What is the present participle?
The present participle is used to indicate ongoing or continuous action. Usually a participle is formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb.
It can be used as an adjective, or verb, and is often used with the auxilliary verb 'to be' to form the continuous tense. It always takes the ‘-ing’ form of the verb, even irregular verbs have an ‘-ing’ form, in fact virtually all English words that end with ‘-ing’ are present participles.
I am learning English. (Learning is part of the continuous verb phrase 'am learning')
We were running through the woods. (Running is part of the continuous verb phrase 'were running' ).
It can also be used as an adjective.
As an adjective: I am a working woman. (Working is used here as an adjective.)
The present participle has the same form as a gerund denoting the action of a verb; a gerund. But remember the present participle can be used as a verb or an adjective whilst the gerund is used as a noun.