“Verb+ing” clauses

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Welcome to your “Verb+ing” Clauses lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use this clause?
Simultaneous events
Consecutive events
Other uses
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When do we use this clause?

Have a look at this example: Sam was cooking breakfast. She cut her finger:

“Sam cut her finger cooking breakfast.”

You were thirsty, so you got a glass of water. You can say:

Feeling thirsty, I got myself a glass of water.”

“Cooking breakfast” and “feeling thirsty” are “+ing clauses”. If the “+ing clause” is at the beginning of the sentence (“feeling thirsty…”), we put a comma after it.

Simultaneous events

When two things happen at the same time, you can use an “+ing clause”:

“Brian is in the living room watching television.”
(He is in the living room and he is watching television.)

“He left the theatre laughing.”
(He was laughing as he left the theatre)

“Help her! Don’t just stand there tweeting!”

We also use “+ing” when one action happens during another action. We use “+ing” for the longer action:

“He broke his leg skiing.”

“Do you eat breakfast standing up?”

You can also use “+ing” after “when” or “while”:

“He broke his leg while skiing.”

“Be careful when cutting vegetables.”

Consecutive events

When one action happens before another action, we use “having + past participle” for the fist action:

Having found a job, Brian celebrated with his wife to be.”

Having finished the book, she turned off the light and went to sleep.”

You can also use “after +ing”:

“After finishing her dinner, she had a shower.”

If one short action follows another short action, you can use the simple “+ing form” for the first action:

Putting on his shoes, Mark opened the front door.”

These forms are used more in written English than in spoken English.

Other uses

You can also use an “+ing clause” to explain something, or to say why somebody does something. The “+ing” normally comes at the beginning of the sentence:

Being disabled, she finds it hard to get around.”
(because she is disabled)

Living by the beach, she constantly has a tan.”
(because she lives by the beach)

Having already tried paragliding, he wasn’t scared to do it again.”
(because he had already tried it)

Not having jobs, they can’t afford holidays.”
(because they don’t have jobs)

Again, these forms are used more in written English than in spoken English.

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