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Is there any easy way to figure out how to identify participial phrases? I need to find them in my homework sentences and am having a hard time determining if I am identifying the right phrases or not.

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asked by Lisa
  1. They are not always easy.

    Participial phrases almost always start with the participle, either in present (-ing) or past (-ed or ?) form. They almost always have a direct object in them; they can have other modifiers in them, too.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm#participle
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm#participle
    Scroll almost all the way to the bottom to find the section on Participial Phrases.

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  2. A participle is a VERB that describes a noun. examples:
    worn tires...to wear is a verb
    fishing line....to fish is a verb
    torn jeans.... to tear is a verb
    tired child....to tire is a verb.

    So, the easiest way to find a participle is to ask first, is it a verb; second is it describing a noun.

    A participial phrase needs to be next to the noun it is describing. Landing in the pasture, the pilot of the airplane safely unloaded his cargo.

    Landing is a verb describing the pilot.

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