Hey Caleb, I was just perusing and saw your answer. Ann's not been around for a while and perhaps you've taken your question to Jan already, but I wanted to answer just in case...
I found several helpful sites: http://www.edufind.com/english/grammar/ ... iciple.php
The present participle is the base verb and an ing
I an walking.
She is singing.
After verbs of movement.
to go shopping
My favorite site is http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm
In one respect, the present participle is a simple, straightforward construction and is formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb. No exceptions.
But after that, it gets a bit more complicated. This site gives the following advice: http://grammar.about.com/od/irregularve ... le-FAQ.htm
For one thing, the label is misleading. It's true that the present participle (in this example, rising) sometimes appears to indicate present time: She looks at the rising
But when the tense of the main verb changes to the simple past, the time of the "present" participle seems to change right along with it:
She looked at the rising sun.
And when the main verb points to the future, the "present" participle again tags along:
She will look at the rising sun.
The truth is, the present participle really doesn't mark time at all. That job is reserved for the main verb and its auxiliaries. And for this reason, many linguists prefer to use the term -ing form rather than present participle.
When a verb plus -ing does the job of a noun, it becomes a gerund.
Then again, when an -ing word is combined with the auxiliary verb to be, it functions as a verb:
The price of oil is rising.
This construction is called the present progressive.
I hope it helps a little. If you do have more questions, and haven't asked Jan yet, I'd urge you to do so.