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I'm confused with these sentences. Can you point out what's wrong and what's correct for me?

  1. Heard the voice, he responded immediately.
  2. Hearing the voice, he responded immediately.
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    1 would be fine if you put "having" in front of "heard" like this: Having heard the voice, he responded immediately.
    – sooeithdk
    Oct 11, 2015 at 2:03
  • Belongs in ELL Stack Exchange.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 11, 2015 at 21:49
  • I don't think this needs closing: in Latin, for example, both would be fine. Precisely why a past participle needs 'having' while a past participle does not (but could, for example, be on hearing) is not obvious.
    – TimLymington
    Oct 11, 2015 at 21:54

1 Answer 1

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Your #2 example is okay, but #1 needs work:

*Heard the voice, he responded immediately.

"Heard" is either (1) a past tense form ("He heard the voice"), (2) a perfect participle ("He has heard the voice"), or (3) a passive participle ("The voice is heard").

For (1), you need to supply a subject, then use a subordinate conjunction to connect the two clauses:

When he heard the voice, he responded immediately.

For (2), since it's a perfect, "have" must be supplied:

Having heard the voice, he responded immediately.
When he had heard the voice, he responded immediately.

For (3), the passivized object (now a subject) must precede:

When the voice was heard, he responded immediately.
?? The voice heard, he responded immediately.
? The voice having been heard, he responded immediately.

I've given my opinions about the acceptability of the examples with: asterisk for really bad, question mark for a little odd, two question marks for quite odd.

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