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Participial Adjective

What Is a Participial Adjective?


The participial adjectives are a major subclass of adjectives.They can be distinguished
by their endings, either er or ing. Some exceptions to the rules include
misunderstood and unknown, which also function like these special adjectives even
though they do not end in ed. They are called participial adjectives because they have
the same endings as verb participles.

What Is their Function in a Sentence


These adjectives are really meant to function like any other adjective: they help to
describe a noun. They might come from a verb form, or they might merely imitate the
structure, but they always function as a descriptive adjective. Lets look at some
examples of participial adjectives in sentences below. After each example, the
adjective is placed in parentheses. Some example sentences have more than one
adjective.

The tempting cookie platter made my mouth salivate. (tempting)


The fascinating book was a thrilling read. (fascinating, thrilling)
The interesting story made a compelling point. (interesting, compelling)
Sally was bored by the conversation. (bored)
I am tired today, and my work is really tiring. (tired, tiring)
My frustrating experience at the restaurant made me angry. (frustrating)
I have been agitated long enough. (agitated).

These adjectives form a very large portion of all of the adjectives in the English
language and help us be more accurate in our description of people, places, things, and
experiences when we speak and write.

Examples of Adjectives Which Come From a Verb


You might be wondering, what is the origin of all of these adjectives? Why do we have
so many of these strange words that look like certain verb forms? Some of the
participial adjectives that end in ed have a corresponding verb form, whereas some
participial adjectives do not.
In other words, some adjectives only look like they come from verbs and we still call
them participial adjectives. In this way, excite becomes excited and determine
BERRUS MAGALLN JAVIER ISAAC
3RO MECNICA

becomes determined. However, there is no to talent that forms the participial


adjective talented. It is more common that the participial adjectives that end in ing
have a corresponding verb form. These include annoying, exasperating, worrying,
thrilling, misleading, gratifying, and time-consuming.

Modifying Participial Adjectives


These adjectives do not just come in one form. You can modify participial adjectives to
increase or decrease their intensity and use them to compare different nouns. This can
be accomplished by using the words very, extremely, less, or by forming comparative
and superlative forms. Look at the examples below, using the adjective annoying:
Annoying
Very annoying
Extremely annoying
Less annoying
More annoying
Most annoying
In all of these forms, annoying serves as the participial adjective but it is treated
differently in each case. Look at a few ways we can use the above treatments of
annoying:
She was so annoying.
He is extremely annoying.
It was more annoying to me that he did not show up for the party.
The most annoying thing was that she did not speak up.

Inventing a Participial Adjective


Some participial adjectives have no corresponding verb form since they are made by
putting a noun with a participle, such as drug-induced coma or energy-saving
technology. In the former example, drug is the noun put with induced, the
participle. In the latter example, energy is the noun put with saving, the participle.
For more examples go online to find practice worksheets and more complex
definitions of these adjectives.

BERRUS MAGALLN JAVIER ISAAC


3RO MECNICA

EXERCISES
The animals were (fascinate) fascinating to the children.
The nature film was (fascinate) fascinating .
Computers are (interest) interesting to Jennifer.
Jason is an (interest) interesting person. I'd like to meet him.
Some movies are very (bore) boring . They make me sleepy.
The professor's lecture was a little (bore) boring . I almost fell asleep!
Trying to learn another language can be (tire) tiring sometimes.
Working for 12 hours with no break is (tire) tiring for most people.
The news is very (surprise) surprising to me.
The birthday party was (surprise) surprising to Jack.
Traffic is very (frustrate) frustrating to me.

BERRUS MAGALLN JAVIER ISAAC


3RO MECNICA