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Present participle – Expressing a progressive action

The present participle in English is a very easy and useful verb form to learn.  It is simply formed by adding ing to the verb ending.

The present participle allows language users to express the following:

  1. A progressive action.  For example:  Beth was sleeping.  She was dreaming about the future.
  2. As an adjective.  For example:  He is an inspiring speaker. His talk was captivating.

Exercise 1: Make sentences using the present participle with the following verbs:

  • Fall
  • Achieve
  • Tell
  • Hear
  • Ask
  • Laugh


Exercise 2: Complete the story using the present participle of the verbs listed.

My friend ______________ (name of your friend) was _____________ (walk) home from English class when he/ she saw a __________________ (sing) ________________________ (name any animal).  The _______________ (same animal) was ____________________ (sing) out loud.  My friend started  ___________ (think) of how to let other people know about this special ___________ (sing)  ________________ (animal) .  He / She then thought that the best way to let other people know was by ____________ (post) the story on Facebook. That was the best was of _______ (let)  the world know about this special (animal)  and he / she did just that. The next day he / she saw that her Facebook post went viral, and now everyone is __________ (talk)  about this special, and talented ____________ (animal) .