Being careful to not overdo it, I would like to add my voice to the celebration of this Grammar Day. I’d like to discuss, for a moment, my favorite grammar structure, which I use as often as possible in my writing.

Behold and love the Present Participial Phrase:

Singing quietly to himself, Wesley removed his new roast masterpiece, “Fetch This, Buttercup,” from the stone oven.

It’s kind of like an appositive, since it’s not entirely necessary information and it is always set off by commas. However, it is not an appositive, since it is not a noun or noun phrase that is renaming another noun nearby it.

No, the present participial phrase adds movement, texture, and color to a sentence.


Boring Sentence: Spiderman saved Mary Jane.

Sentence with 3 Awesome Units: Swinging suddenly from between two decrepit buildings, Spiderman saved Mary Jane, wishing he could tell her who he was and how he felt about her.

So if you want to add awesome units to your writing, I highly recommend the present participial phrase. Don’t be like me and overuse it, but forget this wonderful grammar structure at your writing’s peril.