In the English language, a participle is an adjective form of a verb. A present participle is a verb with a suffix "-ing" while a past participle is a verb with suffix "-ed". Some verbs may have an odd suffix or another odd form instead of adding "-ed"; they are called irregular verbs.


A present participle is often confused with a gerund, a noun form of a verb with "-ing".

Other languages have different sorts of participles. E.g. Latin had:

  • active present participle: educans "the one that teaches"
  • passive past perfect participle: educatus "the one that has been taught"
  • passive future participle: educandus "the one that shall be taught"

Old English ended present participles with -ind. In the East Midlands dialect, it merges with -ing, with originally only named actions.