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    #1

    He finishing his work, his boss came to check out the house.

    Hello all,
    I'd like some feedback on whether or not the following sentence is grammatical. I believe that the sentence would make more sense with the addition of a conjunction before the subject and "was" after the subject. This sentence has melted my brain for several days so I'd be grateful for feedback.

    "He finishing his work, his boss came to check out the house."


    Thanks,
    Josie

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Problem with a sentence

    The sentence is strictly grammatical, but patently absurd. It might help if you actually wrote out what you think is a correct variant sentence.

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    #3

    Re: Problem with a sentence

    Thanks Raymott, and apologies,

    I believe the sentence would avoid all confusion if it were written as follows:

    "While he was finishing his work, his boss came to check out the house."

    I believed that there was a problem with the pronoun "he" and the following participle "finishing". Is that not the case? What aspect of grammar addresses this?

    Thanks again for your prompt response.

    victorflood
    Last edited by josiewales; 08-Jul-2016 at 08:13.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Problem with a sentence

    Yes, your sentence is much better, and natural. Did you actually see the original sentence somewhere? There is no limit to the number of bizarre, but still grammatical, sentences in English.
    "He having finished, his boss came ..." This is slightly better, and grammatical, but we just don't talk like that.

    It's an "absolute phrase".
    http://www.englishgrammar.org/absolute-phrase/

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    #5

    Re: Problem with a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, your sentence is much better, and natural. Did you actually see the original sentence somewhere? There is no limit to the number of bizarre, but still grammatical, sentences in English.
    "He having finished, his boss came ..." This is slightly better, and grammatical, but we just don't talk like that.

    It's an "absolute phrase".
    http://www.englishgrammar.org/absolute-phrase/
    Thanks for the link. This sentence was part of a question on a Korean high school midterm which I was shown only after the tests were finished, graded, and a student complained. I'm not sure of the context surrounding the sentence but reacted on instinct that the sentence was unnatural - If 'finishing' were to function as an adjective or participle, I felt a verb should have been used. Anyway, your answer was a great help.

    josie

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    #6

    Re: Problem with a sentence

    Josie, please note that I have changed your thread title.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'


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