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Participle II as attribute


§ 146. Participle II usually functions either as premodifier when it stands alone or forms a very short participial phrase containing an adverb. The verbal character of the participle in the first case is made clear only by its lexical meaning:


First of all she went to the bombed building.

Our minds should meet in a serious, mutually needed search for common understandings.

It was a neatly written letter.


Sometimes the preposition is kept:


The room even had a faint perfume about it which gave it a lived-in air.

As a postmodifier participle II manifests its verbal character more explicitly, even when it stands alone. It may be accompanied by a preposi­tion, by an agentive by-object, an adverb and prepositional phrases as adverbial modifiers.


Things seen are mightier than things heard.

The dictionary referred to is to be found in our library.

These are cities inhabited by their creators.

Two women dimly seen in the shadow are talking softly.


When participle II or a participial phrase is detached, its position is not fixed. It may occupy the initial position, the mid-position or the final position in the sentence. Detached attributes are separated from the noun by a comma (or commas) in writing and by a pause in speech. They are confined to literary style only.


Greatly excited, the children followed her into the garden.

Johnson, left in charge of both officers, marched about for a little while.

And people hurried by, hidden under their dreadful umbrellas.


Participle II as predicative


§ 147. In this function participle II denotes a state, as in:


The Fada road is finished, the great idea is realized.

You seem surprized.

He looks perplexed and troubled.

He felt thoroughly disappointed.

The door remained locked.


Occasionally we come across a participle II with an active meaning used predicatively:


The sun is not risen.

Everybody is gone.

Evening is come.


Participle II as adverbial modifier


§ 148. The adverbial function and meaning of participle II can be seen only from the general meaning of the sentence. In the vast majority of cases, when used adverbially, participle II is preceded by a conjunction, which explicitly indicates the semantic type of the adverbial modifier.

Participle II may serve as an adverbial modifier of:


time, usually with the conjunction when or until:

He is very affable when spoken to, but naturally silent.

He won’t stop arguing until interrupted.



Deprived of his wife and son by the Spanish adventure, Jolyon found the solitude at Robin Hill intolerable.


condition, mostly with the conjunction if or unless:

I shall certainly give evidence on your behalf, if required.

John will speak for hours, unless interrupted.


concession, with the conjunction though or although:

Though asked in disarming sociability, Haldone’s question was loaded.


comparison,with the conjunction as if or as though:

“I get off the train,” he repeated as if hypnotized.


Predicative constructions with participle II


§ 149. Participle II forms the second (verbal) element of the objective with the participle construction and of the absolute participial construction in two variants: non-prepositional and prepositional.


The objective participial construction with participle II.


The objective participial construction with participle II consists of a noun in the common case or a personal pronoun in the objective case and participle II forming a syntactical complex, in which the two components are in a preducative relationship.


I must have my watch mended. I never heard him spoken of badly. Мне нужно починить часы. Я никогда не слышал, чтобы о нем плохо отзывались.


The construction functions as a complex object to transitive verbs, mainly verbs (a) of causative meaning, (b) of physical perception, (c) of wish:


a) to have, to get, to make


You must have your photo taken.

Where did you have your hair done?

I won’t have my best friend laughed at.

We must get our tickets registered.

The speaker made himself heard with the help of a microphone.


Besides the causative meaning suggesting inducement, sentences the verb to have may occasionally express experience or possess participle II emphasizing the resulting state, as in:


The patient has an arm broken.

I have my task done.


If the action is emphasized, the perfect form is preferable:


The patient has broken an arm.

I have done my task.


Notice the difference in translation:


У больного сломана рука. Больной сломал руку.

Мое задание выполнено. Я выполнил задание.


b) to see, to hear, to feel, to find


I saw Jane addressed by a stranger.

Have you ever heard the writer’s name mentioned before?

We found the door locked.


c) to wish, to want, to like, to prefer


I want the answer sent at once.

We prefer the letter answered by the chief.


Sentences with causative verbs are usually translated into Russian by simple sentences, the causative meaning being evident from the context or the situation. In other cases a complex sentence with an object clause is preferable.


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