Combining Sentences by Using Participial Phrases

Examples (Participial phrases are bolded.):

Note: Misusing a participial phrase can result in sentence fragments (incomplete sentences).

Error Example (Short, choppy sentences):

The teacher handed the essay back to Elaine. She praised its clear, readable style.

Correction (Combined with a participial phrase):

The teacher handed the essay back to Elaine, praising its clear, readable style.

Note: A comma is used to separate a participial phrase from the rest of the sentence or two commas are used if the phrase is in the middle of the sentence.

 Your Turn:

Combine the following sentences by using a participial phrase.

  1. Inez rode her bicycle to the store. She was pedaling furiously.
  2. I reached into the water. I grabbed the fish by the tail.

    WARNING: Be sure to combine the above sentences with a participial phrase; don't create a sentence with a compound verb.  An example of a sentence with a compound verb = I reached into the water and grabbed the fish by the tail. Also, you must put the participial phrase in the correct spot, close to the noun it is modifying.  If you write, "I reached into the water, grabbing the fish," you are saying the water grabbed the fish.  You must move the phrase to the beginning of the sentence to make the sentence correct.