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Hi teachers,

I have excerpted an example using "participle clause" from a grammar book with no comma. (I'm still struggling with commas while using participle clauses). Would you guide me through the trouble? Thanks

1. He stood at the entrance of Sogo waiting for his girlfriend. (There's no comma. The book says we could use this structure when two actions happen at the same time.) Would a comma cause a problem here?

The second sentence structure with a comma is almost what I'd say I've seen a lot, and I have no idea of how to distinguish between them. Whether they are of the same usage? Or they mean different things?

2. Jackson's bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995, retaining a half interest.

Regards,

Tinanam
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Comments  
The document on commas at Purdue OWL is quite good.
Here are the guidelines that fit your sentences.

#4) Do not use commas to set off essential elements of the sentence.
He stood at the entrance of Sogo waiting for his girlfriend.
In this sentence, if you take away "waiting for his girlfriend", the meaning will change. This is an essential element of the sentence. Do not use a comma.

#7) Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift.

Jackson's bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995, retaining a half interest.

In this sentence, there is a pause because there is a shift of ideas. The phrase modifies the second part of the sentence.
Dear AlpheccaStars,

Thanks for the link. Does a phrase near the end of a sentence always modify a second part of a sentence?

With the use of "which" to replace retaining, is the sentence correct in "Jackson's bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995, of which he retains/retained / was retaining a half interest."?

Thank you.

Tinanam
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tinanam0102Thanks for the link. Does a phrase near the end of a sentence always modify a second part of a sentence?
Not necessarily. It is determined only by context.
tinanam0102 "Jackson's bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995, of which he retains/retained / was retaining a half interest."?
Jackson's (I assume that this is the name of a company - Jackson's Electronics, for example. The possessive iorm is strange here.) bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995, of which he retained a half interest.
"of which" is very awkward here, because it is not close to its antecedent "it".

This is a better way:
Jackson's bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million, sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995 and retained a half interest (in it).
Hi AlpheccaStars,

I apologize I made a few typo. It's an excerpt from news about Michael Jackson.

Jackson bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Sony for about $95 million in 1995, retaining a half interest.

I love your suggestion, but I wonder if the sentence would work if "of" is taken out, so it reads, "Jackson bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Sony for about $95 million in 1995ackson bought, which he retained a half interest (in it).?

Thank you.

Tinanam
tinanam01021. He stood at the entrance of Sogo waiting for his girlfriend.
-- He stood at the entrance.
-- What was he doing at the time?
-- He was waiting for his girlfriend.

His waiting for his girlfriend was an activity that was happening all the while he stood at the entrance of Sogo. In fact, you could even say that his waiting was his standing there.
tinanam01022. Jackson's bought ATV in 1985 for about $47.5 million and sold it to Song for about $95 million in 1995, retaining a half interest.
-- Jackson's bought ATV and then sold it.
-- What were they doing at the time?
-- They were retaining a half interest. [ ??? ]

The second case makes no sense because "retaining a half interest" is not an activity that was going on during the time they bought and sold ATV. Retaining a half interest is another separate action that happened.
_________________

Take these examples for further thought.

They all had an amusing evening telling jokes.

What were they doing at the time they were having an amusing evening? They were telling jokes. The activity of telling jokes was going on at the time they were having an amusing evening. In fact, you could even say that their telling jokes was their having an amusing evening.

The man eventually left, taking his dog with him.
What was he doing when he left? He was taking his dog with him. [ ??? ]
Taking the dog was not an activity that was going on all the while the man was leaving. It was a separate action (or event) that happened when the man left.
___

To summarize:

Did he stand at the entrance and wait for his girlfriend as separate activities?
No. His standing there and his waiting are in fact the same situation.

Did they have an amusing evening and tell jokes as separate activities?
No. Their having an amusing evening and their telling jokes are in fact the same situation.

Did the purchase and sale of ATV occur separately from retaining a half interest?
Yes. The retention of a half interest was another, though related, event.
Did the man take his dog separately from leaving?
Yes. Taking the dog was another, though related, event.

CJ
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Hi CJ,

Those are great breakdowns for further thought. Thanks. I'm starting to understand the participle phase better.

I understand I may sound provacative if I say this: I have four grammar books with levels ranging from Introduction to advanced English in use, and I'm so frustrated because none of them - even the advanced one - have illustrated the usage just like your last example:

The man eventually left, taking his dog with him. (a seperate one action right after another one)

And yet it's very common you can open a newspaper and find this type of sentence structure.

However, in all my grammer books, they use participle clauses (maybe they're called dangling participle, but really none of my grammar books use this phase) for one action that happens immediately after another one, and one action happens before another action.

Examples:

1. Hearing the crash, they rushed out to see what happened.

2. Having finished breakfast, my grandparents went out for a walk.

___________

I understand, if I understand correctly, the first sentence can be reworded:

1. They heard the crash, and rushed out to see what happened.

2. After my grandparents had finished breakfast, they went out for a walk.

____________

would you let me know if it works for the following revisions? (Hope you want get annoyed. I apologize in advance.)

1. They heard the crash, rushing out to see what happened. (I do find it weird, but I don't know why, just something missing or not related or lacking something to hold the sentence together. Do you agree?)

2. My grandparents finished breakfast, going out for a walk. (same as above)

Thank you very much.

Regards,

Tinanam
tinanam0102I'm so frustrated because none of them - even the advanced one - have illustrated the usage just like your last example
Learning a language can be very frustrating. I'm surprised that those books didn't have this type of example. It's really very common, as you say.
tinanam0102I understand, if I understand correctly, the first sentence can be reworded:

1. They heard the crash, and rushed out to see what happened.

2. After my grandparents had finished breakfast, they went out for a walk.
Yes. You understand these correctly.
tinanam0102[ W ]ould you let me know if it works for the following revisions? ...

1. They heard the crash, rushing out to see what happened. (I do find it weird, but I don't know why, just something missing or not related or lacking something to hold the sentence together. Do you agree?)

2. My grandparents finished breakfast, going out for a walk. (same as above)
Nice try, but no. These don't work, and they are weird, as you say. Emotion: smile

These might be better:

They all stumbled over each other rushing out to see what happened.
My grandparents finished breakfast early, giving them enough time to go out for a walk.

CJ
HI CJ,

Thanks for correcting me. I get the first the sentence but the second one still eludes me.

Your sentence:

My grandparents finished breakfast early, giving them enough time to go out for a walk.

>Does the second part of the sentence describe the first part of the sentence?

>If the answer is "yest", would that mean:

My grandparents finished breakfast early, which gives them enough time to go out for a walk.

>If it's correct, would past tense "gave" should be used in the sentence?

Thank you.

Tinanam
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