General Writing and Grammar Help/present participle


QUESTION: Dear Ms. Balliett,

Can you please help me to understand the  –ing words in the following sentences:

[1]  Concluding I want to say that I know you did a good job.
[2]  Going to the store, I saw Bob.

I am having a very difficult time understanding how the words “concluding” and “going” are used and classified in these sentences.  

Are these words “present participles”?  

If “yes”, does this mean that a “present participle” can be used on its own to express action without being part of the progressive verb tense (such as saying “concluding” instead of saying “I am concluding”)?

Thank you very much.  My lack of understanding about this issue has plagued me for a long time.  I have tried many times to understand this issue, but have not been successful.

I will really appreciate your help.  Thank you very much.



ANSWER: First, if you are going to put the verb (action) first, you must use a comma to do so. Also, most writers call that "backing in," because it is using the verb first then the noun later which is actually in a "passive voice" instead of the "active voice."

An active voice is:

"I want to tell you that you did a good job, in conclusion." Or: " In conclusion, I want to tell you that you did a good job."

"I saw Bob at the store."

You cannot say: "going to the store," and "I saw Bob" because "going" is in action and you cannot be in action and then a present tense "I saw Bob." You cannot be going somewhere and in the middle of the action not yet completed, and do something as seeing someone at the destination you have not yet reached: the store.

Your version of the present participle is used incorrectly.

But to use a "ing" verb, is a present participle. You must use it correctly, however.


She went shopping
He lay looking up at the clouds
She came running towards me

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Ms Balliett,

Thank you.  

I went to the site you recommended.  The following sentence was in the very last section:
“Feeling hungry, he went into the kitchen and opened the fridge.”

Is the present participle “feeling” a verb or an adjective in this sentence?

I am trying to understand the use of a present participle as a verb when that present participle is not part of the progressive verb tense.

Thank you



"Feeling" is a verb: an action.

Adverbs are descriptions of verbs: "Feeling "hungry," he went to the kitchen and opened the fridge."

"Hungry"  is the adverb (description) here, for "feeling"...........But, if you use "hungry" by itself, it becomes a verb:

"Hungry, he went to the kitchen and opened the fridge."

Here, it is the verb. No adverbs here to describe "hungry."

Using "hungry" or variation; hunger, as a verb accompanied by an adverb for hungry/hunger:

"Feeling an empty hunger, he went to the kitchen and opened the fridge."

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Jannie Balliett


Any question relating to writing and grammar. I will repeat, questions only-- not discussions or editing. If you need editing, visit my editorial site; I do not help with homework nor English classes. This is much too involved and I will not "explain" English to non-English speakers. Please rate. If you do not rate, I will need to ban you from my expertise.


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