Term for one of the ancient parts of speech originally applied to adjectival forms of verbs in Ancient Greek. Described as a “sharing” element (Greek metokhe) because such forms were inflected systematically both for tense and aspect, seen as a defining property of verbs, and for case, seen as a defining property of nouns. The3nce of forms of verbs in other languages whose syntax is at least basically or in part similar: thus, in Engilsh, of forms such as visited in the cities visited or They were visited, or visiting, in the people visiting us, or they are visiting us.

Participles in –ing are traditionally distinguished in English grammar from gerunds, also in –ing, on the grounds that participles have a basic role like those of adjectives, while gerunds have one like a noun.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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