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Present participles

The projection of present participles, reflecting a subject thematic role, represents a construction of subject plus main verb:

bestaande metodes
existing methods
methods which exist
lopende water
running water
water which is running
'n singende skare mense
a singing crowd people
a crowd of people who are singing

Phrasal verbs (intransitive), such as aftakel denigrate, aftree retire and meesleur carry away, have the following present participles:

a. aftakelende kommentaar
denigrating comments
b. die aftredende sekretaris
the retiring secretary
c. 'n meesleurendeverhaal
a fascinating story

Direct objects may also be incorporated in the participle, as in

a. feesvierende menigte
feast.celebrating multitude
celebrating crowd
b. grasetende diere
grass.eating animals
graminivorous animals
c. plakkaatswaaiende betogers
poster-swaying demonstrators

as well as various adjuncts (adverbially used adjectives):

a. 'n vinnig bewegende voorwerp
a fast-moving object
b. laag vlieënde vliegtuie
low-flying airplanes
c. vinnig dalende rentekoerse
fast.descending interest.rates
plummeting interest rates

A. Form of present participles

Present participles are closer to Dutch than past participles. The form of the present participle is almost identical, retaining the basis of the infinitive (i.e. ending in either -n or -en), and suffixing -d(e), depending on the attributive or predicative function.

However, sound changes which occurred elsewhere, such as intervocalic elision, are to be noted in present participles as well, such as jaende perde chasing horses, from jaag + -ende, and vlieënde pierings flying saucers, from vlieg + -ende.

In cases where the Dutch stem ends on -t, and which does not occur in Afrikaans, the -t is retained in the present participle, such as wagtende passassiers waiting passengers, from wag ( Dutch wachten) and verwoestende brande devastating fires, from verwoes ( Dutch verwoesten) .

Some five verbs (and compounds based on them) only add -d(e), and not -nd(e) for the present participle, since they correspond to the Dutch infinitives, namely:

a. sien – siende (Dutch zien)
see – seeing
b. doen – doende (Dutch doen)
do – doing
c. gaan – gaande (Dutch gaan)
go – going
d. staan – staande (Dutch staan)
stand – standing
e. slaan – slaande (Dutch slaan)
hit – hitting

Furthermore, the present participles of wees be is synde, as in Hy is geregtig daarop, synde 'n lisensiehouer. Hy is entitled to it, being a license-holder.; and for have it is hebbende having, in uses such as Die belanghebbende partye is genader. the interest.having parties were approached The interested parties were approached.

Functions of present participles

Present participles function as attributive adjectives, for example:

'n belangrike vormende invloed
an important forming influence
'n staande komitee
a standing committee
lopende water en elektrisiteit
running water and electricity

Less frequently, present participles are used as predicative adjectives, as in

Die saak is nog hangende
the case be.PRS still pending
Wat is daar gaande?
what is there going
What is happening there?
Die bedrag is nog uitstaande.
The amount be.PRS still outstanding.
Hulle is siende blind en horende doof.
they be.PRS seeing blind and hearing deaf
They are seeing, but blind, and hearing, but deaf.

Furthermore, the present participle may be used adverbially, as in these examples:

Hy het laggend weggejaag.
he have.AUX laughing away.chased
He sped away, laughing.
Hy praat onsamehangend.
he speak incoherent
He is speaking incoherently.
Sy het niksvermoedend die kamer binnegestap.
she have.AUX nothing.suspecting the room in.walked
She unsuspectingly walked into the room.

Lastly, in a few cases, present participles may be used in a partitive construction:

Iets dringends het opgeduik.
something urgent·PTV have.AUX dived.up
Something urgent has emerged.
Ek het iets ontstellends gehoor.
I have.AUX something disconcerting·PTV heard
I have heard something disturbing.
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