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Are the following sentences okay if the intended meaning is that John ran away after he hit Mary?

Hitting Mary on the head, John ran away.
Giving Mary a punch on the head, John ran away.

Of course "Having hit Mary ..." and "Having given Mary a punch ..." would work, but there are sentences where the sequence of events can be expressed by simple Ving forms. I'm investigating whether "hit" and "give a punch" are okay in their Ving forms with the intended meaning.

I'd appreciate your help.

Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon
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Just as you said that "having hit Mary..." and "having given Mary..." are readily acceptable; however, "hitting Mary..." and "giiving Mary..." are also okayed.

When the V-ing participle clause is used as an adverbial of time, usually at the beginnning of the sentence, the time indicated by the verb of the matrix clause may be immediately after or simultaneous with the V-ing action.

For example,  1) Seeing them depart, he began to wade across the river.  (immediately after)

2)  Slipping on his coat in a hurry, he dashed out of the room. (immediately after)

3)  Approaching the place, he slowed down his pace.   (simultaneously)

Last edited by f6pafd

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