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englisch:participles-adverbial-clauses

Participle constructions to express [ausdrücken] reason and time

Participle constructions can replace relative clauses (mostly in written English). But they can also be used in place [anstelle von] of other sub-clauses [Nebensätze], for example instead of adverbial clauses of reason [Grund] or of time. In German these clauses are called „Kausalsätze“ (resaon) and „Temporalsätze“ (time).

Participle construction to express a reason

Compare the two constructions on the left and right
#Adverbial clause constructionParticiple construction
1He didn’t hear the phone because he was listening to loud music. Listening to loud music he didn’t hear the phone
2Peter heard everything Anne said because he was standing next to her.Standing next to Anne Peter heard everything she said.
3As [= because] she was given only a small portion of food, Sarah was hungry for the rest of the evening.Given only a small portion of food, Sarah was hungry for the rest of the evening.
4Jack doesn’t have time to answer all e-mails because he is contacted by many people every day.Contacted by many people every day, Jack doesn’t have time to answer all e-mails.
  • The participle construction on the right replaces [ersetzen] the adverbial clause construction on the left (this is similar [ähnlich] to the participle construction instead or a relative clause). The meaning of both constructions is the same. Participle constructions are especially common in written English. They sound more formal [förmlich] than relative clauses.
  • As you can see, the participle construction usually comes at the beginning of the sentence.
  • The present participle has an active meaning (walking) and the past participle has a passive meaning (mentioned).
  • In German, you usually translate a participle construction with an adverbial clause because the German language doesn’t have such a construction (e.g. „Weil …“, „Da …“)

Participle construction to express time

Compare the two constructions on the left and right
#Adverbial clause constructionParticiple construction
1When Susan came home she realised that she didn’t have her keys.Coming home Susan realised that she didn’t have her keys.
2While she was watching TV she fell asleep.Watching TV she fell asleep
3When he was offered a job at the IT department he called his brother right away [sofort].Offered a job at the IT department he called his brother right away.
4When Sam was told to be quiet he left the room.Told to be quiet he left the room. 
  • Again, the participle construction on the right replaces [ersetzen] the adverbial clause construction on the left.
  • The present participle has an active meaning (walking) and the past participle has a passive meaning (mentioned).
  • In German, you usually translate a participle construction with an adverbial clause because the German language doesn’t have such a construction (e.g. „Als… “)
englisch/participles-adverbial-clauses.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 16.05.2017 (20:58) von retemirabile