• 5. Begin a sentence with a present participle.

    *Participles are verbals that are used as adjectives.

    *Verbals are words that look like verbs but are used as another part of speech.

    * All present participles end in –ing.

    Note: If you begin a sentence with a present participle, you are really beginning with an adjective, although it’s a very particular kind. This sentence type is really just the same as #4, just more specific. Ex.

    Smiling, my mother entered the room, carefully balancing my Barbie birthday cake.

    Shaking, the teenager walked away from the wrecked car.

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    You will always put a comma after the present participle if it begins the sentence.

    6. Begin a sentence with a past participle.

    *Most past participles end in –ed.

    Ex. Wrecked


    Some, however, end in –en.

    Ex. frozen


    When you begin a sentence with a past participle, you will put a comma after the word.

    Ex. Amused, the policeman laughed at my excuse for speeding.

    7. Begin a sentence with a participial phrase.

    A participial phrase contains a participle and at least one other word (because phrases have two or more words). Participial phrases may use either present or past participles.

    The participial phrase should describe the subject of the sentence.

    Ex. Enraged by the aggressive pit bull, the Chihuahua attacked.

    Chihuahua is the subject and she is the one who is enraged.

    Ex. Hiding under the blanket, the pit bull cowered in fear.

    What is the subject of the sentence? What is hiding under the blanket?

    What’s wrong with this sentence?

    Barking wildly, the impatient woman told her dog to be quiet.

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    Add a comma after a participial phrase that begins a sentence.

    8. Begin a sentence with an infinitive phrase.

    An infinitive is a verbal that is used as a noun, adjective, or adverb. It is made up of:

    To + a verb

    To walk      To be      To understand

    Ex. To appreciate a ballet performance, it helps to know about the plot.

    Ex.     To improve his grades, John began attending tutorials every day.

    Remember that our sentence pattern is to BEGIN a sentence with an infinitive phrase.

    Ex. To be a good football player, a boy needs to work hard and listen to his coaches.

    C:\Users\courtney.lever\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\2HBKKDD9\MC900104728[1].wmfPunctuation Alert!

    When you begin a sentence with an infinitive phrase, add a comma after the infinitive phrase.

Last Modified on September 14, 2018