Present Participles Exercise (300)

Without a helping verb, it functions as an adjective. Decide if the -ing words in the following sentences are functioning as adjectives or as verbs.

  • He wasted five hours playing computer games.

  • We’re expecting our daughter to call from San Francisco.

  • The Chief, nodding toward the country club just across the road, said, "That place is lively tonight."

  • A neighbor saw him leaving his apartment.

  • Gathering the music, the band leader hummed the last piece they’d played.

Answers and Explanations

Sometimes the -ing word seems to be functioning as an adverb, but try moving it around in the sentence and you'll find that it is modifying a noun or a pronoun and not a verb.

1. He wasted five hours playing computer games.

Correct: adjective
Adjective modifying "He."

2. We’re expecting our daughter to call from San Francisco.

Correct: verb
Verb, part of "are expecting."

3. The Chief, nodding toward the country club just across the road, said, "That place is lively tonight."

Correct: adjective
Adjective modifying "The Chief."

4. A neighbor saw him leaving his apartment.

Correct: adjective
Adjective modifying "him."

5. Gathering the music, the band leader hummed the last piece they’d played.

Correct: adjective
Adjective modifying "the band leader."

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