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Spending an hour in the beauty salon, Melissa got a facial with a steam mist.

Are there cases where starting with a participial phrase is not correct?

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I think it's always correct as long as it is followed by a comma. –  Vincent McNabb Aug 16 '10 at 23:40
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think it's right as long as it's referring to the subject in the second part of the sentence. Else, it could be the case of a 'dangling modifer':

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/597/01/

Spending an hour in the beauty salon, Melissa got a facial with a steam mist: Right

Spending an hour in the beauty salon, a facial with a steam mist was given to Melissa: Dangling Modifier

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Is then "What is in the case of "raining all day, I decided to stay home" correct? –  kiamlaluno Aug 19 '10 at 6:59
    
I don't think that would be correct as "raining all day" isn't referring to "I". –  Manjima Aug 19 '10 at 14:06
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