Grammar 17

 

Present Participial Phrases

Imagine Bob. He is the subject of the sentence:

At the same time, Bob is is doing something else. So let's add a participial phrase:

  • Present participial phrases always start with an "-ing verb" and include any objects or modifiers.
  • Present participial phrases typically describe a secondary action. That is, they describe something else that the subject is doing, at the same time that they are doing the main verb.

Placement of Participial Phrases

Participial Phrases are found in any of three positions. Note the punctuation for each.

1

Before the subject of the sentence.

Swinging on vines, Tarzan escaped through the jungle.

2

Between the subject and the main verb.

The cruise ship, sinking slowly, canted to starboard.

3

At the end of the clause.

I hung up the phone, feeling depressed.


Participial vs. Gerund

Both gerund phrases and present participial phrases start with an -ing verb. Don't confuse the two:

Instructions for the Quiz

Identify the underlined phrase. You are given six choices; however, the answer will NEVER be choices 5–6, because we have not yet studied those phrases.

prepositional

appositive

gerund

participial

absolute

infinitive

   

Quiz