The present participle

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The present participle

The present participle is used for:

  • Actions that are currently happening.

Ich sehe das lachende Kind.

I see the laughing child.

Ich habe eine laufende Nase.

I have a running nose.

  • Actions happening simultaneously.

Während der Gast wartet, schaut er auf die Uhr. Der wartende Gast schaut auf die Uhr.

While he is waiting, the guest looks at his watch. The waiting guest looks at his watch.

Here's how we form the Partizip I (present participle):

  • If the participle comes after a verb, we form it using the infinitive + ‑d.

Sigi steht wartend vor mir. (warten + d)

Sigi is standing waiting in front of me.

  • When it comes before a noun, the present participle is again formed from the infinitive + ‑d, but we add an additional ending. The endings are the same as for adjectives.

Die schlafende Katze liegt auf der Treppe. Adjektivdeklination 1

The sleeping cat is lying on the stairs.

Ein lesender Mann sitzt auf dem Sofa. Adjektivdeklination 2

A man is sitting reading on the sofa.

Lügenden Menschen sollte man nicht vertrauen. Adjektivdeklination 3

People who lie can't be trusted.

Note: The present participle can also be used as a noun.

anwesend der/die Anwesende

in attendance the attendee

überlebend der/die Überlebende

surviving the survivor

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