preposition + participle phrases

  • user21649

    I think you always see sentences like these:

    Asked whether he intended to return soon(when he was asked), he replied that he would be away for about three months. or Squeezed by ice(as the steamer was squeezed by ice), the steamer could not continue her way.

    and maybe they are clear enough for you because of English being your native language but for me usually sentences like those are not clear enough so my question is that how do you like the following ?

    When asked whether he intended to return soon, he replied that he would be away for about three months. As squeezed by ice, the steamer could not continue her way. or As asked(as he was asked) he was forced to interrupt his work When squeezed by ice(when the steamer was squeezed by ice), the steamer was out of a fuel.

  • Answers
  • matt
    • Asked whether he intended to return soon, he replied that he would be away for about three months.
    • Squeezed by ice, the steamer could not continue her way.

    These two sentences do sound grammatically correct to my ear. As for the suggestions you offered, here are my personal opinions:

    • When asked whether he intended to return soon, he replied that he would be away for about three months.

    This is perfectly alright.

    • As squeezed by ice, the steamer could not continue her way.

    The grammar does sound a bit off here. I am not someone who has a very sound knowledge of all the grammatical terms, so I'm unable to tell you what exactly went wrong. Personally, though, I would exchange as for due to being or because she was.

    • When squeezed by ice, the steamer was out of fuel.

    Here, the grammar is alright. However, the sentence doesn't make much sense, because this sentence simply indicates that moment at which the steamer was squeezed by ice is when the steamer went out of fuel. I'm not too sure what kind of context will you use it in.

    • As asked he was forced to interrupt his work.

    This sentence is quite lacking as there is no context. Who is the person asking? What is he asking for? Given these two additional factors, a sentence that goes Asked by the janitor for help to clean the restroom, he had to interrupt his work would make a whole lot more sense.

    Personally, I feel that the first two sentences that you provided are perfectly alright, and there is little to no reason for you to change them. With the preceding word (preposition?) omitted, it is up to the reader to decide whether the author is suggesting a point of time, or reason. This also makes the sentence succinct, which in turn makes the prose more "flowy" and comfortable.

  • Cool Elf

    I agree with Paola that your first example is right.

    Basically, what you're doing wrong is that you're trying to bring back the sentences with "+ed" Clauses to Compound sentences. When the point of using the "+ed" Clauses in the first place is to shorten the sentences.

    What you should do is stick to one style: Do you wanna use "+ed" Clauses or Connectors (e.g. as, when, while etc.)? Either is fine, but remember that when you use the latter, you might as well say the complete sentence (without omission):


    When S + V, S + V.

    As S + V, S + V.

    Learners and non-native speakers of the language find this way practical because, when it comes to Clauses, you can omit sometimes but not all the time.

    Take a look:

    When + V+ing, = Ok

    While + V+ing, = Ok

    As + V+ing, = X

    When + V+ed, = Ok

    While + V+ed, = Ok

    As + V+ed, = X

    It has something to do with the possible tenses of either "+ing" or "+ed" Clause, but I think the list above is handy enough.

    P.S. Clauses with the meaning of reason is another topic for another day ;-)

  • Ghostpsalm

    Ok, having studied a few classical languages, I think I may be able to help you out here.

    The first two sentences you gave were participial phrases ("Asked...", "Squeezed..."). A participle is a so-called "verbal-noun" which means that in different instances it may modify a verb or a noun.

    Therefore we say;

    I saw the running horse (adjectival participle [modifies a noun]).
    Spitting out the food, he said, "No!" (adverbial participle [modifies a verb]).

    A participle is therefore a very unique part of speech, because it finds its place by its relation to other words in the sentence. However, I think the real issue you are having with the above, is not just the participles, but there particular usage in these sentences; and it is difficult to answer because of the obscurity of it.

    The uses of the participles here are that of an "absolute" sense, and so they don't relate to a specific verb or noun in the sentence, but the WHOLE of the sentence. They kind of stand by themselves grammatically, but give context to the sentence logically.

    The sense is really like the following suggests;

    Assuming the situation that he was asked, he replied ...
    Assuming the situation that it was squeezed, the steamer ...

    The reason your second suggestion doesn't gel with native English speakers is because to add a preposition/particle to the beginning specifies the participle as something more than the original sentence does. And the first case does the same, but it sounds acceptable because it is a proper, albeit different use of the participle, and really says more than the first case wants to as well.

  • Related Question

    Past participle of a verb created from an acronym
  • kiamlaluno

    Standard GPL would require that those applications be GPL'd (or compatible licensing), whereas LGPL requires only the library's source to be made available.

    Is the use of words like GPL'd common to other acronyms?
    Is the meaning of such words understandable from common people?

  • Related Answers
  • Kosmonaut

    Yes, I think these are generally understandable to people. Converting nouns to verbs on the fly with no morphological markings or suffixes is quite common in English today.

    Another example that came to mind:

    • EOL'd. (End-Of-Life, referring to product lines)
  • ptomato

    Yes, it is generally understood, although it might probably also be spelled GPLed. A non-tech example is "He OD'd last night." (OD = overdose, specifically of drugs.)

  • Kris

    Use this only in the appropriate context, though.
    "I want it here asap. DHL it."
    "We already DHLed it, Sir."
    That is fine between the two executives who know they are talking about sending by courier. (Name of a regular courier service being used in a generic sense like it is a word.)