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Can the sentences bellow be written in a different way without changing their meaning? Why is "smiling, grumbling, feeling" seperated with a comma? When do we use it?

1. "Ellen shook her head, smiling."

2. "Bet, grumbling, had departed to her harp lesson."

3. "He pranced about, feeling very important indeed."

This is my guess

1. Ellen shook her head and smiled.

2. Bet grumbled and departed to her harp lesson.

3. He pranced about because he felt very important indeed.

Thank you very much for your help
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I'd say

"She smiled as she shook her head"

"Bet had been grumbling as she had departed to etc..."

"He felt very important as he pranced etc..."

The -ing forms in your sentences shows the simultaneousness of both actions, and I think it is best paraphrased with "as".
Hi,

Can the sentences below be written in a different way without changing their meaning? Why is "smiling, grumbling, feeling" seperated with a comma? When do we use it? They are adjectival phrases. They describe the person as he/she was doing something, in other words both things are simultaneous.

1. "Ellen shook her head, smiling."

2. "Bet, grumbling, had departed to her harp lesson."

3. "He pranced about, feeling very important indeed."

1. Ellen smiled as she shook her head. 'was smiling' is also possible.

2. Bet had been grumbling as she departed to her harp lesson. There are a few other tense choices here, due to the Past Perfect aspect of the event.

3. He felt very important as he pranced about. 'was feeling' is also possible.

Best wishes, Clive
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Thank you for your explanation. It feels great to understand!

How about these sentences?

1. "Ashton being dead, the whole affair must now be laid before Colonel Browne."

2. "Then I changed my mind, realising that he could do nothing to help."

3. "George having been carried to his cabin, Ash had gone up to the deserted deck."

This is how I would paraphrase them:

1. Because Ashton is dead, the whole affair must now be laid before Colonel Browne.

2.Then I changed my mind, because I had realised that he could do nothing to help.

3. Since George had been carried to his cabin, Ash had gone up to the deserted deck.

Thank you
Hi again,

1. "Ashton being dead, the whole affair must now be laid before Colonel Browne."

2. "Then I changed my mind, realising that he could do nothing to help."

3. "George having been carried to his cabin, Ash had gone up to the deserted deck."

This is how I would paraphrase them:

1. Because Ashton is dead, the whole affair must now be laid before Colonel Browne. OK

2.Then I changed my mind, because I had realised that he could do nothing to help.OK, but you could omit 'had'.

3. Since George had been carried to his cabin, Ash had gone up to the deserted deck. OK, but you could say 'went' instead of 'had gone'.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi,

With all due respect, can I ask you if the sentence is right? When I saw the sentence, I felt it is awkward. Tell me if what I am feeling is based on a valid concern or not. As she had depart is the part that helped to trigger the rather uneasy feeling. As I said previously, these feelings I get nowadays might be due the passing of the weather.

He had been grumbling as she had depart to/for the harp lesson.

Sorry for sounding too, too picky. I just want to know.
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It shoud be "had departed": the past perfect is formed wih "had" + the past participle of the verb.
Hi,

He had been grumbling as she had departed for the harp lesson.

It's still not a very natural sentence. We wouldn't normally use the PP twice like this in a sentence. More natural would be

He had been grumbling as she departed for the harp lesson. or

He was grumbling as she departed for the harp lesson.

The key with PP is that, if the sequence of events is clear without it, we don't normally use it.

Best wishes, Clive