File this one under "Blog posts my daughter may hate me for one day in the future."
And also, "But will I care, as long as she knows her participles?"
So, not too long ago, my good friend Elizabeth Dillow texted me for a bit of grammar advice while she was helping her daughter with her homework.
This is not terribly uncommon. I'm certain that those of you who are nurses get random photos of rashes from your relatives, accompanied by the question, "Does this look normal?" (I know this because I have both a sister-in-law and a brother who are nurses, and I do this to them all the time.)
Likewise, those of us with English degrees sometimes get random texts asking about prepositions and participial phrases.
Here is one recent text conversation in its entirety. I present it here just in case you need to understand and properly use a participial phrase at some point in your future.
Elizabeth's comments are gray. My replies are in blue.
Elizabeth is correct. See how important proper capitalization can be?
Stay with me. It will get clearer in a minute.
If you thought that was fun, just wait until we talk about dangling participles. That's where things get crazy.
And yes, I may have oversimplified, especially the part about gerunds. I was a bit distracted and replying by text, after all. If you want to dive deep into the subject, here are a few overly analytical examples for you.
Next up: gerunds. Just kidding. I haven't been texted about gerunds in years. Or ever.