Participle | prior participle | establish participle

Participle | prior participle | establish participle

section of address

A section of speech is a category to which words are assigned based on their similar grammatical functions. The eight major parts of speech used in the OED are noun (n.), adjective (adj.), pronoun (pron.), verb (v.), adverb (adv.), preposition (prep.), conjunction (conj.), and interjection (int.).

OED entries show abbreviated part-of-speech labels next to the entry word, for example Whole milk letter., Needed adj., S/He pron. dos , Dislike v., Cheerfully adv., Toward prep., Or conj. step one , and SHAZAM int. Some entries are divided into more than one part of speech.

participial adjective

A participial adjective is an adjective that is derived from, and identical in form with, a establish participle or a previous participle. Examples of participial adjectives in English are knitted in a knitted sweater and fascinating in an interesting idea.

  • ENGLISH adj. Special spends 1b shows uses of English ‘With participial adjectives’, such as English-born and English-educated.
  • Solid advpounds shows uses of strong ‘With present participial adjectives’, such as strong-growing and strong-smelling, and ‘With past participial adjectives’, such as strong-made and strong-set.
[It is often difficult to draw a distinction between participial adjectives and the participles from which they are derived. Earlier editions of the OED treated participial adjectives as a separate part of speech from other adjectives, but in the revised edition such words are treated as adjectives.]

A participle is a form of a verb used with additional verbs in complex constructions or alone in non-finite clauses. There are two types of participle in English, past and present.

Past participles are used to form the prime (for example taken in they got removed the train) and the inactive (for example denied in the allegations was basically denied). They are also used alone in non-finite clauses (e.g. in Baffled, he stared out of the window). In English, past participles often have the same form as the past tense of the verb, often ending in -ed (e.g. walked, denied); others end in -en (e.g. taken, eaten); and others have irregular forms (e.g. been, gone, swum) or are identical with the base form (e.g. hit, put).

Present participles are used to form progressive constructions (e.g. thinking in I in the morning convinced). They are also used alone in non-finite clauses (e.g. in Considering, he stared out of the window). In English, present participles end in -ing.

Participles may also be used as adjectives (as in a knitted jumper, an interesting idea) in which case they are called participial adjectives.

  • Get back v. 1c, having the overarching definition ‘To come or go back to a place or person’, illustrates the construction ‘In past participle with to be’. Examples include ‘They saw much of the Lambs, who lived close by and were just returned from a visit to Coleridge at Keswick’ and ‘Is she returned from lunch yet?’
  • Fully adv. 1b(a), having the overarching definition ‘In a full manner or degree;…completely, entirely’, shows examples ‘Modifying a verb (frequently a past participle).’ Examples with past participles include ‘they were fully wishing‘ and ‘day had fully dawned‘.
  • DRUM-Seafood v. (defined as ‘to fish for drum-fish’) is described as occurring ‘chiefly as present participle’. Examples include ‘A number of fishermen were drum-fishing‘ and ‘Senator Quay..was discovered..knee-deep in the surf at Atlantic City, drum-angling.


In a passive sentence, the grammatical subject typically refers to the person or thing which undergoes or is affected by the action expressed by the verb. For example, ‘Your vase was broken by my dog’ is a passive sentence: your vase is the grammatical subject, and the vase has undergone the breaking.