[verb tense] I slipped, hitting my head on the tile floor.

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Hi, everyone.

Not only did I have my pajama's on, but the water was cold. It felt like I had just jumped into a pool of ice. My eyes jolted open and I started screaming. Trying to quickly get out of the shower I slipped, hitting my head on the tile floor. Pain shot through my head, and I just stayed on the floor.

I don't understand why "hitting" is used instead of "hit". Could you please help me out?

  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British

    'Hitting' is the present participle of the verb 'hit', but it is not a full verb in its own right.
    It does not express any tense different from the main verb ('slipped').

    In other words, the present participle expresses an action going on at the same time as the main verb.

    For example, 'He walked down the road, whistling a merry tune'.
    The walking and the whistling are going on at the same time.

    In your example, the meaning is that the slipping and the hitting of the head are so close together both in time and causation that they are being presented as virtually simultaneous.
    < Previous | Next >