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These are a few sentences with participle clauses that I came across while checking some translations. I'm interested in alternative opinions as to how viable these are, as I've belatedly realized that it's been quite some time since I last dealt with participle clauses; I do realize that they can easily be re-worded, but that's a separate issue.

"What a bunch of fools, trying to hit on me like this."

"An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, requiring machines to be measured."

"Who do you think you are, messing with us like that?

"You truly have been cursed, shedding your clothes in such a manner!"

"You have some nerve, running off on me like that!"
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Hi,

These are a few sentences with participle clauses that I came across while checking some translations. I'm interested in alternative opinions as to how viable these are, as I've belatedly realized that it's been quite some time since I last dealt with participle clauses; I do realize that they can easily be re-worded, but that's a separate issue.

"What a bunch of fools, trying to hit on me like this." Sounds fine

"An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, requiring machines to be measured."

You need to show the phrase does not qualify the word 'senses'.

eg "An energy requiring machines to be measured, and so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses."

eg "An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, and requiring machines to be measured."

'To be measured' is very awkward wording. I suggest 'to measure it'.

Finally, this whole sentene is just a long phrase. It lacks a main clause.

"Who do you think you are, messing with us like that? Fine

"You truly have been cursed, shedding your clothes in such a manner!" Fine, but a rather odd meaning.

"You have some nerve, running off on me like that!" Fine

Clive
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I agree with Clive that it's really only the second one that requires a little more thought and revision.

CJ
CliveFinally, this whole sentene is just a long phrase. It lacks a main clause.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. It seems that the principal problem is the lack of a main clause in #2, which is reassuring; the actual term for this energy is given in the preceding sentence, hence my—and evidently the translator's—reluctance to use "It is" or a similar construction. Still, that would make it a complete sentence.
Clive"An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, requiring machines to be measured."

You need to show the phrase does not qualify the word 'senses'.

eg "An energy requiring machines to be measured, and so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses."

eg "An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, and requiring machines to be measured."

'To be measured' is very awkward wording. I suggest 'to measure it'.

I'm not sure how the phrase could be interpreted to qualify "senses" here, to be honest. Furthermore, what is the rationale behind the commas in your two examples?

I agree with you on the wording.
Clive"You truly have been cursed, shedding your clothes in such a manner!" Fine, but a rather odd meaning.

Quite. The original wasn't much better, alas Emotion: wink
Hi,

"An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, requiring machines to be measured."

You need to show the phrase does not qualify the word 'senses'.

eg "An energy requiring machines to be measured, and so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses."

eg "An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, and requiring machines to be measured."

'To be measured' is very awkward wording. I suggest 'to measure it'.



I'm not sure how the phrase could be interpreted to qualify "senses" here, to be honest. I just found the entire meaning a little obscure. For example, how do you detect energy with all 5 of your senses, eg by your sense of smell? So, I thought it better to make the sentence more precise.

Furthermore, what is the rationale behind the commas in your two examples? I feel I would naturally pause briefly in speech there, based on the length of the two parts of the sentence.

Clive
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Hello,
CliveI'm not sure how the phrase could be interpreted to qualify "senses" here, to be honest. I just found the entire meaning a little obscure. For example, how do you detect energy with all 5 of your senses, eg by your sense of smell? So, I thought it better to make the sentence more precise.

Ah, yes. I suspect the original author thought it sounded imposing.
CliveFurthermore, what is the rationale behind the commas in your two examples? I feel I would naturally pause briefly in speech there, based on the length of the two parts of the sentence.

Without a subject in the clause, isn't this ungrammatical? If the sentence had a main clause—e.g., "An energy requiring machines to be measured, and so faint as to be undetectable by the fives senses, it is nevertheless quite useful."—it would effectively be a parenthetical clause, I suppose, but without that, does it really work? Of course, the sentence isn't technically grammatical as it is anyway.

It's just that I would hesitate to use a comma before and unless it is to:
  • Introduce an independent clause
  • Introduce the last element in a series
  • Introduce a parenthetical thought
Hi,

eg "An energy requiring machines to be measured, and so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses."

eg "An energy so faint as to be undetectable by the five senses, and requiring machines to be measured."

_____________________________________________________________________________

Furthermore, what is the rationale behind the commas in your two examples? I feel I would naturally pause briefly in speech there, based on the length of the two parts of the sentence.

I know there are lots of grammar 'rules' about how to use commas, and they are certainly very helpful. However, I often feel that they make learners forget that a comma represents a pause in speaking. The rules make it sound like commas have nothing at all to do with how we speak. Yet they do.

eg Tom bought, car.

If a learner asks why that is incorrect, you can quote a grammar rule to him, or you can simply say 'You wouldn't naturally pause there if you were speaking'. I find the latter a better way to explain it.

Without a subject in the clause, isn't this ungrammatical? It doesn't seem so, to me.

As I said, I think the length of the sentence components joined by 'and has a definite bearing on whether to put a comma.

If they were shorter, I probably wouldn't. eg 'An energy undetectable and unmeasurable.'



If the sentence had a main clause—e.g., . . . .

If we had a full sentence, other punctuation might indeed be desirable. It depends on the particular sentence.

Best wishes, Clive
Hello,
I sympathize with the sentiment; as long as I'm not missing something, that's fine. I would probably do the same myself depending on the sentence, e.g.,"She never would've believed that she'd be able to meet him again like this and so couldn't make up her mind as to how to proceed."—a sentence like this calls for a comma even if it's technically ungrammatical, I suppose.
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