There was an ad on telly I saw, saying

Relax, knowing your home is safe

Is this a complete sentence that is grammatically correct? Could this go in an essay? What is the technical word for "knowing"? I know it's a verb. Would you call a present continuous verb and that's it?

What about this sentence

Become part of this website, exploring new worlds and games

Is this an okay sentence?

  • Related if not a dupe: english.stackexchange.com/questions/66972/… Jan 29, 2013 at 7:03
  • I'm not asking about omissions. I'm not worried that a subject is missing. I want to know whether the participle with the imperative verb is okay in formal writing.
    – user36521
    Jan 29, 2013 at 7:06
  • Then what are you asking? It is quite unclear if you want to know whether the ommission is acceptable or what category of word knowing is or something about the other sentence you quote. Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23
  • I'm asking all the questions I have asked in my original post. I want to know whether or not it is a complete, grammatically correct sentence but not because there is a subject missing, but because of the participle being right after an imperative verb.
    – user36521
    Jan 29, 2013 at 13:30
  • What @coleopterist said. Just because the missing "subject" in the original is I rather than You doesn't make this a fundamentally different question. Jan 29, 2013 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


The actual sentence is

[You can] Relax, knowing [that] your home is safe.

The subject (you) and helping verb (can) are implied. Knowing is a participle, modifying you.

Similarly, the second sentence means

[You should] Become part of this website . . . .

The phrasing is somewhat awkward. A better phrasing might be

Become part of this website. Explore new worlds and games.


[You should] Become part of this website. [You would then be] Exploring new worlds and games.

  • Could it go in formal writing?
    – user36521
    Jan 29, 2013 at 2:48
  • 1
    Actually, one might could argue that the first is an imperative.
    – tchrist
    Jan 29, 2013 at 2:50
  • 1
    It depends what you mean by "formal". The phrasing is conversational, so it would not be used in most formal writing in the US. It could be used in advertising or casual business communication.
    – bib
    Jan 29, 2013 at 2:50
  • 1
    @bib Or it depends on how much 'formal' you can get. Like you said, it can be used in advertising or chat but not in a proposal for a Ph.D project or as part of legal documentation etc.
    – KK.
    Jan 29, 2013 at 3:48
  • 1
    Imperatives won't often be found at all in formal writing. Jan 29, 2013 at 9:41

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