Notice the highlighted words in the following sentences.
1. “When I leave,’ Sophie said, coming home from school, “I’m going to have a boutique.”
2. Jansie, linking arms with her along the street, looked doubtful.
3. “I’ll find it,” Sophie said, staring far down the street.
4. Jansie, knowing they were both earmarked for the biscuit factory, became melancholy.
5. And she turned in through the open street door leaving Jansie standing in the rain.
– When we add “ing” to a verb we get the present participle form. The present participle form is generally used along with forms of “be’, (is, was, are, were, am) to indicate the continuous tense as in “Sophie was coming home from school.”
– We can use the present participle by itself without the helping verb, when we wish to indicate that an action is happening at the same time as another.
– In example 1, Sophie “said” something. “Said”, here, is the main action.
– What Sophie was doing while she was “saying” is indicated by “coming home from school”. So we get the information of two actions happening at the same time. We convey the information in one sentence instead of two.
I. Analyse the other examples in the same way.
II. Pick out five other sentences from the story in which present participles are used in this sense.
I. The explanations are as follows:
2. Here, the main verb is ‘looked’. Therefore, ‘linking’ is the present participle form of the verb ‘link’ and is not used in continuous tense. The two actions indicated are ‘linking arms’ and ‘looked doubtful.’
3. The main verb is ‘said’. Therefore, ‘staring’ is the present participle form of the verb ‘stare’ and is not used in continuous tense. The two actions indicated are ‘said’ and ‘staring’.
4. The main verb is ‘became’. Therefore, ‘knowing’ is the present participle form of the verb ‘know’ and is not used in continuous tense. The two actions indicated are ‘knowing’ and ‘became melancholy.’
5. In this sentence, the main verb is ‘turned’. Therefore, ‘leaving’ and ‘standing’ are the present participle form of the verb ‘leave’ and ‘stand’ respectively, that are not used in continuous tense.
II. Examples of similar sentences are as follows:
1. He was kneeling on the floor in the next room tinkering with a part of his motorcycle over some newspaper spread on the carpet.
2. She watched along the canal, seeing him come out of the shadows, imagining her own consequent excitement.
3. Jansie frowned, sensing she was covering.
4. I feel the pangs of doubt stirring inside me.
5. But all the same, it makes me despondent, this knowing I’ll never be able to show them they’re wrong to doubt me.