Why You Shouldn't Use Participial Phrases as a Crutch

 

Reaching into her purse, Mary pulled out her phone …

Participial phrases like "reaching into her purse" are an indispensable part of the English language. But they're also common culprits in bad prose — inserting unnecessary or obvious information or linking ideas in ways that don't quite make sense. Here's how to make sure you're using participial phrases for the best effect.

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