bitten/having been bitten

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Senior Member
Having been bitten by a snake, he was frightened at it.
Bitten by a snake, he was frightened at it.

Are they both right? What's the difference then?
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Is he frightened by the snake that bit him? Or, having been bitten by a snake once upon a time, is he afraid of snakes in general.


    Senior Member
    Bitten by a snake, he was frightened at all snakes.
    How to understand this sentence?


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    If I met this in something was reading, I would assume that the author's intended meaning was:
    "Having been bitten by a snake (once or in the past) he was frightened by all snakes."

    However, I would feel that I was being asked to fill in what the author had left out. I prefer Copyright's version for the main part, though I agree with you in replacing 'them' with 'all snakes':
    Having been bitten by a snake once, he was afraid of all snakes.

    Hans in Texas

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hello Seven. You need to show the time difference between the snakebite (an instant only) and his lasting fear of snakes. Since his fear is in past tense (was), the event of the snakebite should be shown to be earlier, Having been bitten...

    Here are examples of the participle alone as the start of a chain of events (not a lasting condition, like the fear of snakes).
    Wakened by a noise in the street, Harry jumped out of bed and ran to the window.
    Damaged in the storm, the house needed expensive repairs.
    Lost in the snow, the explorer tried to use his compass to get back to civilization.
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