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a) After I stay a few days in America, shopping, I travel to...

Should there be a comma before the participle 'shopping'? Or is this not your usual type of participle phrase, since it seems to be more closely tied to the the main sentence?

If I reduced it slightly and include 'mainly,' is it still fine?

b) After staying a few days in America, mainly shopping, I travel to...

Thanks for your time
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If you omit the comma in the first example:

1. I stayed in America shopping.

"stayed" acts as a linking verb and "shopping" is the complement (we seem to have several this evening). Cf.

2. I went shopping in America.

If you keep the comma, "shopping" has the air of an afterthought, and might better be construed as an ellipsis:

3. I stayed in America, [where I was] shopping.

All the best,

MrP
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English 1b3

a) After I stay a few days in America, shopping, I travel to...

Should there be a comma before the participle 'shopping'? Or is this not your usual type of participle phrase, since it seems to be more closely tied the the main sentence?

If I reduced it slightly and include 'mainly,' is it still fine?

b) After staying a few days in America, mainly shopping, I travel to...

Thanks for your time

My angles:

It would seem to me 'past tense' is in order.

A version sounds dull and heavy

B version is a participle clause. "Mainly shopping" is an adverbial phrase tagging to the clasue which should have a comma. It's fine, except the present tense.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
A pedantic prescriptivist would have a great time with his red pen marking your "mistakes."

And here is yet another example of a participle phrase that would seem odd having a comma before it.

And again in the second bold sentence Emotion: surprise
 MrPedantic's reply was promoted to an answer.
Dear friends,

the following is my vision of the question:

To properly understand the characteristics of the -ing participle clause, let us separate the structure to which it refers from the rest of the sentence:

I stay a few days in America (,) shopping.

The task now is to identify the role of the final element in the newly-obtained sentence. If we cross out shopping, the remainder of the sentence will still make sense (I stay a few days in America). It stems from such an operation that the -ing element is non-essential to the structure of the sentence. In other words, this is a supplementive clause (which belongs to a larger class of nonfinite adverbial clauses).

Next, we have to deal with the punctuation. Supplementive clauses in final position (like the one in question) pose a special difficulty for analysis, as they may be presented in the two following ways:

I stay a few days in America, shopping.
I stay a few days in America shopping.

Both are alternative (and correct) renderings of roughly the same sentence. The difference, though, is that the first sentence has two focuses of information, whereas the second has only one. The first one has two tone units:

I stay a few days in America, \ shopping.

The words in bold are marked with a falling tone.

The second variant has only one tone unit and, hence, only one focus of attention (on the word 'shopping'):

I stay a few days in America shopping.

The punctuation and prosody, therefore, depend on the intention of the speaker. I suppose that the sentence where 'mainly shopping' is introduced is more likely to be understood as having two focuses of information, and I believe that the comma (rather than its absence) is much more likely before it:

I stay a few days in America, mainly shopping.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
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PS - Although not the main point of the question, I agree with dimsum that the past would make more sense.
Thanks, Gleb!

I stay a few days in America, shopping.

I stay a few days in America, mainly shopping.

So both are your typical participle phrases, but you say that they are adverbial...Are they not adjectival?

Could you give me an example showing the difference between an adjectival and an adverbial participle phrase, please?

And is the first above a participle phrase without an object or adverbials? In other words, it is the same as this?

I stay a few days in America, shopping with my friends.
As Gleb has explained:

"It stems from such an operation that the -ing element is non-essential to the structure of the sentence. In other words, this is a supplementive clause (which belongs to a larger class of nonfinite adverbial clauses".

English 1b3
I stay a few days in America, shopping.

I stay a few days in America, mainly shopping.



Particple clauses, such as the above examples are just that.

With a few touches, we can make the sentence over without destroying the basic form to get:

I stayed a few [extra] days in New York [after the world cruise] for some shopping / mainly shopping . The underlined is "adverbial" by nature.
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My pleasure, English 1b3!
English 1b3So both are your typical participle phrases, but you say that they are adverbial...Are they not adjectival?
- they should be better referred to as participle clauses, my friend, to be consistent in terminology. They cannot be adjectival by definition, as they do not contain any adjectives. Most grammarians restrict adjectival clauses to sentences like the following:

Rather anxious, she opened the letter. <supplementive adj cl>
When fit, he is an excellent fighter.<contingent adj cl>

Excellent! Wonderful! (How) kind of you! <exclamatory adj cl>

Personally, I fall in with this line of thinking.
English 1b3Could you give me an example showing the difference between an adjectival and an adverbial participle phrase, please?
- as far as I understand, you are asking about the distinction between supplementive clauses and postmodifying participle clauses. If so, the difficulties arise only when such a clause takes the position immediately after the antecedent. Cf:

This herb, discovered almost by accident, has revolutionized pharmacy.

The sentence can be equivalent to either a non-restrictive relative clause:

This herb, which was discovered almost by accident, has revolutionized pharmacy.

or to a subjectless supplementive clause:

Discovered almost by accident, this herb has revolutionized pharmacy.

May I say again that ambiguity arises only when the clause of this type immediately follows the antecedent. In the case of the original examples, however, the clauses are in the final position, and, hence, no dualism should appear.
English 1b3And is the first above a participle phrase without an object or adverbials? In other words, it is the same as this?

I stay a few days in America, shopping with my friends.
The sentence < I stay a few days in America, shopping> has two constituents < I stay a few days in America > + < shopping >, and shopping is the unitary constituent into which the participle clause can be analysed, which means that it has neither objects nor adverbials. The sentence ending 'with my friends' is structurally the same on the level of a sentence < clause + clause >; on the level of an adverbial clause, however, it is different, for it has two immediate constituents < verb phrase + prepositional phrase >.

By the way, let me thank our anonymous friend who perfectly explained the essence of the question.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
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