Lesson: Participles

Comment on Participles

At 1:01, there is a sentence "Yanni boiled an egg" wherein 'boiled' serve as verb. However, as a principle, it was mentioned in succeeding slides that Participles act only as adjective. Please explain this juxtaposition.
gmat-admin's picture

We aren't saying that "boiled" always serves as a verb. In some cases, "boiled" serves as a verb, and in other cases, "boiled" serves as an adjective.

It up to you to determine whether the word is serving as a verb or adjective, depending on the context.

If the word serves an adjective, then it's a participle.

Does that help?

Hi Brent - FYI, there is a small typo in the video. Starting at 2:34, where the present participles are listed, the video states that the present participle form of "chop" is "copping"; it should display "chopping" instead.

Thank you for recording these videos and for being responsive - these are a huge help in my GMAT preparation!
gmat-admin's picture

Thanks for that heads up!

Great eye for detail :)

Hello, just a quick question. Shouldnt past participle include "has or have" in front?

Great and clear videos!
gmat-admin's picture

It depends on the tense.

For example, in the simple past tense, we might write "Sue LAUGHED when Kyle entered the room"

In the present perfect tense, we might write "Sue HAS LAUGHED at clowns."

Here's our video on simple tenses: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1176

Here's our video on perfect tenses: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1178

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

gmat-admin's picture

It depends on the tense.

For example, in the simple past tense, we might write "Sue LAUGHED when Kyle entered the room"

In the present perfect tense, we might write "Sue HAS LAUGHED at clowns."

Here's our video on simple tenses: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1176

Here's our video on perfect tenses: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1178

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

In the case of the present participle in a Gerund, the participle is not an adjective and it is a noun.

So how we can say that participle acts only as adjectives, please elaborate.

Thank you,
Ahmed
gmat-admin's picture

Good question, Ahmed!

In the above video, I say that, "In GENERAL, all participle function as adjectives."
Perhaps, while doing so, I should cross reference the gerund video (https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1155), which talks about the exception to the above rule.

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

I'm struggling with this particular question.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/to-map-earth-s-interior-geologists-use-a-network-of-seismometers-to-206347.html

I can't believe that C is the correct answer since

To map Earth’s interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth’s crust and ricochet around its interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more
slowly

How do I know what exactly the part after comma modifies?

Now look at the answer E which is quite clear for me:

To map Earth’s interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth’s crust and ricochet around its interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and
slower through hotter rocks.


Here I know exactly that "waves" are modified(parallel construction)

1)waves that originate in the earth’s crust and ricochet around its interior

2)waves that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

Could you tell me why my approach is faulty?

Thank you in advance
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/to-map-earth-s-interior-geologists-use-a-netw...

Tricky!!!!

The main problem with E is that we use the adjective SLOWER to modify the verb TRAVEL.
It should be: "...TRAVEL RAPIDLY through dense regions and SLOWLY through hotter rocks.

C) ... geologists use a network to chart waves that do X and Y, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly through hotter rocks.

So, the participial phrase "traveling most rapidly through cold..." modifies WAVES.

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why the answer choice E is wrong and how it is different from A(the correct answer)

https://gmatclub.com/forum/five-fledgling-sea-eagles-left-their-nests-in-western-scotland-this-su-130847.html?reloaded_session=1&cb=zl0b9mko

Thank you in advance
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/five-fledgling-sea-eagles-left-their-nests-in...

(E) Five fledgling sea eagles left their nests in western Scotland this summer, and brought to 34 the number of wild birds successfully raised since transplants from Norway began in 1975.
The main issue with (E) is the comma.
We use ", and" to separate two CLAUSES.
Since the second part, (brought to 34 the number of wild birds successfully raised since transplants from Norway began in 1975) has no subject, it is not a clause.
Eliminate E.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Indeed, Thank you

Very interesting,

I have never seen an answer choice which was wrong only because of punctuation))) Love GMAT

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why the answer choice B is incorrect. I know that it has something to do with the meaning, but for me the meaning is ok. Since there is a comma between the participle phrase and the main clause, the participle phrase refers to the subject of the adjacent clause which is Lucretia

Looking forward to your response
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-1850-lucretia-mott-published-her-discourse...

(B) In 1850 Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women, arguing IN A TREATISE for equal political and legal rights for women
The problem here is that the book "Discourse on Women" is a treatise.
This illogically suggests the treatise (titled "Discourse on Women") was arguing in a treatise for equal....

Cheers,
Brent

Hi brent,

Isn't the subject of the first clause "Lacretia Mott"? If yes, it would suggest that "Lacretia Mott" was arguing not "Discourse on Women" was arguing.

I think if the sentence was constructed in this way: "Discourse on Wome was published in 1850 by Lucretia Mott, arguing IN A TREATISE for equal political and legal rights for women", then your point would make sense. What do you think?
gmat-admin's picture

The bigger issue here is the unnecessary use of the word TREATISE.
Consider this sentence: Yesterday Joe spoke at a rally, arguing at a public gathering for people to wear purple on Fridays.

Since RALLY = PUBLIC GATHERING, it makes no sense to use both terms.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why B is an incorrect choice?

I thought that the problem might be with the meaning but I am not sure.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-olympic-games-helped-to-keep-peace-among-the-pugnacious-states-of-85874.html

Thank you in advance
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-olympic-games-helped-to-keep-peace-among-...

(B) The Olympic Games helped to keep peace among the pugnacious states of the Greek world, proclaiming a sacred truce during the festival’s month.
This sentence suggests that the Olympic Games proclaimed a truce.
The Olympic Games can't proclaim anything.
Eliminate B.

Cheers,
Brent

Thank you Brent,

Interesting, so all other answer choices had the subject of the second part of the sentence "Olympic Games" which is wrong. And in B "sacred truc" is subject, though with passive voice.

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why A and D are wrong and C is correct, what is the thing that is tested in this question:

In January 1994 an oil barge ran aground off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, leaking its cargo of 750000 gallons into the ocean, while causing the pollution of the city's beaches.


(A) leaking its cargo of 750000 gallons into the ocean, while causing the pollution of

(B) with its cargo of 750000 gallons leaking into the ocean, and it polluted

(C) and its cargo of 750000 gallons leaked into the ocean, polluting

(D) while it leaked its cargo of 750000 gallons into the ocean and caused the pollution of

(E) so that its cargo of 750000 gallons leaked into the ocean, and they were polluting.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-january-1994-an-oil-barge-ran-aground-off-the-coast-of-san-juan-pu-98241.html

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-january-1994-an-oil-barge-ran-aground-off-...

One of the issues with A and D is the word WHILE.
Typically we use the word WHILE to demonstrate that two actions are occurring at the same time.
For example we might say, "Joe chewed gum WHILE he walked"

In the given sentence, the intended meaning is that the leak occurred as a RESULT OF the barge running aground.
That is, running aground and the leaking did not occur at the same time.
So we can eliminate answer choices A and D.

Answer choice C is correct because the structure of the sentence go something like this: Some stuff happened, RESULTING in something else happened.

Does that help?

Yes it helps a lot,

Thank you Brent

Hi,
In this video it is mentioned that participle is a form of verb that does not function as a 'verb' on its own. While in one of the previous videos, (Grammar Tidbits: Gerunds) it is mentioned that if a word ending in -ing functions as a 'verb' or adjective, it is a present participle. Can you please explain this?
gmat-admin's picture

Good question.

It largely comes down to the distinction between "verb" and "functioning as a verb."

Aside: Before I explain this, I should mention that this distinction won't affect your ability to answer Sentence Correction questions on the GMAT. So, don't dwell on this too much.

Technically speaking, the word RUNNING isn't a verb; it can be either a GERUND or a PRESENT PARTICIPLE.
However, if we add a "helper" verb to RUNNING, we get a VERB PHRASE.
For example, IS RUNNING is a verb phrase.
So, in the sense "Joe is running home," IS RUNNING is a verb phrase that functions as a verb.

Likewise, STUDYING is either a GERUND or a PRESENT PARTICIPLE.
If we add a helper verb like ARE, we get the verb phrase ARE STUDYING (as in "The children ARE STUDYING at the library")
We might also say that, in the sentence " the children are studying at the library," ARE and STUDYING are functioning as verbs.

The main idea here is that, a present participle all by itself (with no helper verb) does not function as a verb.

Does that help?

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