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The garbage bags slipped from her hands, crashing to the ground.

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closed as not a real question by jwpat7, Andrew Leach, tchrist, Robusto, Kristina Lopez Mar 7 '13 at 19:07

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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No tense problem, but a style problem: another one of those awful gerund phrases ("crashing to the ground") that should really be conjoined with "and": The garbage bags slipped from her hands and crashed to the ground. –  user21497 Mar 7 '13 at 1:50

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In a word, no.

I presume you are referring to the apparent tense difference between slipped and crashing. However, crashing to the ground is a participle phrase (that is, a verb phrase functioning as an adjective) that modifies the noun, bags. As such it is under no requirement to conform to the tense of the main verb. As noted on the linked page,

A present participle attributes a quality of action to the noun, which is viewed as undertaking the action [...]. A past participle views the noun as having undergone the action expressed by the participle[.]

The bags, at the point when they were slipping, were also crashing; Thus the present participle (crashing) is called for.

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There is no tense problem even if it appears there is. This is a very common usage. However, I think on would suit better:

The garbage bags slipped from her hands, crashing on the ground.

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Yes, there is a problem. I think the sentence should read:

The garbage bags slipped from her hands and crashed to the ground.

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