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Describing language
Describing language

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1.2 Participles: verbs without any tense

There are other forms of the verb which are not different tenses. They are called participles (which just means ‘parts’).

The present participle ends in -ing (e.g. wanting, flying). This is used when we want to emphasise that something is in the process of happening, either in the present:

Of course I’ll bring it – I’m putting it into my bag as I speak!

Or the past:

I was crossing the street when a cyclist hit me.

The past participle will be discussed in the next section, on irregular verbs.