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    #1

    Question Explaining participle clauses with context; classroom dilema

    I got caught off guard the other day in a lesson. How would you answer the following question?

    Grammar focus: Participle clauses
    Task: Fill in the blank with either Present participle clause or Prefect participle clause.

    "But when I was 18, _________ (work) hard to get the grades I needed, I decided I really wanted to pursue a career as an artist."

    Answer: having worked hard

    The student did not get the correct answer. I explained that 'he' had worked hard before deciding to become an artist and this explains his reasoning for making his decision. He decided to become an artist because he had worked hard to get the grades he needed.

    The students asks, how do I know from this context that 'he' had worked hard before deciding to become an artist.
    I could not come up with a logical explanation. What have I missed?

    Thanks for you time,
    Memphis_Pat

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    #2

    Re: Explaining participle clauses with context; classroom dilema

    I think the understanding comes largely from the fact that he's 18. This is often the point at which somebody has finished school, has gotten their grades and makes future decisions based thereon.

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    #3

    Re: Explaining participle clauses with context; classroom dilema

    The fact that he knew he needed certain grades means that he had some career in mind (not necessarily that of an artist). At the age of 18, he decided that he really wanted to become an artist.

    If he had begun to work hard but had not yet completed the course/examinations necessary for the grades, then 'working hard' is possible.

    If he had already worked hard for some time, but had not yet completed the course/examinations, then 'having worked hard' is possible.

    If he had already completed the course/examinations and obtained his grades, then 'having worked hard' is mandatory.

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    #4

    Re: Explaining participle clauses with context; classroom dilema

    Not a teacher.

    The present participle 'having' when placed before a past participle (worked) indicates a completed action. That's a rule in itself.

    'Having worked hard (having already completed working hard) to get the grades I needed, I decided I really wanted to...'

    Having improved my skills (having already completed improving my skills), I decided to take part in the competition.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 19-Feb-2017 at 19:41. Reason: Adding 'Not a teacher'.

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    #5

    Re: Explaining participle clauses with context; classroom dilema

    Welcome to the forum, Manali13.

    Please note the following extract from the forum's Posting Guidelines:


    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly in your post.

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