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Hello people,

Is this correct grammar?

The baby is cute smiling.

The implicit meaning is that when the baby smiles she is cute; In this case, is it wrong? I know theses work:

The baby is cute when smiling, or The baby is cute when she smiles. 

Another example can be:

We are at our best fighting.

Is the 'when' necessary for grammatical correctness?

Thank you

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Hello, IvanS, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

The sentence The baby is cute smiling is grammatically correct. When does not need to be used. Even when just when is added (when smiling), smiling has a non-overt (implicit, understood) subject, namely, the baby.

That does not mean that I find the sentence The baby is cute smiling better than the two expanded sentences you have provided, but it may be more natural in some contexts, for example, when speaking of a photograph:

  • Thank goodness the baby is smiling! The baby is cute smiling.

The sentence We are at our best fighting is also grammatically correct. Such participial clauses are common in sentences in which the main verb is the copula (BE) followed by prepositional phrase -- for example:

  • John is in the shower singing.
  • Tom is across the street buying a newspaper.
  • Sally is under the bridge eating a sandwich.

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