Participle adjectives refer to those verbs which can be used as adjectives when they are in the present participle form (- ing form) or past participle form (- ed form).
These types of adjectives precede nouns they describe or come after linking verbs
- He gave me an interesting book
- My son’s works are promising
- Peter seemed delighted with the gift
The uses of participle adjectives
Participle adjectives can be used immediately after nouns if we want to identify or define a given noun.
- You need to throw the papers used in the bin
- Look at the man standing out there!
Note: Only few participle adjectives can be used immediately after nouns; these adjectives include applying, found, provided, used, caused, and taken.
Some of these adjectives can be used either before or after nouns, here are they: infected, chosen, remaining, resulting, identified, affected, interested, broken.
- The chosen candidates were called for an interview, or
- The candidates chosen were called for an interview.
Both of the above sentences are correct.
In formal English, We can use that and those before participle adjectives:
- Your essay is better than that (= the essay) prepared by Bob.
- The homework is for those (= students) lacking their school objects.
The difference between present participle adjectives and past participle adjectives:
On the other hand, there are some participle adjectives which can have two different forms i.e. present participle and past participle forms; these adjectives can be used to describe people or things:
The -ing adjectives are used when we describe something, and the -ed adjectives describe how someone feels
Compare the following sentences:
- I’m interested in this course. and • It’s an interesting course.
- I’m tired. and • The work was really tiring.
- They can also be used to form compound adjectives and they are connected by a hyphen:
- They are a well-known band.
- The newly-built school will open next month.
- A good-looking guy left the café.
- We walked past an evil-smelling pond.
- A well-behaved kid was found crying
Note: Such participle adjectives cannot be used unless they are preceded by an adverb, an adjective or a noun; thus they cannot stand alone.
It’s not correct to say ‘…a known band, ‘…a built school, or ‘…a looking guy” since their meaning is incomplete in the absence of a preceding adjective, adverb or noun.