-ing co-ordination

He returned and closed the front door, making sure it was unlocked.

We play a fun game, trying to remember the day’s coaching tips.

The bullet missed, passing over his head

How do these types of clauses 'coordinate' and why doesn't this one work the same way.

The finished painting, stunning than ever

  • The last one is not grammatical. – Lambie Nov 23 '18 at 21:36
  • Is "the finished painting" a typo for "they finished painting"? – Gary Botnovcan Nov 23 '18 at 22:28

stunning is an adjective, and so it must modify a noun or be predicated of it; it does not coordinate with the main clause. And there is no main clause in that sentence to coordinate with in the first place ( finished is also an adjective), only a noun-phrase, "the finished painting".

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The last sentence is not grammatical. Also, only a person can be "more stunning than ever" because a person can be seen in different outfits or looking different on different occasions.

If you say the painting is stunning, that's OK but it can't be more than ever because then it would sound like a person or that it had a make-over.

Here's a transformation to see how this pattern works:

1) He returned and closed the front door, making sure it was unlocked.

1.a) He returned, closed the front door and made sure it was unlocked.

2) We played a fun game, trying to remember the day’s coaching tips. 2.a) We played a fun game and tried to remember the day's coaching tips. [as we did so].

3) The bullet missed him, passing over his head. 3.a) The bullet missed him and passed over this head.

With this one: The finished painting, stunning than ever

you can't do that. First, it is not a sentence with a subject, verb and object.

"The finished painting and stunned more than ever." is a no-go.

And this: The painting was finished, stunning more than ever. is poor semantically as explained above.

The painting was finished and was more stunning than ever.

compare that to:

The bride was dressed, more stunning than ever.= The bride was dressed and was more stunning than ever.

The last one works.

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  • I think you're right that you can't say more stunning than ever about things that don't change. But I don't think that's necessarily restricted to people. For instance: the trees were covered in brightly coloured fall leaves, more stunning than ever. – Jason Bassford Nov 24 '18 at 2:29
  • @Jason, sure but then stunning is an adjective, not a verb, as in: he stunned the rabbit with his hoe by mistake, – Lambie Nov 24 '18 at 16:15
  • Hmm. But I don't consider the bride being (looking) stunning as being any different than the tree being (looking) stunning. However you want to interpret the grammar. (Or the bride stunned me with her dress versus the tree stunned me with its colourful leaves.) I can replace one with the other and have everything function the same way. (Although, again, more only works when there is a comparison to a previous state.) – Jason Bassford Nov 24 '18 at 17:00
  • stunning would have to be an action verb to work: "The car, stunning the animal, drove away quickly." all the other of the OP's examples show that the verbs with ing function as action verbs: make, try and pass. Ergo, the one with the word painting does not work, and does not fit the pattern of the others. So,there's no point in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole here. – Lambie Nov 24 '18 at 17:05

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