I came across the following:

  1. As he had been deceived by his friends he lost all hope.
  2. He was deceived by his friends and so he lost all hope.
  3. Deceived by his friends, he lost all hope.
  4. He lost all hope because he was deceived by his friends.

It was said that only sentence 3 has a participle in it. But all 4 has the word deceived, Why is "Deceived by his friends, he lost all hope' is said to have participle?

3 Answers 3


Each sentence has a participle: deceived

In linguistics, a participle is a word that shares some characteristics (parts) of both verbs and adjectives.1 It can be used in compound verb tenses or voices (periphrasis), or as a modifier. A phrase composed of a participle and other words is a participle phrase.

saith Wikipedia. But only one has a participial adjective: #3.

  • Can you explain how it is used as an adjective only in sentence 3 and is it simply a verb in rest of the sentences?
    – miracles
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 11:37
  • 1
    Wikipedia doesn't say it's a verb but a participle & part of a participial phrase in all cases. It shares characteristics with verbs & adjectives. The point is not what part of speech it is but how it functions, e.g., "rat race" is a compound noun composed of two nouns, but "rat" functions as an ADJ modifying race, not a noun. In S3, deceived by his friends can be replaced by a non-verbal ADJ: {Sick/Short/Ugly}, he lost all hope. Ergo, deceived functions as an ADJ in S3.
    – user21497
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 12:13
  • He was deceived is an adjectival passive. The door was closed during the noon hour is, according to Wasow, Thomas (1977). ‘Transformations and the Lexicon.’ In: PW Culicover, T Wasow, & A Akmajian (eds.), Formal Syntax. NY: Academic Press. 327-360 a verbal passive {Search: [DOC] PASSIVE SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES}. "So-called adjectival passives have a sense of completed activity. In contrast, so-called verbal passives do not: door can still be open at noon." This doesn't define the part of speech of "closed", only the function: verbal vs. ADJ passive. Participles are ADJs.
    – user21497
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 12:27
  • He can still be undeceived, it seems, if his friends come clean & tell him the truth. If they're dead, however, they can't. For a definitive answer to your question, though, I'd suggest asking a professional linguistics, i.e., a Professor of Linguistics. John Lawler can probably answer your question definitively. & I won't claim that I fully understand this distinction that Wasow makes.
    – user21497
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 12:33

In sentences 1,2 and 4 'deceived' is used as a verb in different tenses (past perfect in #1 and simple past in #2 and #4). It is used in passive voice so maybe that is why it may appear as a participial adjective. It is used as a participial adjective in #3. As such, it is the Head of Adjectivial Phrase (Deceived by his friends) and describes the Subject(he). Hope this helps.


Deceived is still considered a past participle when used adjectivally.

  • Gunter Lorenz, in Adjective Intensification, (and many others) would not agree: 'By far the largest group of deverbal adjectives are those ending in -ed...20.2% of the data...' And, showing that deverbalisation means conversion: 'A deverbal noun, which is fully nominalized as a common noun and can take plurals, determiners, etc. The police apprehended the people who carried out the shootings. Note that since a verbal noun and a deverbal noun can sometimes have identical forms, this might be a bit confusing' (Mark Beadles) Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 22:51

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