Having fallen in love (Perfect Participle)

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
I made this up. Does it work?

Having fallen in love with her, I soon decided to ask her hand in marriage.
 
Last edited:
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    And does this sound old-fashioned too?

    Having eaten breakfast, I left for work.
    I meant that asking for someone’s hand in marriage was old-fashioned/formal, not the participle clause construction.

    “Having eaten breakfast, I left for work” is fine grammatically, but sounds like just what it is – a sentence created by an English learner to query a point of grammar (rather than the sort of thing people frequently/naturally say). We do often use participle clauses at the beginning of a sentence, but usually to emphasise the way in which that information relates to the main clause.

    Having finally passed her driving test, she started looking for a second-hand car to buy.​
    Having broken his ankle, he was temporarily unable to drive.​
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Once I fell in love with her I decided to ask her to marry me.'
    I'm sorry but I don't find this use of 'once' idiomatic or even correct usage.
    'Once' with the simple past refers to one time.
    'Once' with the past perfect sounds as if you had made a plan to fall in love.
     
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    We prefer to use a full clause with a finite verb, not these wretched participle constructions which sound stiff, impersonal and unnatural, as if you are following instructions!

    'Having mixed the butter with the flour, slowly add the milk and bring all together to form a soft dough.'

    I couldn't agree more with #5 and #6.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    'Having mixed the butter with the flour, slowly add the milk and bring all together to form a soft dough.'
    :) A very amusing, and so true, example.

    "Having finally passed her driving test, she started looking for a second-hand car to buy."
    "Having broken his ankle, he was temporarily unable to drive."

    Like lingo says, these are fine grammatically, but I think sentences like these are only really suitable for narration. If you are a writer, writing a novel or a magazine article, you need to be able to use these effectively. But I don't think you'd even see it in a news article. It's not straightforward enough. It's more literary. And people just don't talk like that in conversation - unless they are telling an actual story in narrative form, maybe.
     
    Top