two present participles in there. Either listen to the song and try to find out what they are (one is already in the title! :) ), or do a quick search on the internet for the lyrics of this song.
Notice: Write down the “normal form” (-ing) of the verb, not the abbreviation (-in’).
There is a house way down in New Orleans
They call the Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I’m one
Mother was a tailor, yeah, yeah
Sewed my Levi jeans
My father was a man, yeah, yeah
Down, way down in New Orleans
Now the only thing a man ever needs
Is a suitcase, Lord, and a trunk
And the only time a fool like him is satisfied
Is when he’s all stone cold drunk
What does the sun do in the morning? And what does a person do who spends their money on a game of fortune?
As usual in English, there are always some exceptions to the rule. So when we construct present participles, this is what we need to follow:
1. Verbs in -ie
When a verb ends in -ie, the present participle changes the -ie to -y.
- Verb (to) die => Present Participle dying
2. One or two consonants?
The question whether the present participle has got one or two consonants is not so easy to answer. Often it helps to listen to the pronunciation.
a) Verbs with one syllable
In verbs with one syllable and a vowel before the last consonant, this consonant is usually doubled.
- Verb (to) swim => Present Participle swimming
The consonants y and w, however, are not doubled:
- Verb (to) buy => Present Participle buying
- Verb (to) snow => Present Participle snowing
b) Verbs with two syllables
In two syllable verbs, you always need to listen to the pronunciation.
Is the stress on the first syllable? (whisper | visit) Then, we do not double the consonant. (whispering | visiting)
Is the stress on the second syllable? (upset | forget) Then, we double the consonant. (upsetting | forgetting)
- Chris is (run) as fast as he can.
- I think she is (lie).
- Let’s go, kids! We are (visit) grandma today.
This next one is a bit more difficult. Find out here how this verb is pronounced by clicking on the small speaker icon!
- The man was charged for (commit) several crimes.
Same for this one. Again, follow this link and find out how the basic verb is pronounced!
- Volunteering can make you feel as good in addition to (benefit) those you are helping.