I can't understand how the phrase "my brows furrowing in confusion" doesn't have any verb. In the Elements of Style, I read that "A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject." I wonder if the sentence below provides a participial phrase or something else.

“What do you mean?” I say, my brows furrowing in confusion.

1 Answer 1


That is a participle clause, but it doesn't "attach" to anything because it has its own subject, my brow. Such loosely attached clauses are called "absolutes"; see this question and this one.

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