***They met on the Ponte Trinita, *she seeing and calling out to him first.**** I wanted to find out the usage (as I don't know?)


1 Answer 1


You haven't provided much context here, so it's hard to say. Is this formal writing? Is it a part of a narrative?

On the surface, you've shifted tenses; 'met' is past tense but 'seeing' and 'calling' are present progressive tense. The way this is written, 'she seeing and calling out to him first' is a subordinate phrase, and the comma is fine, but if you change it to 'she saw and called out to him first.' then you would need to add a semicolon between the phrases, add 'and' after the comma, or divide it up into two full sentences.

Stylistically, you might consider cutting down to 'she called out to him first' since the 'seeing' is implied in calling out to someone.

  • MarkTO: "You haven't provided much context here," I do not know the origin, but it is widely quoted e.g. in "Constrained confusion - The gerund/participle distinction in Late Modern English" by Hendrik De Smet (Research Foundation Flanders / University of Leuven) as an example of subject-case subjects remainingly exclusively participial. And a number of other papers. Dec 24, 2018 at 19:56
  • 1
    It's clearly in a novel; I'd guess an English writer, a good one, possibly female. Dec 24, 2018 at 20:05
  • I keep thinking Patricia Highsmith. Dec 24, 2018 at 22:30

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