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driving down the street Options
azz
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 3:13:34 AM
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Joined: 5/15/2014
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a. They injured him sitting behind the wheel of his car.
b. They injured him, sitting behind the wheel of his car.

c. They shot her in the shoulder driving down the street she lived on.
d. They shot her in the shoulder, driving down the street she lived on.

e. I talked to her driving down the street she lived on.
f. I talked to her, driving down the street she lived on.


Are these sentences correct if he was the one sitting behind the wheel of his car and she was driving down the street she lived on.



Many thanks


pjharvey
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 6:51:46 AM
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Joined: 4/13/2012
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No, they are not correct, because there is no subject agreement.
You must use something like "They injured him while he was sitting behind the wheel of his car" (by the way, what was he doing sitting behind the wheel of his car???, and which wheel was it?).
This is valid for all 3 sentences.
NKM
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 10:24:22 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Without the commas, they don't really make sense at all. With the commas, they are at best ambiguous and confusing.

b. They injured him, sitting behind the wheel of his car.
 How many of them were sitting behind the wheel of his car?

d. They shot her in the shoulder, driving down the street she lived on.
 Where was she while they were driving down the street and shooting her?

f. I talked to her, driving down the street she lived on.
 Was she at home while I was driving down the street and talking to her?

FounDit
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 10:25:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,453
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pjharvey wrote:
No, they are not correct, because there is no subject agreement.
You must use something like "They injured him while he was sitting behind the wheel of his car" (by the way, what was he doing sitting behind the wheel of his car???, and which wheel was it?).
This is valid for all 3 sentences.


A very funny mental picture...LOL.


You might even wonder how they managed to shoot her in the shoulder while driving down the street. That's takes some pretty good shooting, the marksmanship increasing proportionally to the rate of speed...Whistle

It's also interesting to think how you could talk to her driving, whether the driving took place on her street or another street; and did her driving answer?...Whistle


Romany
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018 12:56:02 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Azz -

I read these this morning but didn't answer because, truthfully, none of these sentences make sense in the real world. Perhaps, if you explain what grammar point you are trying to illustrate, one of our grammar pundits could suggest some sentences which would work better? Just a suggestion.
azz
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:11:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/15/2014
Posts: 364
Neurons: 3,918
Thank you all so much.

Thank you Romany.

The question is whether an 'ing clause' at the end of the sentence always modifies the subject. Could it modify the object adjectivally?

I am trying to come up with sensible examples, but there seems to be a block in my mind!

How about these? Do they work? Don't the first two unambiguously mean Tom was wearing her wedding dress? Maybe they are ambiguous?

1. Tom kissed her wearing her wedding dress. (she was wearing the wedding dress)
2. Tom kissed her, wearing her wedding dress. (she was wearing the wedding dress)

3. I tripped him up walking out the door. (I tripped him up when he was walking out the door)
4. I tripped him up walking out the door. (I tripped him up when he was walking out the door)

5. I talked to her putting on her clothes. (I talked to her when she was putting on her clothes)
6. I talked to her, putting on her clothes. (I talked to her when she was putting on her clothes)


Many thanks.
AndEng
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:54:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/30/2012
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Neurons: 28,497
Hi azz,

also these sentences are somehow wrong as they are confusing, because, while the subject of the first part is clear, the -ing form (a participle) in the second part is somehow dangling, that is, it is not so clear which noun of the first part it modifies.

In this sense, adding a comma does not help to clarify the meaning.

The sentence 1,2,5 and 6 are very confusing, as it seems that Tom kissed her while he was wearing her wedding dress....d'oh! which would sound as being part of a sitcom
or that you talked to her while you were putting on her clothes....again the sitcom.

The sentences 3 and 4 are correct but the meaning is that you tripped him up as you were walking through the door.

I recommend that you read the article about Participles

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Participles.htm

In particular, go to the section called "As an object complement" and the subsection "Common mistakes". I am sure this will shed light on your questions.

Hope that helps.

AndEng
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