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1.The chirping sounds of birds are always pleasing to hear preparing food for my family in the morning.


2.The chirping sounds of birds are always pleasing to hear when preparing food for my family in the morning.


3.The chirping sounds of birds are always pleasing to hear while preparing food for my family in the morning.


I think that all these three sentences are correct English.

But maybe is sentence 1 wrong because 1 lacks the word "when" or "while"?

I don't think that 1 is wrong because even without the word 'when" or "while", 1 conveys the same meaning as 2 or 3 quite well.

If 1 is wrong, could you explain why?

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The implicit subject of a participle clause is the subject of the main clause, so these all suffer from a "misplaced modifier".

They say that the sounds of birds, (when they are) preparing food ..., are pleasing to hear.

You'll need a full finite clause:

... while I am preparing food ...

CJ

Comments  
fire1I think that all these three sentences are correct English.

I would not be surprised to hear any of them, but that does not make them "correct". They all read like it is the sounds that are preparing the food. A sentence should yield its meaning upon close examination, and these fail that test. Still, everybody would know what you meant, and I daresay most people would not notice a problem.

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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJim

The implicit subject of a participle clause is the subject of the main clause, so these all suffer from a "misplaced modifier".

They say that the sounds of birds, (when they are) preparing food ..., are pleasing to hear.

You'll need a full finite clause:

... while I am preparing food ...

CJ

Then, if sentence 1 is rewritten like this "A. It is pleasing to hear the chirping sounds of birds, preparing food in the morning", is sentence A correct?


And are sentences B,C,D,E below grammatical and correct?

B. "I like hearing the chirping sounds of birds, preparing food in the morning.

C. "It should be prohibited by law to drive cars, listening to music"

D. "To drive cars, listening to music should be prohibited by law"

E. "Driving cars, listening to music should be prohibited by law"


I mean, I really want to know if it's possible to use a participle clause in an infinitive clause or another participle clause, when the infinitive clause/the participle clause in the position of subject or complement or object in a sentence.

Would you please make some examples? I really want to know.

fire1Then, if sentence 1 is rewritten like this "A. It is pleasing to hear the chirping sounds of birds, preparing food in the morning", is sentence A correct?

No, because you just displaced the subject "to hear the ... sounds" with "it", so either "it" or "to hear the ... sounds" is preparing the food. An abstraction expressed as an infinitive can't prepare food.

fire1B. "I like hearing the chirping sounds of birds, preparing food in the morning.

To avoid confusion the participle clause should be at the beginning.

Preparing food in the morning, I like ....

The choice of a rather inactive verb (like) is not as convincing as a more active verb (listen), however:

Preparing food in the morning, I listen to the chirping sounds of the birds.

Or, reversing:

Listening to the chirping of the birds, I prepare breakfast in the morning.

fire1C. "It should be prohibited by law to drive cars, listening to music"

As above, "to drive cars" can't listen to music. However, it would be understood very well with 'while':

It should be prohibited by law to drive while listening to music.

'cars' in unnecessary, and in any case it restricts the thought too much as we can also drive trucks.

fire1

D. "To drive cars, listening to music should be prohibited by law"

E. "Driving cars, listening to music should be prohibited by law"

See above.

fire1I mean, I really want to know if it's possible to use a participle clause in an infinitive clause or another participle clause, when the infinitive clause/the participle clause in the position of subject or complement or object in a sentence.
Would you please make some examples? I really want to know.

If a participle clause is in the position of a subject or object in a sentence, it's called a gerund clause (or sometimes a gerund-participle clause, which seems unnecessarily long for a name).

So, anyway, you want to explore all possible combinations and permutations of these grammatical components, as if you were doing mathematics. I've never taken that approach to grammar, so I don't think I can find all of those examples for you. I can't even imagine what you would want to do with those examples.


Your best bet for a participle clause inside another participle clause is an adjectival clause inside an adverbial clause.

Listening to the birds chirping their happy tunes, Mathilda read quietly in the parlor.

To make that construction a subject rather than adverbial:

Listening to the birds chirping their happy tunes was Mathilda's favorite pastime.

To make it a direct object (technically, 'complement'). This might be better classified as a catenative construction.

Mathilda denied listening to the birds chirping their happy tunes.

Using an infinitive clause of purpose (adverbial) to replace the participle clause.

To listen to the birds chirping their happy tunes, Mathilda sat near an open window.

The infinitive as subject:

To listen to the birds chirping their happy tunes was Mathilda's favorite pastime.

With extraposition (dummy 'it'):

It was Mathilda's favorite pastime to listen to the birds chirping their happy tunes.

The infinitive as direct object is not really possible. All these combinations are catenative constructions.

Mathilda refused to listen to the birds chirping their happy tunes.

CJ

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CalifJimCalifJim

Thank you very much CalifJim!

I somewhat notice what makes the sentences incorrect, reading your answer.

Q1) Then, would it be correct to say as below?

4. Driving being drunk is prohibited by law in the country.
5. Driving listening to music is prohibited by law in the country.
6. To drive being drunk is prohibited by law in the country.
7. It is my favorite hobby to watch English movies, eating popcorn on my days off.

I think that 4,5,6,7 are correct.

Q2) But can't C be correct English because no one would think that cars are listening to music?

fire14. Driving being drunk is prohibited by law in the country.
5. Driving listening to music is prohibited by law in the country.
6. To drive being drunk is prohibited by law in the country.

All OK.

However, the first would be expressed more idiomatically as

Driving while drunk is prohibited ....

fire17. It is my favorite hobby to watch English movies, eating popcorn on my days off.

This is a version of

My favorite hobby is to watch English movies, eating popcorn on my days off.

The implicit subject of the infinitive clause is "me" (for me to watch), where 'me' ~ 'I', so it's possible:

My favorite hobby is (for me) to watch English movies, (while I am) eating popcorn on my days off.

I'm going to ignore the remote possibility of interpreting this as the English movies are eating popcorn.


I know you like to consider very complicated constructions, but in your own writing and speech, I hope you have the sense to write and speak more simply. You don't get extra points for communicating in convoluted phrases. Quite the reverse. Emotion: smile

CJ