Emory
[ Grammar ] Participial Clause 1 S1 : John met Mary [ walking down the street. ] ( no comma before walking ) S2 : John met Mary [ ,walking down the street. ] ( comma before walking ) S3 : Walking down the street, John met Mary ( comma before John ) 
 ————————————- Q1: Are there any differences of meaning between S1, S2 , S3 ?
 —> S1 = S2 = S3 or S1 =/= S2 = S3 or ….
 Q2: In S1, can we regard Participial Clause “ walking down the street ” as the complement ?

 Q2-1: From Q2, this complement is the Subject Complement to modify John 
 —> John met Mary while walking down the street. or the Object Complement to modify Mary —> John met Mary ( who was ) walking down the street. or Both are possible ? Q3: Which one was walking ? John or Mary ? in each S1, S2 , S3 ------------------- It's so confusing! Thanks a lot : )
Jun 16, 2019 1:46 PM
Answers · 2
Practical English Usage by Michael Swan has a good, brief explanation of participles. S1: John met Mary [ walking down the street. ] ( no comma before walking ) = John met Mary who was walking down the street. S2: John met Mary [ ,walking down the street. ] ( comma before walking ) = John met Mary while John was walking down the street. This is normally considered an error (misrelated participles). S3: Walking down the street, John met Mary ( comma before John ) = While John was walking down the street, John met Mary. This is the preferred form of S2. Q1: S1 and S3 have different meanings. S2 is a bad version of S3. Q2: In S1, "walking down the street" is a participial clause which functions as an adjective modifying Mary. In S3, "Walking down the street" is a participial clause which functions as an adverb modifying "met." Q3: In S1, Mary was walking. In S2 and S3, John was walking.
June 16, 2019
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