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  1. #1
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Default Participial Construction??

    Dear teachers,

    Please tell me if the following sentences are, what is called, "participial construction" or not. Or are these sentences nothing related to "participial construction"? In other words, can the part formed with "When + ~ing" (e.g., When calling, When discussing, When gathering) or "When + past participle" (e.g., When asked) has the same subject as the one in the main clause? In my understanding, a participial construction is established, in principle, only when the subject of the adverb clause and the subject of the main clause are the same though...

    Example 1) When calling for roadside service, please have the following information readily available.

    Example 2) When discussing our sales performance, he pulls no punches.

    Someone, please help me explain

    Example 3)
    When gathering speed, this power along with power from a diesel engine is used to operate the motors.

    Example 4) When asked about kicking the habit, 60 percent said they could quit if they wanted to.

  2. #2
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Participial Construction??

    Here are the missing subjects.

    1) When [you are] calling for roadside service, [you should] please have the following information readily available.
    2) When [he is] discussing our sales performance, he pulls no punches.
    3) When [?it is] gathering speed, this power along with power from a diesel engine is used to operate the motors.
    4) When [they were] asked about kicking the habit, 60 percent [of them] said they could quit if they wanted to.
    Notice that the subjects agree in 1), 2) and 4), but not in 3).
    Last edited by Soup; 18-May-2008 at 02:36.

  3. #3
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Participial Construction??

    Quote Originally Posted by gorikaz View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Please tell me if the following sentences are, what is called, "participial construction" or not. Or are these sentences nothing related to "participial construction"? In other words, can the part formed with "When + ~ing" (e.g., When calling, When discussing, When gathering) or "When + past participle" (e.g., When asked) has the same subject as the one in the main clause? In my understanding, a participial construction is established, in principle, only when the subject of the adverb clause and the subject of the main clause are the same though...

    Example 1) When calling for roadside service, please have the following information readily available.

    Example 2) When discussing our sales performance, he pulls no punches.

    Someone, please help me explain

    Example 3)
    When gathering speed, this power along with power from a diesel engine is used to operate the motors.

    Example 4) When asked about kicking the habit, 60 percent said - just they could quit if they wanted to.
    -Yes these are participial constructions.
    -As Soup points out, they are all correctly formed except n 3, which is what is called a "hanging participle" (or a "dangling participle") - where the subject is not the same as the one in the main clause. It is a very common mistake, even amongst well-educated anglophones. You can click on the following to find out a bit more about it.
    Participial Phrases

  4. #4
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Default Re: Participial Construction??

    Thank you very much for your great help!
    Now I am glad to find out that all the examples except #3 are grammatically correct.
    Once again, I appreciate all your help, Soup and naomimalan

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