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Homelander made another heroic save today, stopping a hijacked armored truck, then staying behind for a photo op with some very lucky fans.

(This line is from an American superhero television series. A reporter says this sentences on the news. "Homelander" is an superhero. + Photo op means: Photo opportunity. )

Does "staying behind for a photo op" count as a heroic save? I am having a hard time understanding the reason why the marked participle phrase is being used.

Isn't this version is better.:

..., then stayed behind for a photo op with some very lucky fans.

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No, your suggestion is not an improvement.

The sentence is constructed so that the participle staying matches stopping, each participle introducing a new phrase.

The sentence sounds uneven if you change staying to stayed and it would need to be broken up:

Homelander made another heroic save today, stopping a hijacked armored truck. He then stayed behind for a photo op with some very lucky fans.

A similar construction to the quote might be:

She walked to the shops, locking the front door behind her and stopping to chat to a neighbour.

except that I have replaced then with and.

  • I don't quite understand what the function of participles in these examples? Do they express another action that happened throught the first action? I think " Stopping a hijacked armored truck" happened throught the first action "making another heroic save" but " then staying behind for a photo op with some very lucky fans" obviously happens after these action. + I would use "after" or "having + verb 3" in your example. "She walked to the shops after locking the front door behind her and stopping to chat to a neighbour. or "Having locked the front door and stopping to chat to a neighbour..." – Talha Özden Jul 27 at 15:54
  • The participles tell us in these examples what somebody is doing. They do not have their own tense. They can refer to present, past or future actions. English speakers use them all the time. You don't have to. You can use tensed verbs if you prefer. But some sentences don't lend themselves to tensed verbs. For example: Puffing and panting, bending low over the handlebars, straining every sinew, the riders sprinted for the line. – Ronald Sole Jul 30 at 9:04

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