Use “waiting” after “parked”

Today I’ve read a sentence saying “He parked, waited for me to catch up and ran off again”.

I asked if I could say “He parked, waiting for me to catch up” to emphasize the actual action of waiting an undefinite amount of time but my teacher said it’s just plain wrong.

Is there a practical rule I could follow?


In the original sentence, there are three actions:

  • he parked
  • he waited
  • he ran off again

Because the same person did all three actions, the verbs should all take the same tense and then the sentence can be structured as a set of parallel actions, reducing away the pronoun at the beginning.

In your modified sentence, there are only two actions:

  • he parked (and in doing so, he was waiting)
  • he ran off again

By using waiting instead of waited, you have converted the second action into an explanatory aside. (If this was not your intention, then you have just violated the requirements of the parallel structure, which is probably what your teacher meant by calling it “plain wrong.”) And when you do that, it becomes a non-essential piece of the sentence that must be set off by commas at both ends:

He parked, waiting for me to catch up, and ran off again.

However, this is still awkward because the aside really doesn’t accomplish your goal of expressing “an indefinite amount of time”; it just makes the sentence look like it has lost its parallelism. To clarify that “waiting” is not an incorrect verb, you really need to insert an extra then to emphasize the fact that there were only two actions:

He parked, waiting for me to catch up, and then ran off again.

Source : Link , Question Author : Vincenzo Maggio , Answer Author : Hellion

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