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    #1

    Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    Can I express a series of actions in the simple present tense with present participles as in the following?

    I wake up early, have breakfast, brush my teeth, go to work and return home in the evening.
    I wake up early, having breakfast, brushing my teeth, going to work and returning home in the evening.

    As far as I know, this works for actions in the past, but I'm not sure if this is true for other tenses.

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    #2

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    The first sentence is OK. I'd add a comma after "work".

    The second doesn't work.
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    #3

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles


    I woke up early, having breakfast, brushing my teeth, going to work and returning home in the evening.


    It doesn't really work in the past, either.

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    #4

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    What about this one?

    "When Harold saw his girlfriend Gloria across the crowded airport, he sprinted toward her, leaping over luggage, colliding with travelers, and dodging potted palms." (retrieved from http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/iteminaseries.htm)

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    #5

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    I think that one works because the first verb is a verb of motion and the following phrases narrate a sequence of actions occurring in a short period of time.
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    #6

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    GS is right. Additionally, the series of actions occurred during the action of the first verb, 'sprinted'. This can also be used in the present.
    "He wrote/writes the letter, thinking carefully about his phrasing, and being sure to get his argument right."

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    #7

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    Would you agree that the verbs in the present participle form in both the sentence I quoted above and Raymott's sentence indicate a manner?

    What about if I construct a sentence in the following context?
    Jack went to his office, giving him a box of chocolate, thanking him for his help.

    Is this sentence grammatical or should I say "Jack went to his office and gave him a box of chocolate and thanked him for his help"?

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    #8

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    Quote Originally Posted by angelsrolls View Post
    Would you agree that the verbs in the present participle form in both the sentence I quoted above and Raymott's sentence indicate a manner?
    I don't understand what you mean by "a manner".

    Quote Originally Posted by angelsrolls View Post
    What about if I construct a sentence in the following context?
    Jack went to his office, giving him a box of chocolate (no comma) and thanking him for his help.

    Is this sentence grammatical or should I say "Jack went to his office and gave him a box of chocolate and thanked him for his help"?
    If a previous sentence established who "him" refers to, you can use either sentence with my corrections above.
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    #9

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I don't understand what you mean by "a manner".
    By "a manner", I meant how the act of writing is done in, for example, Raymott's sentence. I mean if we were to ask the question "how did he write the letter?", would we get the answer "thinking carefully about his phrasing, and being sure to get his argument right"?

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    #10

    Re: Expressing a series of actions with present participles

    Quote Originally Posted by angelsrolls View Post
    "When Harold saw his girlfriend Gloria across the crowded airport, he sprinted toward her, leaping over luggage, colliding with travelers, and dodging potted palms." (retrieved from http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/iteminaseries.htm)
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "He wrote/writes the letter, thinking carefully about his phrasing, and being sure to get his argument right."
    Quote Originally Posted by angelsrolls View Post
    Would you agree that the verbs in the present participle form in both the sentence I quoted above and Raymott's sentence indicate a manner?
    Quote Originally Posted by angelsrolls View Post
    By "a manner", I meant how the act of writing is done in, for example, Raymott's sentence. I mean if we were to ask the question "how did he write the letter?", would we get the answer "thinking carefully about his phrasing, and being sure to get his argument right"?
    I understand now. You mean "a manner of acting", and yes, those present participles do indicate a manner of acting.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 04-May-2017 at 21:16. Reason: Fix a typo. "To" =/= "do".
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