0

What is the difference between present and past participle when they describe a noun?

  1. There is a text asked me to meet
  2. There is a text asking me to meet

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Sep 6 '15 at 10:08

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

1
  1. There is a text asked me to meet.

    The past participle of a transitive verb employed as an adjective is understood in a passive sense. The noun it modifies is understood to be the subject of a passive expression, which means that it is the 'Patient' of the verb, the entity which is acted upon:

    The question asked has no answer = The question was asked by somebody

    But the asked in your example has a direct object, me, which has to be its Patient. Consequently, asked cannot be parsed as a past participle modifying the text: it has to be the past-tense finite verb in a colloquially reduced relative clause:

    There is a text [which] asked me to meet.

  2. There is a text asking me to meet.

    The present participle of of a transitive verb employed as an adjective is understood in an active sense. The noun it modifies is understood to be the subject of an active expression, and therefore the 'Agent' of the verb, the entity which performs the action. In your example we understand that

    There was a text and it asked me to meet ...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.