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Expanding Sentences with Participial Phrases and Absolutes

A Sentence-Expanding Exercise

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This exercise will give you practice in applying the principles and guidelines in these two articles:

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Instructions:

Expand each of the simple sentences below in two ways. First, add at least one participial phrase. Second, add at least one absolute phrase (which may or may not include a participial phrase).

Example

Simple sentence: The man sat motionless on the edge of the bed.

SENTENCE EXPANDED WITH PARTICIPIAL PHRASES
  1. The man sat motionless on the edge of the bed, crying softly.
  2. Staring at the gun in his hand and thinking about what the doctor had told him that morning, the man sat motionless on the edge of the bed.
SENTENCE EXPANDED WITH ABSOLUTES
  1. The man sat motionless on the edge of the bed, his eyes closed and his hands folded in prayer.
  2. His hands clutching the tattered prayer book, the man sat motionless on the edge of the bed.

Of course, there's no single set of correct answers to this exercise. Rely on your imagination to create original sentences, and then compare your new sentences with those of your classmates.


  1. My grandmother stood in the doorway.

  2. The child hid behind the couch.

  3. The instructor glanced at the student.

  4. Elena stared at the vampire.

  5. The thief pulled out a revolver.

  6. The reporter took notes on an iPad.

  7. The deputy examined my license.

  8. A boy on a bicycle rode past.

  9. The salesperson shook hands with the customer.

  10. The driver got out of the car.

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