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  1. Just Joined
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    #1

    When to use present/pas participle as an adjective

    Dear everyone,

    I have always been taught that I should use present participle when it describes an active noun, such as a KILLING machine (a machine which kills others)

    But for adjective like DEDICATED, DEVOTED, I do not get it.
    When we say a DEDICATED teacher (teacher who dedicates his time to student) -> teacher is an active noun right, but why we use past participle?

    Thank you in advance :)

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Retired English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: When to use present/pas participle as an adjective

    What do you mean by 'active noun'? Where did you learn that 'rule'.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: When to use present/pas participle as an adjective

    Nouns are neither active nor passive. It is verbs that are used either n the active voice, in which the subject of the verb is 'doing' or 'being' the action/state of the verb; or in the passive voice, in which the subject of the verb 'receives' the action denoted by the verb.

    -ing participles (also unhelpfully known as 'present participles' ) are generally active in sense when functioning as modifiers: a killing machine is a machine that kills. Third forms (also unhelpfully known as past participles) of transitive verbs are generally passive in sense when functioning as modifiers: an injured man is a man who has been/is injured.

    Dedicated teachers are teachers who dedicate themselves to teaching (or, if you prefer, to their students). They are dedicated (by themselves) to teaching/their students.

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