Can a participle phrase modify a clause?

It is generally taught that participial/participle phrases function as adjectives modifying a noun (or pronoun). In a sentence such as: A major accident occurred on our bus’s route to school, making us late for class. or The gas tank exploded, sending shrapnel through the air. are the participle phrases modifying their preceding clauses? (If not, … Read more

When to put a comma before participial phrase

This site is excellent. Thank you! A Japanese colleague of mine recently asked me to explain to him the rules about comma usage in the following two sentences (taken from an English textbook): “He always eats breakfast reading the paper.” “She was making sandwiches, talking with her daughter.” I’ve been Googling participial phrases and comma … Read more

Word order of participial modifiers and proper nouns

This is a follow-up to this earlier question. I want to say that I met a person and they were drunk at the time. Which should I use: I saw intoxicated John. I saw the intoxicated John. I saw John intoxicated. I know I could say I saw John, who was intoxicated, but I want … Read more