Participles are also used in absolute phrases with a noun or pronoun going before them.
God willing, we shall meet again.
The fog having lifted, the plane took off.
Each of these absolute phrases can be transformed into a subordinate clause.
If God is willing, we shall meet again.
When the fog had lifted, the plane took off.
A common error
As the participle is a verbal adjective it should have a proper subject of reference. If the subject is missing or a wrong subject is used the whole sentence will be wrong.
The following sentences are wrong because the participle has no proper subject.
- Standing at the gate, a scorpion stung him. (This sentence means that it was the scorpion that was standing at the gate.)
- Going up the hill, an old temple was seen.
We should, therefore, rewrite these sentences as given below.
- While he was standing at the gate, a scorpion stung him. OR Standing at the gate, he was stung by a scorpion.
- When we went up the hill, we saw an old temple.
More examples are given below:
- Incorrect: Being a rainy day, we did not go out.
- Correct: It being a rainy day, we did not go out.