All main verbs have a present-participial form. Just add ‑ing and you've got a present participle. Sometimes you have to drop a silent ‑e as in writing. And sometimes you double an ending consonant, as in occurring.
The present participle can form a present-participial phrase. If the present-participial verb is transitive, the phrase can have an object in it, as in winning the case.
The present-participial phrase usually acts as an adjective. It can come at the beginning of a sentence, in the middle of a sentence, or at the end of a sentence. When you start a sentence with a present-participial phrase, make certain that the grammatical subject of the sentence is the agent of that verbal activity. Otherwise, you will have written a dangling participle. Here are examples of a present-participial phrase beginning a sentence, coming inside a sentence, and ending a sentence:
Trying to impress his boss, the employee worked late each night. The other man, carrying a package, jumped aboard the car. The scales struck the plaintiff, causing injuries for which she sues.
Finally, a present-participial phrase can act as a noun. When it does, it's called a gerund.
See gerund. See also infinitive phrase and past-participial phrase.
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