Study these situations:
Joe was playing football. He hurt his knee.
You can say:
– Joe hurt his knee playing football.
You were feeling tired. So you went to bad early.
You can say:
– Feeling tired, I went to bad early.
“Playing football” and “feeling tired” are -ing phrases.
If the -ign phrase is a the beginning of the sentence (as in the second example), we write a comma (,) after it.
When tow things happen at the same time, you can use an -ing phrase.
– Kate is in the kitchen making coffee.
(= she is in the kitchen and she is making coffee)
– A man ran out of the house shouting.
(= he ran out of the house and he was shouting)
– Do something! Don’t just stand there doing nothing!
We also use -ing when one action happens during an another action.
We use -ing for the longer action.
– Joe hurt his knee playing football. (= while he was playing)
– Did you cut yourself shaving? (= while you were shaving)
You can also use -ing after while of when:
– Joe hurt his knee while playing football.
– Be careful when crossing the street. (= when you are crossing)
When one action happens before another action, we use having (done) for the first action:
– Having found a hotel, we looked for someplace to have dinner.
– Having finished her work, she went home.
You can also say after -ing:
– After finishing her work, she went home.
If one short action follows another short action, you can use the simple -ing form (doing instead of having done) for the first action:
– Taking a key our of his pocket, he opened the door.
These structures are used more in written English than in spoken English.
You can use an -ing phrase to explain something, or to say why somebody does something,.
The -ing phrase usually comes at the beginning of the sentence:
– Feeling tired, I went to bed early. (= because I felt tired)
– Being unemployed, he doesn’t have much money. (= because he is unemployed)
– Not having a car, she has trouble getting around. (= because she doesn’t have a care)
– Having already seen the movie twice, I didn’t want to go again with my friends. (= because I had already seen it twice)
These structure are used more in written English than in spoken English.