The Present Participle in German - Partizip 1
How to Form the Present Participle1) The Basic Form
It is very simply to turn German verbs into the present participle. The rule is:
infinitive of the verb + -d
tanzen - tanzend (dance - dancing)
gähnen - gähnend (yawn - yawning)
atmen - atmend (breathe - breathing)
lächeln - lächelnd (smile - smiling)
grüßen - grüßend (greet - greeting)
2) The Present Participle as a Noun
If the present participle is used as a noun, it is subject to declension, and depending on its case, gender, and article (definite or indefinite), the endings -e, -er, or -en have to be added.
verb: tanzen (to dance)
article: definite (der, die, dass)
Der Tanzende - The dancing (man or boy)
Die Tanzende - The dancing (woman or girl)
Die Tanzenden- The dancing (men, women, children, chickens, etc.)
verb: trinken (to drink)
article: indefinite (ein, eine)
Eines Trinkenden - A drinking man's or boy's
Einer Trinkenden - A drinking woman's
Trinkender - drinking men's, women's, girls', chickens', etc.
2) The Present Participle as an Adjective
If the present participle is used as an adjective, it is subject to declension and needs to change according to the noun it describes and the article used with it (definite or indefinite). Depending on the particular case, the endings -e, -en, -er, -em, or -es are added.
noun: Hund - dog (gender: masculine; case: nominative singular; article: definite)
verb: essen - to eat
Der essende Hund bemerkt mich nicht. - The eating dog doesn't notice me.
noun: Ballerina (gender: feminine; case: genitive singular, article: definite)
verb: tanzen - to dance
Der Rock der tanzenden Ballerina leuchtet wie Feuer. - The skirt of the dancing ballerina is glowing like fire.
noun: Hunde - dogs (gender: masculine; case: nominative plural; article: indefinite)
verb: bellen - to bark
Bellende Hunde beißen nicht. - Barking dogs never bite.
How to Use the Present ParticipleThe present participle can be used as an adjective, an adverb, or a noun.
If the present participle is used as a noun it refers to the person currently engaged in the activity expressed by the verb. As mentioned under "The Present Participle as a Noun", it is subject to declension like other nouns.
Die Singenden hatten genausoviel Spaß an dem Konzert wie das Publikum. - The singing (people) enjoyed the concert as much as the audience.
Der Suchende gibt niemals auf. - The searching (person) never gives up.
Die seligen Gesichter der Essenden ließen eine gute Mahlzeit vermuten. - The blissful faces of the eating (people) suggested that the food was good.
The present participle can also be used as an adjective describing a noun. As mentioned under "The Present Participle as an Adjective", it is subject to declension together with the noun it describes.
Der fressende Hund bemerkte uns nicht. - The eating dog didn't notice us.
Die Stimmen der singenden Sirenen bezirzten jeden Seefahrer. - The voices of the singing sirens seduced every single sailor.
Die Kindergärtnerin gab den schreienden Kindern Süßigkeiten. - The kindergarten teacher gave sweets to the screaming children.
As an adverb, the present participle can describe verbs, sentences, adjectives, and other adverbs. In this case, it always stays the same and is not subject to declension.
Die Kinder sahen dem Zauberer staunend zu. - The children admiringly watched the magician.
Zitternd wartete die Frau auf ein Taxi. - The woman was waiting for a taxi, trembling.
Eine Frau rannte schreiend aus ihrem Haus. - A woman came running out of her house screaming.