Present participle adjective masterclass

This lesson helps us understand what a present participle adjective is and how to use it correctly in a sentence.

What is a Present participle adjective?

A present participle adjective is an ING form of a verb (V1+ING) that functions as an adjective.

It is a growing company.

The word ‘growing’ is modifying the noun ‘company’. It is a present participle that’s working as an adjective; it is telling us the state of the company.

present participle adjective
present participle adjective


  • Everyone is here to see the burning train.
  • India is one of the developing countries in the world.
  • Look at the shinning car. It must be very expensive.
  • That was an inspiring speech. We all loved it.
  • You have put me in this confusing situation.
  • A smiling man is better than a crying man.
  • The movie was boring. Nobody liked it.
  • This entire situation is a bit overwhelming to me.

NOTE: A present participle also comes after the object of some verbs (generally verbs of perception like see, watch, hear, observe, etc)

  • We saw him eating your lunch.
  • I heard her crying.

Position of a Present participle adjective

A present participle adjective can take the following positions in a sentence:

  1. Just before the noun it modifies
  2. After a linking verb
  3. Just after the noun it modifies

Let’s study all the cases separately.

1. Just before the noun

This is the most common position of a present participle adjective. The present participle, here, sits right before a noun and gives information about it.


  • I appreciate the encouraging words.
  • The swimming pool is closed today.
  • I can’t do a teaching job.
  • It was an amazing match.

2. After a linking verb

This is also a common position where a present participle adjective is placed in a sentence.


  • The fight coming up is really interesting.
  • You are outstanding.
  • This book is interesting. You should give it a read.
  • His story is very motivating.
  • This job should be exciting.

3. After a noun it modifies

When a present participle adjective comes right after a noun, it is often a part of a present participle phrase.


  • The man shouting there is my cousin.
  • Look at the guy sitting next to the tree.
  • The girl dancing on the stage is my sister.
  • People working with me are happy.
  • Nobody likes to talk with the man sitting on the rock alone.

Present participles that are often used as adjectives

  • Shocking
  • Demotivating
  • Tiring
  • Exhausting
  • Terrifying
  • Petrifying
  • Frightening
  • Confusing
  • Frustrating
  • Embarrassing
  • Depressing
  • Boring
  • Exciting
  • Thrilling
  • Motivating
  • Inspiring
  • Amusing
  • Overwhelming
  • Relaxing
  • Satisfying
  • Amazing
  • Interesting


  • His story is shocking.
  • The book is really motivating.
  • That was one demotivating speech.
  • It was a tiring day.
  • Doing this job can be exhausting.
  • We can’t forget those petrifying visuals.
  • Talking to her again will be really embarrsing for me.
  • The movie that we watched last night was very depressing.
  • This case is getting confusing.
  • What an exciting match it was!
  • Your story is really inspiring.
  • Watching kids play is so satisfying.
  • Do you find it amusing?

Also, check out this post on past participle adjectives.

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Ashish found his first love—the English language—a few years back. Since then, he has been immersed in the language, breaking down the language and teaching it to passionate English learners. He has a flair for listening to the English language (podcasts, sitcoms, stories), observing the nuances, and making it easy for English learners. He is known for breaking down complex English topics and making them easy to be understood.

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