15.4 Die Bildung des participe présent und des gérondif

As you might have guess the constructions with participe présent and participe passé as well as the form of gérondif are more used in the written language. In spoken language the 'long' form (relative clause, temporal clause, causal clause, conditional clause or Infinitivkonstruktion) is more regularly used.

Now a few more details about the formation of participe présent: Is is formed by using the stem of the 1st person plural and adding the ending -ant.

Verb 1st person plural participe présent  
to finish finir => finissons => finissant
to drink boire => buvons => buvant
to receive recevoir => recevons => recevant
to read lire => lisons => lisant

There are some irregular forms, e.g. savoir => sachant.

Sachant qu' il n' arriverait pas à l' heure, il n' y est pas allé du tout.
  Knowing that he would not arrive on time he did not go at all.
Le gouvernement a mené une politique de la monnaie légère, contribuant ainsi à l'inflation.
  The government operated with a policy of easy money, contributing this way to the inflation.

The gerondif does not differ in form from the participe présent, it only has a preset preposition:

verb participe présent gérondif  
manger mangeant en mangeant
to eat eating eating
écrire écrivant en écrivant
to write writing writing  

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