non-finite VERBing clause

Let’s look at a simple example of starting a sentence with a ‘Verb-ing’. Our context is someone explaining how to do something on the computer.

“Using a mouse, you can move a word.”


  • This sentence can be rewritten as: You can move a word by using a mouse.
  • The main clause is: you can move a word.
  • The non-finite or appended clause which is before the main clause: Using a mouse

The English Grammar Profile B2 point 98 in the category of CLAUSES that are subordinated is defined as:

a non-finite clause, introduced by ‘-ing’ before the main clause, to give more information.

Also, see Pearson’s 76 GSE C1:

add information using appended clauses with ‘being’ and/or passive participles.

Being a student, he gets a discount.

RESEARCH FOR: non-finite VERBing clause:


Top 100 ‘full stop + Verbing’ on iWeb:

Since we have a large choice, Vocabulary at B1, a level lower than the B2 grammar point is our first choice for expanding the grammar structure.  Yet, what we found is that finding patterns matching the grammar was rare at higher-level vocabulary.  Therefore we returned to the most common words.  And when staying with these it was clear that there are just too many patterns to be able to identify all of them.

1 . USING 364821,

When examining the context of 100 random concordance lines from ‘. Using’ it was clear that only half of them would locate this -ing subordinate form for our B2 grammar.  Most of the rest were all gerund subjects.  Here is a list of some of those that are B2 as a subordinate clause, and in bold is the subject-verb we need to differentiate it. (We have shortened some incomplete sentences)

Using your favorite image-editing program, create a texture map. 

Using a power meter, athletes can gauge their effort more precisely.


Using Intensity Factor (IF), an athlete can set the right wattage range.

Using_VVG Intensity_NN1 Factor_NN1 (_( IF_CS )_) ,_, an_AT1 athlete_NN1 can_VM 
you can see the interference IF is not conjunction!  Best to dismiss this as uncatchable.

Using this number you can do some simple math.

*The lack of a comma makes this harder to catch!


Using this technique, only the changes between frames are actually encoded.
Using this method, an optimal dictionary is constructed before any encoding is actually performed.
Using Sociota you can manage any number of social media profiles.
Using Sociota you can schedule your posts to any number of accounts and monitor them simultaneously.
Using thin-ended pliers, squeeze the ring to remove it.
Using the on-board microphone and controls, you have the ability to dial calls by voice.
Using a large knife, carefully scrape over mixture at a 45- angle.

Using a double boiler, melt approximately 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.

Using these settings, the Avid exports an AAF file.
Using the papers in hand, he checks the proof.
Using the level concept art drawn by Ohshima as inspiration, Nakamura treated the score.
Using this Web-based solution, you can submit directly to Health Net on-line.
Using these examples, you’ll see how you can use the following tools.
Using the DJI Pilot app I was able to switch to ” free ” mode.

Using your parent access, the system will populate many of the required name and address…
Using this context, create a DStream which reads message from a Topic.
Using a range of paint media, students will develop their painting skills, while subjects…
Using a scenario based around shared energy use in the home they found that when energy…
Using these featuresteam members are more likely to track their work.
Using the Eastern Healing Arts, Ben provides a balance between the individual desires of his…

This structure was found by adding ‘using’ + _a _n , _p to our search.

*sadly checking some of these examples are very rare clusters.  The best example probably is:

2 . HAVING 311965

*rare structure but B2 grammar.

3 . BEING 212855

(the example below come from a search for ‘. following verb , _p‘)


4 . FOLLOWING 142657

(the examples below come from a search for ‘. following verb , _p‘)


5 . LOOKING 119672

(Further search method: . Looking -VERB -VERB -VERB , _p)

  . LOOKING BACK , I 1940

A further search for collocates to the right:

1 THINK (VV0 ) 218

2 REALIZE (VV0 ) 116
3 WISH (VV0 ) 110


21 . CREATING 32570 29 . SETTING 27846 33 . PROVIDING 22340 53 . REMOVING 15524 59 . APPLYING 14371 69 . ALLOWING 12578 73 . JUDGING 11552 75 . SELECTING 11386 86 . OPERATING 10660 87 . PLANNING 10577 93 . COMPARING 10080 95 . REDUCING 9986 97 . REPLACING 9731 

*However, these still are not the grammar we require, since many of them are simply gerund subjects followed by a verb in the first clause.  For this reason, another way to search is required.  We can follow the patterns from the EGP examples as a start but it should be remembered this is not ideal,  just a sure-fire way to find the grammar structure.

Having_VHG no_AT choice_NN1 ,_, I_PPIS1
Using_VVG his_APPGE best_JJT smile_NN1 ,_, Paul_NP1
Having_VHG analysed_VVN the_AT data_NN I_PPIS1

. _v?g* _a _n , _p

. _v?g* _a _j _n , _n

. _v?g* _vvn _a _n _p

*Sadly these structures are not allowed on the corpora.  There are too many possibilities for it.  So we need to return to our previous found gerunds as a starting point.  And even after can try appending the B1 vocabulary in the place of verbing.  The results are still so rare.  Therefore we can only return to the most common vocabulary.

There are also other instances of higher complexity that are not at the start of a sentence. For example:

I don’t expect it, coming from where I dobut nothing ventured, nothing gained.

One Chance

There are several quintessential moments in a man‘s life: 

losing his virginitygetting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.



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