Present participle in French
Present participle (French participe présent) is a verbal form ending with -ant which is structurally equivalent of the -ing form in English. The present participle is used as an adjective, to build the participle sentences and to build the Gerund.
When to use the present participle in French?
The 3 main uses of present participle in French are:
1) as an adjective
- La femme charmante (The charming woman)
- Un enfant intéressant (An interesting child)
2) in the participle sentences
- La femme captivant l'attention de tous les hommes (The woman catching attention of all the men)
- J'ai vu ma soeur lisant le journal (I saw my sister reading the newspaper)
3) to build the Gerund
- En recevant la lettre,il pensait à ses enfants (Sending the letter he was thinking about his children)
- Il pensait à son enfance en mangeant la glace (He was thinking about his childhood while eating the ice-cream)
How to form present participle in French?
The present participle is formed by replacing the ending “ons” with the ending “ant” of stem of the 1st person plural of the present tense (the form of “nous”),
|Infinitive||1st person of the plural||Present participle|
|prendre (to take)||nous prenons (we take)||prenant (taking)|
|danser (to dance)||nous dansons (we dance)||dansant (dancing)|
|donner (to give)||nous donnons (we give)||donnant (giving)|
All the verbs are formed by the same rule except 3 verbs:
- Avoir - ayant (having)
- Être - étant (being)
- Savoir- sachant (knowing)
- Sachant la vérité il a decidé de ne plus parler avec cet homme.
- Etant fatigué il est allé dormir.
- Ayant des problèmes du transport elle n’as pas pu venir.
- Prenant sa veste elle a quitté la maison.
- Ils se sentaient mieux en donnant des conseils.
Agreement of the Present participle in French
If the Present participle is used as an adjective, it should be agreed with the subject:
|Plural||- s||- es|
- la femme charmante - les femmes charmantes
- un homme parlant - des hommes parlants
- l'enfant jouant - les enfants jouants
If the Present Participle is used in the participle sentences, it shouldn't be agreed!
List of different adjectives and present participle
Some verbs have their participle present similar to adjective but some others may be different.
Adjectives agrees in gender and number if they are similar to participles
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