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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    completely ruining our holiday?

    Many participle phrases are confusing for denoting time, reason, conditional, etc. It's hard to choose exactly one of them as some may be interpreted as ambiguous or multiple meanings. In the following, my grammar book says it's a successivce action like 1, but why can't we interprete it as 2, a simultaneous one?
    When native speakers read participle phrases,aren't they confused about which meaning to choose?

    ex)It rained all the time, completely ruining our holiday.
    1. It rained all the time, and it completely ruined our holiday.
    2.It rained all the time, while completely ruining our holiday at the same time.

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    #2

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    2 doesn't make much sense to me- it separates the rain (the cause) from the ruined holiday- what other effect did the rain have?

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    2 doesn't make much sense to me- it separates the rain (the cause) from the ruined holiday- what other effect did the rain have?
    I don't understand what you said. If we were supposed to go on a picnic on a Sunday, and happened to find out it was raining in the morning, which is against the weather forecast(wrong one), all day long you would complain the rain is ruining your trip. In any moment of the day, you can probably say that.
    But my true point is in many clauses it's hard to choose whether it's a successive or simultaneous action, so I want to know how to choose it. This is just an example.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    If you are talking about a past time when it rained all day, then it's irrelevant when the picnic was. If you feel that need to make a point about this, then you could always say something like:

    It rained all day, completely ruining our plans for a picnic in the afternoon.
    It rained all day, completely ruining the picnic we had in the afternoon.

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    #5

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    I am not an English teacher, but I really don't see the difference between the keannu's two sentences. I think the main point of the sentence isn't whether the actions are successive or simultaneous, it is about causation.

    It rained all the time, so it completely ruined our holiday.

    It doesn't matter when the rain occurred, just that is was the cause of our ruined holiday

  4. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by luschen View Post
    I am not an English teacher, but I really don't see the difference between the keannu's two sentences. I think the main point of the sentence isn't whether the actions are successive or simultaneous, it is about causation.

    It rained all the time, so it completely ruined our holiday.

    It doesn't matter when the rain occurred, just that is was the cause of our ruined holiday
    Which ones? The second interpretation makes no sense.

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    #7

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    Which ones? The second interpretation makes no sense.

    Sorry, my mistake - the original two sentences were:

    1. It rained all the time, and it completely ruined our holiday.
    2.It rained all the time, while completely ruining our holiday at the same time.


    I was saying that these both mean:

    It rained all the time, so it completely ruined our holiday.



    Then I commented:

    It doesn't matter when the rain occurred, just that this was the cause of the ruined holiday.

  5. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by luschen View Post
    Sorry, my mistake - the original two sentences were:

    1. It rained all the time, and it completely ruined our holiday.
    2.It rained all the time, while completely ruining our holiday at the same time.


    I was saying that these both mean:

    It rained all the time, so it completely ruined our holiday.



    Then I commented:

    It doesn't matter when the rain occurred, just that this was the cause of the ruined holiday.
    I think you misread the OP's question.

    He has a sentence: It rained all the time, completely ruining our holiday.

    He's asked to choose from two options what the above sentence means. Does it mean:

    1. It rained all the time, and it completely ruined our holiday.
    OR
    2.It rained all the time, while completely ruining our holiday at the same time.

  6. Soup's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    keannu,



    In 1., the pronoun 'it' refers back to the entire clause 'It rained all the time', which is what gives the sentence a successive reading:



    1. It rained all the time, and it/that(the fact that it rained all the time) completely ruined our vacation.



      • Reduced
        • It rained all the time, completely ruining our vacation.






    The meaning expressed in 1., as Tdol mentioned, is one of cause and effect; i.e., our vacation was ruined because it rained all the time, but in 2. the addition of while (meaning, at the same time as, as in and while that may be the case; however;nevertheless, a non-simultaneous meaning) cancels out the cause and effect relationship, producing the very awkward meaning: it rained, and while that may be the case, it completely ruined our vacation.


    2. It rained all day; however, it (the fact that it rained all day) completely ruined our vacation.


  7. keannu's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: completely ruining our holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    If you are talking about a past time when it rained all day, then it's irrelevant when the picnic was. If you feel that need to make a point about this, then you could always say something like:

    It rained all day, completely ruining our plans for a picnic in the afternoon.
    It rained all day, completely ruining the picnic we had in the afternoon.
    My real curiosity is like the following.
    ex)He went home, calling his friend.
    Is it "He went home while calling his friend (simultaneous)"
    or "He went home and then he called his friend (successive)"

    This is just an example of dubious participle phrase for simultaneous or successive action. I always encounter numerous cases and whenever I do, I get confused. So I'd like to know the general rule or criteria to tell simultaneous actions from successive actions.

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