A participle is a form of a verb which is used in a sentence to modify a noun or noun phrase, and thus plays a role similar or identical to that of an adjective, or sometimes an adverb.[1] It is one of the types of non-finite verb forms. Its name comes from the Latin participium,[2] a calque of Greek metoche? "partaking" or "sharing";[3] it is so named because the Ancient Greek and Latin participles "share" some of the categories of the adjective or noun (gender, number, case) and some of those of the verb (tense and voice). Participles may correspond to the active voice (active participles), where the modified noun is taken to represent the agent of the action denoted by the verb; or to the passive voice (passive participles), where the modified noun represents the patient (undergoer) of that action. Participles in particular languages are also often associated with certain verbal aspects or tenses. The two types of participle in English are traditionally called the present participle (forms such as writing, singing and raising; these also serve as gerunds and verbal nouns), and the past participle (forms such as written, sung and raised; regular participles such as the last also serve as the finite past tense). In some languages, participles can be used in the periphrastic formation of compound verb tenses, aspects or voices. For example, one of the uses of the English present participle is to express continuous aspect (as in John is working), while the past participle can be used in expressions of perfect aspect and passive voice. A verb phrase based on a participle and having the function of a participle is called a participle phrase or participial phrase (participial is the adjective derived from participle). For example, looking hard at the sign and beaten by his father are participial phrases based respectively on an English present participle and past participle. Participial phrases are a type of non-finite clause. Some languages use different forms for adverbial participles and adjectival participles; for examples see the information below on specific languages, and in the articles on Russian grammar, Hungarian grammar, Polish grammar, and (for an example of an Inuit language that makes such a distinction) the sophisticated participle system of Sireniki Eskimo.

English verbs have two participles: one, called variously the present, active, imperfect, or progressive participle, is identical in form to the gerund; the term present participle is sometimes used to include the gerund. The term gerund-participle is also used. the other, called variously the past, passive, or perfect participle, is usually identical to the verb's preterite (past tense) form, though in irregular verbs the two usually differ. While English past participles, like past tense forms, are sometimes irregular, all English present participles are regular, being formed with the suffix -ing. The present participle in English is used for: forming the progressive aspect: Jim was sleeping. modifying a noun as an adjective: Let sleeping dogs lie. (= Let dogs that are sleeping lie.) modifying a verb or sentence in clauses: Broadly speaking, the project was successful. The present participle in English has the same form as the gerund, but the gerund acts as a noun rather than a verb or a modifier. The word sleeping in Your job description does not include sleeping is a gerund and not a present participle. The past participle may be used in both active and passive voices: forming the perfect: The chicken has eaten. forming the passive voice: The chicken was eaten. modifying a noun, with active sense: our fallen comrades (= our comrades who have fallen) modifying a noun, with passive sense: the attached files (= the files that have been attached) modifying a verb or sentence, with passive sense: Seen from this perspective, the problem presents no easy solution. (= When it is seen from this perspective,....) As noun-modifiers, participles usually precede the noun (like adjectives), but in many cases they can or must follow it: The visiting dignitaries devoured the baked apples. Please bring all the documents required. (= Please bring all the documents that are required.) The difficulties encountered were nearly insurmountable. (= The difficulties that were encountered were nearly insurmountable.) Some English participles also form adverbs, such as interestingly and excitedly.