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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/890221
Rated: 13+ · Book · Writing · #890221
A library featuring commonly committed errors of the English language.
#408975 added February 15, 2007 at 1:06pm
Restrictions: None
Participial Phrases
Participles are verbs that also act as adjectives. Present participles are formed by adding –ing to the end of a verb; past participles are formed as though they are preceded by “have” – the perfect tense. A participial phrase consists of a participle and any related words, and it can be found at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. Depending on the placement of the phrase and the noun it modifies, you may need to add a comma.

If a participial phrase comes at the beginning of the sentence, it should always be followed by a comma.

*Bullet* Looking out my window, I saw a bird.
*Bullet* Taking my time, I savored the meal.

If a participial phrase comes in the middle of a sentence and is integral to the meaning of the sentence, don’t place commas around it. If a participial phrase takes you out of the main flow of the sentence, then place commas around it.

*Bullet* The bird perched outside my window is a cardinal.
*Bullet* My dad, dripping wet, walked out of the rain and into the house.

If a participial phrase comes at the end of a sentence, place a comma before it, unless the word being modified comes directly before the participial phrase (or it’s part of a compound participial phrase).

*Bullet* She left the room, angered and frustrated by the pointless argument.
*Bullet* I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus.

Don’t confuse present participles with gerunds. Gerunds are verbs ending in –ing that act as nouns.

*Bullet* Reading is fundamental. (Just as you’d say, “Math is fundamental.”)
*Bullet* One of my favorite activities is reading books. (Just as you’d say, “One of my favorite subjects is math.”)
© Copyright 2007 Davy Kraken (UN: kraken at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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