The ed-modifier and ing-modifier have been very difficult topics of English. Can I use both of them in the following sentence :

There have been 2 bridges erected, connecting the lake’s shores.

I know it will be correct if I replace connecting by to connect but I really want to learn more about the ed- and ing- modifiers.

  • 2
    Connecting here would be the equivalent of which connect. Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 7:26
  • 1
    Whereas the infinitive would be a purpose infinitive rather than a relative clause. However, in the case of a bridge, the purpose and the effect are identical, so the sentences are identical in meaning. Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 16:43
  • If you are asking whether it is grammatical to say "There have been 2 bridges erected, connected the lake’s shores," the answer is no.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


As John Lawler comments, in the specific example given in the question, since the actual purpose of building bridges is to connect "shores", it makes no difference to the meaning whether you use connecting (simply describing what the bridges do) or to connect (a purpose infinitive, explaining why the bridges were built). But with syntactically similar alternatives, it can make a difference...

1: He raised his voice, frightening the children - he might not have intended to frighten them
2: He raised his voice, to frighten the children - he definitely intended to frighten them

EDIT: There's some confusion about exactly what's being queried here, so I'll just add one more example...

3: He raised his voice, [and] frightened the children - same meaning as #1

...where omitting the conjunction and would be an extremely unlikely stylistic choice outside of "poetic" contexts, but essentially example #3 just combines the two simple statements He raised his voice and He frightened the children into one single "compound" sentence.

OR one could quite naturally use and that or just which instead of and, to "causally" link the two assertions. This implies the children being frightened is a consequence of him raising his voice, but it says nothing about whether he intended that consequence.

  • This doesn't answer the OP's question of whether "connected" is correct.
    – gotube
    Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 20:39
  • I see nothing in the question to suggest that OP wants to know whether There have been 2 bridges erected, connected the lake’s shores would be a valid utterance. It's true he does say he wants "to learn more about the ed- and ing- modifiers", but quite frankly I consider that far too basic to address even here on ELL unless OP gives some more background as to why he doesn't understand standard verb inflections in English. Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 11:35
  • Yeah, you can't learn everything about -ed and -ing endings from that one sentence, so this question is probably off-topic for being too broad. As to my comment, I read the OP's first two sentences to mean they're directly asking whether that would be a valid utterance.
    – gotube
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 18:29
  • I've tried to address your point with an edit Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 11:47

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