Participles as Combiners - 102

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Participles as Combiners.


The Participle is a useful part of speech in combining sentences.

Examples:

Separate: He walks across a rice-field. He sees a long snake.
Combined: Walking across a rice-field, he sees a long snake.

Separate: He walked across a rice-field. He saw a long snake.
Combined: Walking across a rice-field, he saw a long snake.

Separate: He had finished his dinner. He sat down to the piano.
Combined: Having finished his dinner, he sat down to the piano.

[Having + Past Participle = “to mention an action which had already happened before another action began”.]

When sentences are combined in this way, the Subject must be the same in each of the combined sentences.

The following sentences show the wrong use of participles as combiners.

1. Sitting at my desk, a flock of wild geese appeared in the sky.

2. Being the best student in the class, he was given bay me the height marks.

They are wrong because the participles do not refer to the Subject. Reading them, we have to ask: How could a flock of geese be seated at his desk! Why should the teacher be given the highest marks?

The sentences could be written:

1. Sitting at my desk, I saw a flock of wild geese appeared in the sky.
2. Being the best student in the class, he was given by me the highest marks.

Point out the participles in the following sentences, and state whether they are Past or Present.

Also point out any Gerunds.

1. The enemy was advancing rapidly.
2. By this time, we had left the station.
3. He opened his eyes, and found himself sitting at the table in his working clothes.
4. This coat has not been worn much.
5. A girl came singing along the road.
6. Their numbers were small compared with those in front of him.
7. When were these plants bought?
8. I stood waiting whilst she was arranging the furniture.
9. You have made quite a good beginning.
10. l want these dirty boots removed at once.
11. l can’t understand a king doing that kind of work.
12. Don’t leave your books lying about.

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