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NOTES: Introductory Modifying Phrases and Participles

A modifying phrase is an entire phrase that acts like an adjective or an adverb.

An introductory modifying phrase is a phrase that appears at the very beginning of a sentence that acts like an adjective
or an adverb.

Introductory modifying phrases should always be set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma.

We will be studying four types of modifying phrases: Adjective phrase, noun phrase, prepositional phrase, and
participial phrase.

An adjective phrase consists of ONLY adjectives (and possibly a coordinating conjunction.)

Ex. Soft and warm, the kitten slept peacefully.

Ex. Big, green, and ugly, the Shrek costume was perfect.

A noun phrase has a noun in it. It may also have adjectives, adverbs, articles, and a coordinating conjunction.

Ex. The most famous and recognizable American president, George Washington holds a special place in history.

Ex. An avid reader, Micki always had her nose in a book.

A prepositional phrase ALWAYS begins with a preposition. It may have adjectives, adverbs, articles, and a coordinating
conjunction.

You can have multiple introductory prepositional phrases in a row, but you only need a comma after the very last
phrase.

Ex. In the cookbook, Marva found a recipe for lasagna.

Ex. From the sewer under the city, a disgusting clown appeared.

A participial phrase ALWAYS begins with either a past participle or a present participle.

A participle is a verb that acts like an adjective.

Ex. The frightened bunny ran underground.

Ex. A cursed wand cast a spell on the travelers.

Ex. Daisy told James the shocking story.

Ex. A roaring lion roamed the savannah.

A PAST participle usually ends in –ed but not always.

Ex. The frosted cupcakes, the graded papers, the burnt toast, the bent spoon, the beaten eggs

A PRESENT participle ALWAYS ends in –ing

Ex. The singing waiter, a losing bet, a flying saucer, the mooing cow

Examples of introductory past participial phrases:

Ex. Baked to perfection, the custard was a delicious surprise.


Ex. Chosen by Dumbledore, Harry Potter became a powerful wizard.

Examples of introductory present participial phrases:

Ex. Gasping and wheezing, the runner crossed the finish line.

Ex. Looking at the essay, I noticed a mistake.


Sentence Workshop Example: Please label all parts of speech and all parts of the sentence. Then fill in the blank with
the type of introductory modifying phrase.

Ex. Cold and slimy, the slug slid across the kitchen floor. ___________________

Ex. An excellent cook, Jana prepared a gourmet meal. ____________________

Ex. After the party, Lois and Peter went to Burger King. ____________________

Ex. Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter felt unusual. ____________________

Ex. Coughing loudly, the student left the library. ____________________

Sentence Workshop Example: Please label all parts of speech and all parts of the sentence. Then fil in the blank with
the type of introductory modifying phrase.

Ex. Cold and slimy, the slug slid across the kitchen floor. ___________________

Ex. An excellent cook, Jana prepared a gourmet meal. ____________________

Ex. After the party, Lois and Peter went to Burger King. ____________________

Ex. Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter felt unusual. ____________________

Ex. Coughing loudly, the student left the library. ____________________


SENTENCE WORKSHOP 13

Please label the parts of speech and parts of the sentence. Then tell me what kind of introductory modifying phrase is
used in the sentence.

Tuesday:

1. Alone and fearful, the teenager walked quickly to the car.