Present participles or past participles can be used in a clause with an adverbial meaning. Very often these clauses express information about time, reason or result:
Swimming in the lake every morning, she tries to be back at full strength after a long break. (When she was swimming in the lake…)
Fired from his position, he can’t enter the building any longer. (As he has been fired from his position…)
The following sentences illustrate how to use other forms of verbs:
Being sent from abroad, wallets have become much more expensive. (as all the wallets are sent from abroad…)
Having been rescued by a fire squad, the cat is currently at a vet clinic. (the cat has been rescued by a fire squad…)
We can make a participle negative by using the negative particle “not”. It can be placed either before or after a participle, depending on the meaning.
Intending not to risk his savings, he has put all the money on a deposit. (He doesn’t want to risk his savings…)
Not having slept for several days, he has become easily irritated. (He hasn’t slept for several days…)
In most cases the implied subject in an adverbial clause is the same as in the main clause.
Having checked his phone, he went into the kitchen to make dinner. (He had checked his phone…)
Being lied to so many times, she trusts no one. (She has been lied to so many times…)
However, there are cases when each clause has its own subject.
Having dreamt of becoming a scientist all his life, this was a grant not to be refused. (He had dreamt of becoming a scientist all his life and there was a grant that he couldn’t refuse)
When we use a participle clause instead of a complete clause with a conjunction, we make a sentence sound more formal. This is why these structures are often used in literary writing.
Some clauses give us information about TIME:
Reaching for a smoke, he broke the cup standing on the table. (As he reached for a smoke…)
Having arrived at the hotel, the first thing he did was have a hot bath. (When he had arrived at the hotel…)
We use a present participle when the action in the adverbial clause takes place very close in time to the action in the main clause:
Watching a movie, she was writing an article on a newly tested drug.
Presenting a speech, he stumbled and fell off the stage.
When the action in a participle clause precedes the action in the main clause, we can use a perfect participle:
Having broken his leg, he was admitted to hospital for 2 weeks.
Having read the first book, she decided to buy all the books in the series.
Some clauses give us information about REASON and RESULT:
Having received a degree in art, he could easily seek employment in one of the numerous art galleries in the city center.
Being reckless and young, we didn’t even think of saving up money for a rainy day.
Not speaking French, I found it difficult to move to Montreal.