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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