Do you know how to start a clause with a present participle (e.g. seeing) or past participle (e.g. seen)?

Participle clauses

Participle clauses are a form of adverbial clause which enables us to say information in a more economical way. We can use participle clauses when the participle and the verb in the main clause have the same subject. For example:

Waiting for John, I made some tea.

Waiting for John, the kettle boiled. [This would suggest that the kettle was waiting for John!]

 

Forming participle clauses

Participle clauses can be formed with the present participle (-ing form of the verb) or past participle (third form of the verb). Participle clauses with past participles have a passive meaning:

Shouting loudly, Peter walked home. [Peter was shouting]

Shouted at loudly, Peter walked home. [Someone was shouting at Peter]

If we wish to emphasise that one action was before another then we can use a perfect participle (having + past participle):

Having won the match, Susan jumped for joy.

Having been told the bad news, Susan sat down and cried.

 

 

The meaning and use of participle clauses

Participle clauses give information about condition, result, reason or time. For example:

 

CONDITION (with a similar meaning to an if-condition):

Looked after carefully, this coat will keep you warm through many winters.

Compare: If you look after it carefully, this coat will keep you warm through many winters.

 

RESULT (with a similar meaning to so or therefore):

The bomb exploded, destroying the building.

Compare: The bomb exploded so the building was destroyed.

 

REASON (with a similar meaning to because or since):

I had no time to read my book, having spent so long doing my homework.

Compare: I had no time to read my book because I had spent so long doing my homework.

 

TIME (with a similar meaning to words like when, while or as soon as):

Sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

Compare: While I was sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hi learner2018

In response to your first question, the phrase is actually 'have difficulty selling the bond', i.e. 'have difficulty' + verb-ing and yes, 'selling the bond' is the complement of the word 'difficulty' (though note that it's a noun instead of an adjective).

As for your second question, yes, it's possible to use 'in' in this and similar cases; it is a generally accepted usage and means the same thing.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi , is this reduction right ?

Is there anyone who has access to paypal?
Is there anyone having access to pal??

Hello monarchy110,

No, that is not correct. We do not use 'have' with the meaning of possession in participle clauses. You could simply use 'with', however: Is there anyone here with access to...?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

But I found this following reduction with "have" with the meaning of possession in the grammar book named " Communicate what you mean" by "Carroll Washington pollock" page 150 Reduction of Adjective Clauses.

anyone who has a library card may check out books.
anyone having a library card may check out books.

how do you explain this reduction based on this above reference?

Hello monarchy110,

'Have' is used in many ways, often as a replacement for another verb (have a shower, have dinner etc).

We do not use 'have' for possession in participle clauses. Thus we would not say:

Anyone having a dog knows they are wonderful creatures.

Anyone having a house understands the importance of security

Someone having a car knows how expensive it is.

Rather, we would use 'who has' or 'owning' in each example.

 

However, the example you give is correct. I would suggest that the reason is that having here means not possessing but rather something like bringing or showing

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Participles clauses is the same as (Nominative) Absolute Participle Constructions?

Dear Sir,

I confused about this sentence -' The bomb exploded, destroying the building.'
(The bomb exploded so the building was destroyed.) If the building was destroyed as a result of the explosion, should it be 'destroyed the building' not 'destroying'? I would be grateful if you could explain the sentence. (Sorry, I am not good at English, I hope you can understand what I try to say!)

Hello Momonoki,

In participle clauses, present participles have active meaning and past participles have passive meaning.

For example:

I walked down the street, watching the man. [I watch the man]

I walked down the street, watched by the man. [the man watches me]

 

The present participle (destroying) is correct here because an active meaning is needed.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi
I have a problem with explanation of "reasons"
in explanation is said "in place of so..." but the example is against.
"so" is used in second clause but "ing-form" is used in first clause and isn't used in place of "so"
thanks

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