To Set off Participial phrases
NOTE: This is a type of phrase you want to use sparingly. See my article Top 10 Mistakes New Fiction Writers Make – Part 3.
Definition = phrases that begin with a verb ending in –ing
pulling out his pistol
licking his chops
fingering her necklace
Correct Punctuation =
No matter where the participial phrase is in the sentence, it should be set off by commas.
My dog eyed the meat, licking his chops.
Pulling out his pistol, he leaped over the barrier.
Fingering her necklace, she answered the man's question.
Suzanne Hartmann 2009