GCSE Latin: Present active participle


The present participle is used to express simultaneous action, e.g.

rex discedens reginam vidit.
The king saw the queen when he was leaving.

It is usually more natural to use while or as when translating the present participle, e.g.

The king saw the queen as he was leaving.

See the participles overview for other ways to translate them.

The present participle can sometimes act as a noun, when you might want to supply a word such as “person” or “people” for translation, e.g.

magna turba clamantium in via erat.
There was a large crowd of people shouting in the street.
amantes in noctem festinaverunt.
The lovers hurried into the night.


The present participle declines in a 3rd Declension pattern:

portans, carrying (m & f)
case singular plural
nom. portans portant-es
acc. portant-em portant-es
gen. portant-is portant-ium
dat. portant-i portant-ibus
abl. portant-e* portant-ibus
portans, carrying (n)
case singular plural
nom. portans portant-ia
acc. portans portant-ia
gen. portant-is portant-ium
dat. portant-i portant-ibus
abl. portant-e* portant-ibus

*The ablative participle is nearly always found in an Ablative Absolute construction, where the singular form ends in –e. Otherwise, the ablative singular ends in –i.


Practice exercises

Click on individual questions for answers. (Click here to hide all.)

  1. pueri per urbem currentes puellam conspexerunt.

    The boys caught sight of the girl while they were running through the city.

  2. senex iuvenes stantes in foro vocavit.

    The old man called the young men who were standing in the forum.

  3. mater tamen filium lacrimantem audire non potest.

    However, the mother is not able to hear her daughter crying.

  4. magnopere gaudentes ex oppido egressi sunt.

    They left the town rejoicing greatly.

  5. Romam ridens iter faciam.

    I will travel to Rome smiling.

  6. miles defendens murum ab hostibus oppugnantibus necatus est.

    The solider was killed by the attacking enemy while defending the wall.