Past Participle Exercise (287)

Used with a helping verb, the past participle can be part of a complete verb. For example, "The book was written in 1912." Without a helping verb, the past participle functions as an adjective: "Written in 1912, the book is still timely." Decide how the past participles in boldface type are being used in the following sentences.

  • The lady and her maid had already vanished into the great hall.

  • Scared by the hideous cry, the guest shuddered in his bed.

  • Although much knocked about by life, the old woman retained a positive outlook.

  • Once away from the subdued lights of the buildings, they were able to see the stars.

  • Such was the bitter cold that the pond had frozen to the very center.

Answers and Explanations

1. The lady and her maid had already vanished into the great hall.

Correct: part of complete verb
The past participle is being used with the helping verb had to create the past perfect tense.

2. Scared by the hideous cry, the guest shuddered in his bed.

Correct: adjective
Scared qualifies "the guest."

3. Although much knocked about by life, the old woman retained a positive outlook.

Correct: adjective
Knocked qualifies "the old woman."

4. Once away from the subdued lights of the buildings, they were able to see the stars.

Correct: adjective
Subdued qualifies "lights."

5. Such was the bitter cold that the pond had frozen to the very center.

Correct: part of complete verb
Frozen is used with the helping verb had to create the past perfect tense.

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