Wrong sub­ject af­ter an “-ing” clause

Spotlight - - LANGUAGE TEST -

An­swer B is cor­rect.

In writ­ten English, we some­times start with a sub­clause that in­cludes “-ing”:

Ar­riv­ing at the ho­tel,... These sub­clauses do not tell us who the sen­tence is about, i.e. the sub­ject of the verb has not yet been given. The per­son (the sub­ject) comes im­me­di­ately af­ter the comma, at the start of the main clause:

Ar­riv­ing at the ho­tel, we were greeted by a friendly re­cep­tion­ist.

A com­mon mis­take is to have dif­fer­ent peo­ple (sub­jects) in the two clauses: Ar­riv­ing at the ho­tel, a friendly re­cep­tion­ist greeted us.

Here, it sounds as if the re­cep­tion­ist is ar­riv­ing, not the guests.

Our tip: This is a very com­mon mis­take and your mean­ing will usu­ally be un­der­stood from the con­text, but there is po­ten­tial for con­fu­sion. To avoid it, proof­read your texts care­fully and keep ask­ing your­self who’s do­ing what.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Austria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.