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Chapter VIII



§ 1. The verb has finite and non-finite forms, the latter being also called verbals. The verbals, unlike the finite forms of the verb, do not express person, number or mood. Therefore they cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence.

Like the finite forms of the verb the verbals have tense and voice distinctions, but their tense distinctions differ greatly from those of the finite verb. (For detailed treatment of the tense distinctions of verbals see § 2.)

There are three verbals in English: the participle, the gerund and the infinitive.

In Russian we also have three non-finite forms of the verb, but they do not fully coincide with those in the English language (причастие, деепричастие, инфинитив).

Note. In some modern grammar textbooks no distinction is made between Participle I and the gerund. Both forms are referred to as ing forms' or '-ing participle[2]. However, as shown below, there exist clear-cut differences between these two verbals, which give grounds for their dif­ferentiation.


§ 2. The characteristic traits of the verbals are as follows:

1. They have a double nature, nominal and verbal. The participle combines the characteristics of a verb with those of an adjective; the gerund and the infinitive combine the characteristics of a verb with those of a noun.

2. The tense distinctions of the verbals are not absolute (like those of the finite verb), but relative; the form of a verbal does not show whether the action it denotes refers to the present, past or future; it shows only whether the action expressed by the verbal is simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb or prior to it.

3. All the verbals can form predicative constructions, i. e. constructions consisting of two elements, a nominal (noun or pronoun) and a verbal (par-

ticiple, gerund or infinitive); the verbal element stands in predicate relation to the nominal element, i. e. in a relation similar to that between the subject and the predicate of the sentence. In most cases predicative constructions form syntactic units, serving as one part of the sentence.

They sat down to supper, Manston still talking cheerfully.

(Hardy) — Они сели ужинать; Мэнстон продолжал весело разговаривать.

Manston still talking cheerfully is a predicative construction with a participle: the participle talking stands in predicate relation to the noun Manston, which denotes the doer of the action expressed by the participle.


In the sentence a verbal may occur:

(a)singly, i. e. without accompanying words.

She... went away smiling. (Dreiser) — Она... ушла, улыбаясь. Reading is out of the question — I can't fix my attention on books. (Collins) — О чтении не может быть и речи — я не могу сосредоточить свое внимание на книгах. То decide is to act. — Решить — значит начать действовать.

(b)in phrases, i. е. with one or several accompanying words (an object or an adverbial modifier to the verbal). These phrases form syn­tactic units serving as one part of the sentence.

A phrase should not be confused with a predicative construction: between the elements of a phrase there is no predicate relation as it does not include a noun or a pronoun denoting the doer of the action expressed by a verbal.

The windows of the drawing-room opened to a balcony over­looking the garden. (Mansfield) — Окна гостиной выходили на балкон, с которого был виден сад.

She tried to tranquillize him by reading aloud. (Gaskell) — Она пыталась успокоить его тем, что читала ему вслух. Not to disquiet his sister, he had said nothing to her of the matter. (Hardy) — Чтобы не встревожить сестру, он ничего не сказал ей об этом.

(c)in predicative constructions.

My mistress being dead..., I had to look out for a new place. (Ch. Brontë) — Так как моя хозяйка умерла, мне пришлось искать другое место.

There is no mistake about his being a genius. (Shaw) — He может быть никакого сомнения в том, что он — гений. She heard him unbar the door and go out into the yard.

(Hardy) — Она слышала, как он отодвинул засов и вышел во двор.


The Participle

§ 3. The participle is a non-finite form of the verb which has a verbal and an adjectival or an adverbial character.

There are two participles in English — Participle I and Participle II, traditionally called the Present Participle and the Past Participle.

Note. These traditional terms are open to objection on the ground that Participle I does not necessarily refer to the present Just as Participle II need not refer to the past. The difference between them is not a difference in tense, but chiefly a difference in voice. In modern grammar textbooks they are also termed'-ing participle' and'-ed participle'.

Participle I is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb; the following spelling rules should be observed:

(a)If a verb ends in a mute e, the mute e is dropped before adding the suffix -ing: to give — giving, to close — closing.

(b)If a verb ends in a consonant preceded by a vowel rendering a short stressed sound, the final consonant is doubled before adding the suffix -ing: to run — running, to forget —forgetting, to admit — admitting.

A final l is doubled if it is preceded by a vowel letter rendering a short vowel sound, stressed or unstressed: to expel — expelling, to travel — travelling.

(c)The verbs to die, to lie and to tie form Participle I in the follow­ing way: dying, lying, tying.

N o t e. A final y is not changed before adding the suffix -ing: to com­ply — complying, to deny — denying.

(For the formation of Participle II see Chapter VII, § 3.)

§ 4. As has already been stated, the participle has a verbal and an adjectival or adverbial character. Its adjectival or adverbial character is manifested in its syntactic functions, those of attribute or adverbial modifier.

I hated the hollow sound of the rain pattering on the roof. (Du Maurier) (ATTRIBUTE) — Мне был отвратителен глухой шум дождя, стучавшего по крыше.

And then she turned to the title-page, and looked at the name written in the schoolboy hand. (Ch. ВгоШё) (ATTRIBUTE) — За­тем она открыла книгу на титульном листе и посмотрела на имя, написанное ученическим почерком. Having garaged his car, he remembered that he had not lunched. (Galsworthy) (ADVERBIAL MODIFIER) — Поставив машину в гараж, он вспомнил, что не завтракал. When left to herself she spent her time at her writing desk. (Trollope) (ADVERBIAL MODIFIER) — Оставшись одна, она провела время за своим письменным столом.

Note. Some participles have lost their verbality altogether and have become adjectives: interesting, charming, alarming, etc., complicated, distinguished, furnished, etc. E. g. an interestingbook, a charming g\x\, the alarming news; a complicated problem, a distinguished writer, a furnished apartment.

The verbal characteristics of the participle are as follows:

1. Participle I of a transitive verb can take a direct object.

Opening the door, he went out on to the terrace. (Galsworthy)

2. Participle I and Participle II can be modified by an adverb.

Leaving the room hurriedly, he ran out. (Thackeray) Deeply effected, Priam Farll rose and left the room. (Bennett)

3. Participle I has tense distinctions; Participle I of transitive verbs has also voice distinctions. In Modern English Participle I has the fol­lowing forms:

  Active Passive
Indefinite writing oeing written
Perfect having written having been written


§ 5. The tense distinctions of the participle.

Like the tense distinctions of all the verbals, those of the participle are not absolute but relative.

Participle I Indefinite Active and Passive usually denotes an action simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb; depending oh the tense-form of the finite verb it may refer to the present, past, or future.

When reading The Pickwick Papers, one can't help laughing. When reading The Pickwick Papers, I couldn't help laughing. When reading The Pickwick Papers, you will roar with laugh­ter.

He looked at the carpet while waiting for her answer. (Galswor­thy) — Он смотрел на ковер, ожидая ее ответа. Не returned to the hut, bringing in his arms a new-born lamb. (Hardy) — Он вернулся в хижину, неся на руках новорожден­ного ягненка.

Not being able to read, think, or work, Bathsheba asked Liddy to stay and breakfast with her. (Hardy) — Так как Батшеба не была в состоянии (не будучи в состоянии) ни читать, ни думать, ни работать, она попросила Лидди остаться позавтракать с ней.

Sometimes Participle I Indefinite denotes an action referring to no particular time.

The last turning had brought them into the high-road leading to Bath. (Hardy) — После последнего поворота они вышли на дорогу, ведущую (которая вела) в Бат.

Participle I Perfect Active and Passive denotes an action prior to the action expressed by the finite verb.

Mr. Bumble, having spread a handkerchief over his knees... began to eat and drink. (Dickens) — Мистер Бамбл, разостлав платок на коленях..., стал есть и пить. They were, indeed, old friends, having been at school together. (Walpole) — Они и в самом деле были старыми друзьями, так как вместе учились в школе.

Having already been informed that he always slept with a light in the room, I placed one of the two lighted candles on a little table at the head of the bed... (Collins) — Так как мне уже сооб­щили, что он всегда спит при свете, я поставил одну из двух зажженных свечей на столик у кровати.

It should be noted that a prior action is not always expressed by Participle I Perfect: with some verbs of sense perception and motion, such as to see, to hear, to come, to arrive, to seize, to look, to turn and some others, Participle I Indefinite is used even when priority is meant.

Turning down an obscure street and entering an obscurer lane, he went up to a smith's shop. (Hardy) — Свернув на темную улицу и войдя в еще более темный переулок, он подошел к кузнице.

Hearing a footstep below he rose and went to the top of the stairs. (Hardy) — Услышав шаги внизу, он встал и вышел на лестницу.

Participle II has no tense distinctions; it has only one form which can express both an action simultaneous with, and prior to the action expressed by the finite verb; the latter case is more frequent.

His sister's eyes fixed on him with a certain astonishment, obliged him at last to look at Fleur. (Galsworthy) — Взгляд сестры, уст­ремленный на него с некоторым недоумением, заставил его, наконец, взглянуть на Флер.

I was reminded of a portrait seen in a gallery. (Du Maurier) — Мне вспомнился портрет, который я видела в картинной гале­рее.

In some cases Participle II denotes an action referring to no par­ticular time.

He is a man loved and admired by everybody.


§ 6. The voice distinctions of the participle.

Participle I of transitive verbs has special forms to denote the active and the passive voice.

When writing letters he does not like to be disturbed.

Being written in pencil the letter was difficult to make out.

Having written some letters he went to post them.

Having been written long ago the manuscript was illegible.

Participle 2 of transitive verbs has a passive meaning, e. g. a broken glass, a caged bird. Participle 2 of intransitive verbs has no passive mean­ing; it is used only in compound tcnsc-forms and has no independent function in the sentence unless it belongs to a verb which denotes passing into a new state, e. g. a withered flower, a faded leaf.


§ 7. The functions of Participle I in the sentence.

Participle 1 may have different syntactic functions. 1. Participle 1 as an attribute.

Participle 1 Indefinite Active can be used as an attribute; in this function it corresponds to the Russian действительное причастие.

The fence surrounding the garden is newly painted. — Забор, окружающий сад, недавно покрашен.

We admired the stars twinkling in the sky. — Мы любовались звездами, мерцавшими на небе.

In some cases Participle I in the function of an attribute is rendered in Russian by a clause.

He came back and stood irresolute on the steps leading down to the street. (Cusack) — Он вернулся и стоял в нерешитель­ности на лестнице, которая вела на улицу.

In the function of an attribute Participle I can be in pre-position and in post-position, i. e. it can precede the noun it modifies and follow it. Participle I in pre-position hardly ever has accompanying words.

The gate-keeper surveyed the retreating vehicle. (Hardy) — Привратник смотрел на удалявшийся экипаж.

Participle I in post-position as a rule has one or several accompa­nying words.

They dined outside upon the terrace facing Vesuvius. (Hichens) — Они пообедали на террасе, выходившей к Ве­зувию.

Through the massive sunlight illuminating the hall at Robin Hill, the July sunlight at five o'clock fell just where the broad staircase turned. (Galsworthy) — Сквозь массивную стеклян­ную крышу, освещавшую холл в Робин Хилле, лучи июльского солнца в пять часов падали как раз на поворот широкой лестницы.


Participle I Indefinite Passive is very seldom used as an attribute.

There was one line being laid out to within a few blocks of his new home which interested him greatly (Dreiser) — Егo очень интересовала линия, которую прокладывали в нескольких кварталах от его нового дома.


Participle I Perfect Active and Passive is not used attributively. Attention should be paid to the fact that Participle I in the function of an attribute cannot express priority; therefore it often happens that when in Russian we have причастие in English we find a finite verb. Such is the case with the Russian действительное причастие прошедшего времени expressing priority; it is rendered in English by an attributive clause.

Татьяна, с великим равнодушием переносившая до того мгновения все превратности своей жизни, тут, однако, не вытерпела, прослезилась. (Тургенев) — Tatyana, who had until that moment borne all the ups and downs of her life with great indifference, broke down, however, on this and burst into tears. (Translated by Domb)

Бульба повел сыновей своих в светлицу, откуда проворно выбежали две красивые девки-прислужницы, прибиравшие комнату. (Гоголь) — Bulba bade his sons follow him into the little guest-chamber, whence two pretty serving-wenches, who had been arranging the room, ran out. (Translated by Baskerville)

A clause, not a participle, is generally used in English even when the Russian действительное причастие прошедшего времени expresses an action simultaneous with that of the finite verb.

Базаров закурил трубку и подошел к ямщику, отпрягавше­му лошадей. (Тургенев) — Bazarov lit his pipe and went up to the driver, who was unharnessing the horses. (Translated by C. Garnett)

Матушка, знавшая наизусть все его обычаи..., всегда ста­ралась засунуть несчастную книгу подальше. (Пушкин) — My mother, who knew all his habits, used to thrust the obnoxious volume into some remote hiding-place. (Translated by J. and T. Litvinov)

Occasionally, however, in rendering the Russian действительное причастие прошедшего времени, a participle is used in English. This is often the case when действительное причастие прошедшего времени refers to no particular time.

Заря уже занималась на небе, когда Соломин постучался в калитку высокого забора, окружавшего фабрику. (Турге­нев) — Dawn was already beginning in the sky when Solorrun knocked at the gate in the high fence surrounding the factory (Translated by С. Garnett)

Потом он обратил внимание посетителей на висевшую над его головой картину, писанную масляными красками. (Тургенев) — Then he drew the attention of his guests to a picture hanging above his head, painted in oils. (Translated by C. Garnett)

In many cases an attribute expressed by Participle I is detached, i. e. it acquires a certain independence in the sentence; the connection between the attribute and the word it modifies is loose. A detached at­tribute is usually separated by a comma.

It was the entrance to a large family vault, extending under the north aisle. (Hardy) — Это был вход в большой фамильный склеп, простиравшийся под северным приделом храма.

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