present participlesThe present participle is a grammar word with many different uses. Some uses are very particular, and depend on its relationships with other verbs (such as following a verb with either an infinitive or +ing form). One of its most common, and most formulaic uses, is in the continuous tenses. Following the verb to be in various tenses, the present participle is generally used to show ongoing actions, fitting particular tense patterns. This exercise is designed to test understanding of when it is appropriate to use a present participle in a variety of different tenses.


Present Participle Mixed Tenses Exercise

Complete the following sentences with the verb in brackets, using present participles or another appropriate verb form.

  1. He had _____ all the potatoes, ready for dinner. (to peel)
  2. We were _____ too loud, that’s why they complained. (to sing)
  3. Have they been _____ us all morning? (to watch)
  4. Give me a hand with this log, I can’t _____ it myself. (to move)
  5. The plumber had _____ there all morning. (to work)
  6. I have been _____ all morning, I need a break. (to revise)
  7. She will _____ on the ice, in those silly shoes. (to slip)
  8. Hans was _____ hard when it started raining. (to work)
  9. Are you _____ that jacket again? (to wear)
  10. _____ is not allowed here. (to loiter)
  11. Will it have _____ by the time we get there? (to finish)
  12. I will be there in a minute, I am just _____ this cup! (to clean)



  1. peeled (past participle)
  2. singing (present participle)
  3. watching (present participle)
  4. move (bare infinitive)
  5. worked (past participle)
  6. revising (present participle)
  7. slip (bare infinitive)
  8. working (present participle)
  9. wearing (present participle)
  10. loitering (present participle – a process, used as a noun)
  11. finished (past participle)
  12. cleaning (present participle)

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