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He ordered them to lift me and stand me up, facing him at the open gate.

How does this participle phrase function?

What does it modify?

Thanks a lot.
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The phrase functions as an adverb describing the manner in which someone was supposed to stand.

CJ
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English 1b3He ordered them to lift me and stand me up, facing him at the open gate.

How does this participle phrase function?

What does it modify?

The sequence 'facing him at the open gate' is not a phrase, but a nonfinite subordinate clause. It's best to think of it as an adverbial subordinate clause 'expanding' the subordinate clause 'stand me up', specifically modifying the verb 'stand (up)'.

BillJ
From long ago, I was taught that a phrase is not a complete sentence which requires a subject and a verb, whereas a clause is a supportive structure to a main sentence with a subject and a verb. If my interpretation of the exceprt from the following website is true, then "facing him at the open gate..." is an PHRASE, with adverbial property, rather than a "clause".

"A PHRASE is a group of words which contains neither a subject nor a verb. (It may, however, contain a verbal form such as an infinitive, a participle, or a gerund.)"

Source:

http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/resources/complex-sentences.htm
dimsumexpressFrom long ago, I was taught ...
Yes. That is the traditional terminology, but more recently what used to be called a participial phrase is now often being called a non-finite clause. The missing subject is usually understood and retrievable from context, and the participle itself is considered the (non-finite) verb.

CJ
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Uh! I see. Thanks for the explanation. So for those who were taught by traditional grammar rules years ago, these more recent adaptations of new terms may cause some problems.
dimsumexpressUh! I see. Thanks for the explanation. So for those who were taught by traditional grammar rules years ago, these more recent adaptations of new terms may cause some problems.

Yes, I think the terminology drives all of us crazy! Emotion: smile

CJ
dimsumexpress
Uh! I see. Thanks for the explanation. So for those who were taught by traditional grammar rules years ago, these more recent adaptations of new terms may cause some problems.

It's been some years now since nonfinite clauses were admitted (though don't ask me how many!).

I think the term 'nonfinite clause', instead of 'participial phrase', is actually a more accurate description of the function. In any case, the change of name makes no difference to the usage, punctuation and so on, so things are not as bad as you may think.

BillJ
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BillJI think the term 'nonfinite clause', instead of 'participial phrase', is actually a more accurate description of the function. In any case, the change of name makes no difference to the usage, punctuation and so on, ...
I agree.

CJ
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