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Question
Dear Ted,

Can you please tell me what the “perfect participle” is used for?

To explain my question:

I understand that the “present participle” is the form of a verb that ends in -ing (breaking) and that this form is used to form the present progressive verb tense  (am breaking)

I understand that the past participle is a form of a verb that ends in -ed (broken) and is used to form the present perfect tense (have broken), the past perfect tense (had broken), and the future perfect tense (will have broken).

I understand that the “perfect participle” is the form of a verb made up of the word “having” plus a past participle (having broken).   But, what verb tense is the perfect participle used for?  I

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

Can you please tell me what the “perfect participle” is used for?

To explain my question:

I understand that the “present participle” is the form of a verb that ends in -ing (breaking) and that this form is used to form the present progressive verb tense  (am breaking)

I understand that the past participle is a form of a verb that ends in -ed (broken) and is used to form the present perfect tense (have broken), the past perfect tense (had broken), and the future perfect tense (will have broken).

I understand that the “perfect participle” is the form of a verb made up of the word “having” plus a past participle (having broken).   But, what verb tense is the perfect participle used for?  

*** From Mr. Hodges:  

PARTICIPLES

The present form of participles expresses action occurring at the same time as that of the main verb, while the present perfect form indicates action that took place before that of the main verb.  

EXAMPLES:

PLANNING for the election, he decided what he should advocate.  [The PLANNING and DECIDING were simultaneous.

HAVING BUILT the house themselves they felt a real sense of pride.  [The BUILDING took place first; then came their sense of pride.]

*** Rich, note that, in both sentences, the verbs of the main clause are in the past tense -- decided and felt.

I have tried to think of an exception, and I cannot.  In short, the answer to your question is "the past tense."

Here are two interesting "participle" sites:

http://www.englishtenses.com/perfect_participle

http://www.testden.com/toefl/english-grammar-for-students/Perfect-Participle.htm

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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