English as a Second Language/which one......



Hope you are fine. Which choice is correct and why?

"The events in Boston were indeed horrific. At almost the same time, a fertilizer factory in a small Texas town exploded, ................. homes and other buildings surrounding it."

a) destroying
b) to destroy
c) destroyed

Thank you

Hi, Hame,

The correct answer is (a), 'destroying'.

When two actions are performed by one subject at the same time or the second action is an immediate consequence of the first, a participle is often used for the second:

"A factory exploded and destroyed buildings surrounded it."
"A factory exploded, destroying buildings surrounding it."

"Peter entered the room and tripped over a mat."
"Peter entered the room, tripping over a mat."

"The hostess greeted the newcomers. She offered them drinks as she did so."
"The hostess greeted the newcomers, offering them drinks as she did so."

"The government devalued the pound. This caused interest rates to rise."
The government devalued the pound, causing interest rates to rise."

With best wishes,


English as a Second Language

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Jed Webb


I can assist with questions about English grammar (syntax, morphology, pronunciation and spelling)from learners taking such examinations as TOEFL, IELTS, FCE and CAE and other internationally recognised tests.


I have over forty years of experience in the teaching of modern languages, twenty-four of them in the Teaching of English as a Second Language. I have been an examiner for FCE, BEC and IELTS examinations, and a teacher trainer on courses leading to the Trinity College Certificate in TESOL.

The Philological Society The International Phonetic Association The College of Teachers The International Association of Teachers of EFL The Royal Society of Arts (Fellow)

British Journal of Language Teaching, Vol XIX Nos I and II Education Today, Vol 41, Nos 1 and 3 Co-Author: Nix and Webb (1984) 'Creative English', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen Contributor: Nix and Riederer (1973), 'Bottoms Up', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen Rosenau and Nix, (1979), 'Look it up', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen Nix and Ringholz, 'English in Projects', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen

BA (English), University of Durham. Qualified Teacher Status, UK Department of Education and Science Further and Adult Education Teacher's Certificate, City and Guilds of London Institute ACP(TESOL), College of Preceptors Dip TESOL, Trinity College, London Dip Ed (ELT), Exeter University ACP (Management Studies in Education), College of Teachers Certificate of Proficiency in the Phonetics of English, International Phonetic Association

Past/Present Clients
I have taught: General and Business English classes for: Alcan, Allianz Versicherung, Robert Bosch, Daimler-Benz, Ford, Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Mövenpick, Radiomobil (O2), Siemens, Unilever. TOEFL and FCE classes for: eská Spoitelna,SOB, Czech Ministry of Trade, Czech Statistics Office.

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