33.11 Participle with the same subject as the main phrase

  Participle used as an adverb

The English participle has more possibilities being used in everyday language than the German one. Some examples explaining this are the following.

1) The English participle can describe adverbial qualifications of time; in German it is depending on whether it is the present participle (possible) or the perfect participle (not correct)
Present participle - Example  
Reading the letter he realized what he had lost.
Als er ihren Brief las, wurde ihm bewusst, was er verloren hatte.
(Ihren Brief lesend, wurde ihm bewußt, was er verloren hatte.
= does not sound too elegant, but is correct)
Perfect participle - Example  
Having read the letter he killed himself.
Nachdem er ihren Brief gelesen hatte, brachte er sich um.
(Ihren Brief gelesen habend, brachte er sich um.
= The German direct translation is absolutely not used, not even in poetic sense)

2) The English present participle can describe adverbial qualifications of mode; In German it is possible but not very elegant
Referring to your letter I would like to inform you that I do not read every nonesense.
Bezug nehmend auf Ihr Schreiben, teile ich Ihnen mit, dass ich nicht jeden Schwachsinn lese.
(Interesting enough that in official letters the present participle sounds just fine even though in spoken language it will be hardly used.)  

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