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    #1

    ...figure doubled, REACHING 90 barrels a day

    I have a question about what area of grammar "reaching" would be in the sentence:

    "Between 1990 and 1997 the figure doubled, reaching 90 barrels a day".

    I would like to explain to my student how to use this construction so I need to do more study into it. Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: ...figure doubled, REACHING 90 barrels a day

    It is a participle. Participle phrases ALWAYS function as adjectives. They tell you something about a noun, and thus have to be handled with care as to not create the infamous 'dangling participle error.'

    The participle will attach to the noun closest to it in the base clause. In this case figure.

    But in sentence like say:
    Running down the ally, the garbage can tripped the boy.

    Participle running creates an adjectival phrase that modifies the noun closest (in the this case the first one) in the base clause: the garbage. Clearly the garbage can't run, so that participle, which was meant to describe the boy, is dangling.

    FIX: Running down the alley, the boy fell over the garbage can.

    Another one:
    I found Jim, searching for my dog.

    Who is searching for the dog? Searching modifies Jim, so Jim was found searching for the dog. What was really being said: While searching for my dog, I found Jim.

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    #3

    Re: ...figure doubled, REACHING 90 barrels a day

    Thanks for your answer. I was looking through this again and noted that you wrote "The participle will attach to the noun closest to it in the base clause."

    I'm wondering if this "closest" is always the case. For example, take this sentence which is from here (http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/participlephrase.htm):

    "Cooper enjoyed dinner at Audrey's house, agreeing to a large slice of cherry pie even though he was full to the point of bursting."

    This sentence is meant to be OK and we know "agreeing" describes Cooper. But Cooper is not the nearest noun. That is either "Audrey's house" or "dinner".

    So I'm wondering if it's always the nearest noun, why would the above sentence be considered OK?

    THanks.

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