Welcome to The Hard Times
Charles Dickens

Issue Number: CD-001

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Mr Dickens and using Verbs as Adjectives.

'Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.'

Mr Dickens has described Scrooge very effectively indeed. He has used this long sentence which is full of PRESENT PARTICIPLES. This is when a writer uses verbs as adjectives ; describing words.

Instead of saying Scrooge was a squeezing old sinner or Scrooge was a scraping old sinner, Mr Dickens has put all the PARTICIPLES together. This helps us to feel that Scrooge is all of these things all of the time. It makes us feel he never stops being like this. The reader is taken aback at how nasty Scrooge is. He is always being this way.


  • Try thinking of a sentence to describe something/one you love or hate.
  • Try using at least 5 PRESENT PARTICIPLES to emphasise your feelings.

Open Word and record your notes for the above exercise. open Word

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