He is standing there.

He is sitting on the chair.

'Sitting' and 'standing' are present Participles working here as an adjective?

And are they subjective complement?

2 Answers 2



Participles in English are often used as adjectives (“the living dead”, “a baked ham”), but they are more commonly used as they are here, with to be to create the continuous tense of verbs.

“He sits” — he typically sits; he characteristically sits; he is just now assuming a seated position.

“He is sitting” — at this moment, he is in a seated position.

(To be clear, “progressive” or “continuous“ is not a tense; it is an aspect of a tense, so there is past continuous, present continuous, and so on.)

  • And if we wanna show the motion like.....Look, He is standing now( he is in motion for standing)...... Here is also the progressive form....so is there any difference
    – RADS
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 17:36
  • I wouldn't go along with everything you say. In "the living dead", "living" fails all the tests for adjectivehood and is best analysed as a verb.
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 18:18
  • @BillJ — is “grateful” an adjective? Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 5:43
  • Yes.... dictionary says it's an adjective....for example. 'He is grateful'. 'Grateful' here is a Predicative use of adjective.
    – RADS
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 14:10
  • @RADS — my question was for BillJ. He doubted that “living” was an adjective in “the living dead”. Well, “grateful” is an adjective in “The Grateful Dead”. But it’s all right; we will get by. Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 0:18

No. Both are part of the present continuous tense.

They are present participles.

Being a subject complement and being part of the construction of a verb tense are very different.


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