Part A

Rewrite each sentence below, adding the participial phrase given in parenthesis. Be sure to position the participial phrase so that it refers clearly and logically to a noun in the main clause. In other words, avoid misplaced modifiers and squinting modifiers.
  1. I could hear thunder.
    (rumbling in the distance)
  2. Professor Legree repeated his favorite joke.
    (encouraged by the polite applause of the audience)
  3. The children gazed at the monkeys.
    (hanging by their tails from the branches)
  4. The monkeys stared back at the children.
    (hanging by their tails from the branches)
  5. I watched the sun rise over the ridge.
    (blazing over houses, farms, and fields)

Part B

Combine the sentences in each set below into a single clear sentence with at least one participial phrase. Here's an example:
  • I stood on the roof of my apartment building at dawn.
  • I watched the sun rise through crimson clouds.

Sample combination: Standing on the roof of my apartment building at dawn, I watched the sun rise through crimson clouds.
If you run into problems while working on this exercise, review the following pages:

Exercise: Building Sentences with Participial Phrases

  1. I took small sips from a can of Coke.
    I was sitting on the ground in a shady corner.
    I was sitting with my back against the wall.
  2. I was sitting on the window ledge.
    The ledge overlooked the narrow street.
    I watched the children.
    The children were frolicking in the first snow of the season.
  3. The house sat stately upon a hill.
    The house was gray.
    The house was weather-worn.
    The house was surrounded by barren tobacco fields.
  4. Goldsmith smiled.
    He bunched his cheeks like twin rolls of toilet paper.
    His cheeks were fat.
    The toilet paper was smooth.
    The toilet paper was pink.
  5. The roaches scurried in and out of the breadbox.
    The roaches sang chanteys.
    The roaches sang as they worked.
    The roaches paused only to thumb their noses.
    They thumbed their noses jeeringly.
    They thumbed their noses in my direction.