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  1. hokian
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    #1

    present participial phrase

    When there are 2 short actions, usually we put the first in front of the sentence first. For example: Taking the key out of his pocket, she opened the door.

    however, I also noticed that some natives saying:
    She went out saying she would be back in a few minutes.

    Should I change it to:
    Before going out, she said she would be back in a few minutes.

    Or just leave it. Does it seem Ok to you?

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    #2

    Re: present participial phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by hokian View Post
    When there are 2 short actions, usually we put the first in front of the sentence first. For example:

    Taking the key out of his pocket, she opened the door. This is not a good sentence because it suggests that she took the key out and opened the door at the same time. That is not what happened; she took the key out first.
    She took the key out of his pocket and opened the door. (one action happened first)

    however, I also noticed that some natives saying:
    She went out saying she would be back in a few minutes. This sentence is okay because it is possible to go out and say something at the same time.


    Should I change it to:
    Before going out, she said she would be back in a few minutes. This sentences changes the meaning. One action happens before the other.

    Or just leave it. Does it seem Ok to you?
    2006

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    #3

    Re: present participial phrase

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi hokian,

    I know the following rules:

    1. Participle I Indefinite expresses an action simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb.

    Approaching Malta Street, Soho, Soams thought with wonder of those years in Brighton. (Galsworthy)

    Having closed the drawing-room door on him, Isabel awaited a little, absorbed in her own thoughts. (Collins)

    Having reached the classroom, she became the object of many questions.

    2. Participle I Perfect Active and Passive denotes an action prior to the action expressed by the finite verb.

    Mr. Bumble, having spread a handkerchief over the kneesbegan to eat and drink. (Dickens)

    Having already been informed that he always slept with a light in the room, I placed one of the two lighten candles on a little table at the head of his bed. (Collins)

    3. It should be noted that a prior action is not always expressed by Participle I Perfect: with some verbs of sense, perception and motion, such as to see, to hear, to come, to arrive, to seize, to look, to turn and some others, Participle I Indefinite is used even when priority is meant.

    Turning down an obscure street and entering an obscure lane, he went up to a smith’s shop. (Hardy)

    Hearing a footstep below he rose and went to the top of the stairs. (Hardy)

    In my humble opinion, your sentence “Taking the key out of his pocket, she opened the door.” is like the written above. So it is perfectly acceptable.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #4

    Re: present participial phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi hokian,

    I know the following rules:

    1. Participle I Indefinite expresses an action simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb.

    Having closed the drawing-room door on him, Isabel awaited a little, absorbed in her own thoughts. (Collins) not simultaneous actions

    Having reached the classroom, she became the object of many questions. not simultaneous actions
    See 2. below. (with "having")
    2. Participle I Perfect Active and Passive denotes an action prior to the action expressed by the finite verb.

    Mr. Bumble, having spread a handkerchief over the kneesbegan to eat and drink. (Dickens)
    Having already been informed that he always slept with a light in the room, I placed one of the two lighten candles on a little table at the head of his bed. (Collins)

    3. It should be noted that a prior action is not always expressed by Participle I Perfect: with some verbs of sense, perception and motion, such as to see, to hear, to come, to arrive, to seize, to look, to turn and some others, Participle I Indefinite is used even when priority is meant.
    But it also depends on what other words are in the sentence.
    Turning down an obscure street and entering an obscure lane, he went up to a smith’s shop. (Hardy)
    I would add 'After' to the beginning of the above sentence.
    Hearing a footstep below he rose and went to the top of the stairs. (Hardy)
    This one could work. "Hearing" is taken to mean 'Having heard'.


    In my humble opinion, your sentence “Taking the key out of his pocket, she opened the door.” is like the written above. So it is perfectly acceptable.
    I understand what you are saying, but I think the 'key' sentence goes to far with stretching the meaning. "Taking" doesn't work nearly as well as "Hearing". I would draw the line between the two.

    That's why the 'key' sentence clearly struck me as being off the right track.
    And I think, for students, it is better to start with understanding the strictly correct grammar.

    V.
    2006

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