"Survivors clinging to a raft."

There is no verb in this sentence.

I know this sentence is not the present progressive/present continuous.

But can this sentence be used independently?

I found this sentence here. Definition of cling verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

1 Answer 1


It is not a sentence. It is a noun phrase - the head is the noun "survivors", and it is post-modified by a participial clause "clinging to a raft".

It can be used independent in the same way that any noun phrase can be used independent, eg in answer to a question:

What does this picture show? Survivors clinging to a raft.

But it does not narrate anything: it identifies or describes something, viz. the survivors. It has no tense.

  • thank you very much.I have other questions.“clinging” is gerund or present participle in this sentence. Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 9:32
  • It's a participle (that's why I referred to it as a "participial clause").
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 13:59

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