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The fire destroyes hundreds of houses, killing tens of people.
The fire happened last week, killing tens of people.

When I studied in class, my teacher said that the subject of "killing" in the latter is "the fire" and we can use Gerund like that, so the latter is right. But when I compared 2 of them, the subject of killing in the former sentence should be houses, is it right ? I'm still confused about them. Can you please give me some explanations ?
Thanks
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Comments  
Hi,
In both sentences, the subject of killing is understood to be the fire.
SJD87
I don't think either of those examples has "killing" as a gerund. In fact, I think they are participial phrases modifying "the fire". Gerunds act like nouns, and they almost never have punctuation. Example of a gerund:

The fire caused the killing. 

("killing" is a gerund acting as the direct object)

The fire, killing the people, destroys hundreds of houses. 

("killing" is a participle, and "killing the people" is acting as an adjective for "fire")
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AnonymousThe fire destroyes hundreds of houses, killing tens of people.

The fire destroyed hundreds of houses, killing dozens of people.

CB
The fire destroyed hundreds of houses killing tens of people.
The fire destroyed hundreds of houses rebuilt after the earthquake
The fire happened last week killing tens of people.

As the meaning, "rebuilt" is past participle of houses and "killing" of the 1st sentence is present participle of houses as well. Therefore, the meaning of the 1st one should be wrong, right ? How about the 3rd ?
please help
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The fire destroyed hundreds of houses killing tens of people.
The fire destroyed hundreds of houses rebuilt after the earthquake
The fire happened last week killing tens of people.

As the meaning, "rebuilt" is past participle of houses and "killing" of the 1st sentence is present participle of houses as well. Therefore, the meaning of the 1st one should be wrong, right ? How about the 3rd ?
It's probably not a good idea to suspend common sense when reading a sentence. Killer houses don't make a lot of sense except maybe in science fiction. Emotion: smile

Note the use of commas below, by the way.

The user hit the key, erasing the whole file. (The key didn't erase anything.)
The user hit the key controlling the delete function. (The key controlled the function.)

The cat jumped on the table, turning over a glass of wine. (The table didn't turn anything over.)
The cat jumped on the table supporting the printer. (The table supported the printer.)

The scientists discovered a new species of octopus, proving that Professor Bubla's theory was wrong. (The new species of octopus didn't prove anything.)
The scientists discovered a new species of octopus thriving at a depth of 1000 meters. (The octopus thrived there.)

CJ
thanks for your explanation,

In those sentences, I just want to know if it's possible to the key as a subject of erasing. In sum, I don't know when the subject of the present participial is The user or the key. We need to use the comma to distinguish them, don't we ?
About the meaning of my sentences, The fire killed people, not the houses, so that I want to check whether or not they are right.

Please take time to help me.
Thanks a lot
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