Indicative without a subject

I’m aware that imperative and interrogative constructions can take no subject as it’s usually implied (“Look this way!!”, or “Why look that way?”), but what about an indicative sentence like this one:

Running through the hallways frantically shoving food down my throat wondering if anyone nearby notices, stopping for a moment to say hello to the principal while wiping food from my mouth, realizing also my shirt was untucked, tucking it in, proceeding through the hall, down the stairs, out the door to the bus.

I’ve noticed these kinds of sentences in avant-garde literature, especially fiction, and was wondering if it’s technically grammatically correct, or if these authors are slightly bending the rules.

I’m just realized that perhaps it could be considered an adverbial clause and thus not an indicative… but if that’s the case then there’s no verb it’s modifying and therefore left dangling… Any thoughts??


The paragraph is written in the present progressive with an implied subject [I] and implied helping verb [am]. [I am] Running through the hallways…. This is not standard English, but it functions similarly to an imperative [You] Leave the room. The listener or reader supplies the missing, but obvious, words. A fair amount of recent fiction is written in the present tense, the theory being that the present tense is more vivid than the past tense. This paragraph violates standard English in order to further that vividness. See Its merits are debatable.

Source : Link , Question Author : John Samps , Answer Author : Zan700

Leave a Comment