Participle clause in German
What is a Participle clause?
The participle clause is a dependent clause that is built with the German participle I or II. It refers to the subject of the main clause. In German the participle clause is not used so often.
Participle clause with the German participle I
The participle I is used, when two actions are happening simultaneously
- Ein Bild malend, saß das Mädchen am Boden. (The girl sat on the floor, drawning a picture)
- Zum Bahnhof laufend, verlor er seine Schlüssel. (He lost his key, walking to the train station)
- Ein Lied singend, wanderten wir zu der Hütte. (He walked to the cabin, singing a song)
Participle clause with the German participle II
The participle II is used, when the action in the participle clause happened before the one in the main clause.
- Gerade erst repariert, ist das Auto schon wieder kaputt. (Being just repaired, the car broke again)
- Zu spät losgegangen, haben wir den Zug verpasst. (Having left too late, we missed the train)
- Die Zähne geputzt, ging sie sofort ins Bett. (Having brushed her teeth, she went to bed right away)
Building of Participle clauses
Because the participle clause refers to the subject of the main clause, there is no subject in the participle clause itself. The verb is in the participle I or II form and always stands at the end of the clause.
Building the Participle I
Building the German participle I form in German is very easy. You only take the infinitive of the verb and add a "-d" at the end.
- laufen (to run) → laufend
- schreiben (to write) → schreibend
- lachen (to laugh) → lachend
Building the Participle II
- the participle II of regular verbs always has this form: "ge...t"
- irregular verbs have this form: "ge...en"
- putzen (to clean) → geputzt
- gehen (to go) → gegangen
- sprechen (to speak) → gesprochen
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