1

Are the following sentence, for two things going on at once, grammatically correct?

  • Tom is doing laundry singing a song.
  • It is not easy to go to school working part-time.
  • I saw an accident riding my bike.

It feels like a conjunction is needed just because I usually don't hear it like that, but I don't know the grammar rules for sure.

edit: I wanted to know because a textbook used sentences like this. They sounded odd, so I wanted to make sure.

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  • 2
    Why was an accident riding your bike?
    – SrJoven
    Dec 16 '14 at 15:46
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Grammatically, they're correct, but stylistically, they could be improved. If you added "and" or "while" to them, they would still be grammatically correct, and they would also be easier to understand. As SrJoven's comment pointed out, I saw an accident riding my bike, while grammatical, is ambiguous, and you typically want to avoid ambiguous sentences unless you are making one deliberately for a humorous effect.

Here's another example of an ambiguous sentence: I visited Mary and Susan, and she lent me a book. The sentence is grammatically correct, but it's still not a "good" sentence because it's not clear whether she refers to Mary or Susan.

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  • He could have seen an accident riding his bike?
    – jocap
    Dec 17 '14 at 2:06
  • While works with all three of the OP's examples, but and only works with the first one (Tom is doing laundry and singing a song), not the other two: * It is not easy to go to school and working part-time; * I saw an accident and riding my bike.
    – Erik Kowal
    Dec 17 '14 at 3:36
  • @jocap Did he see an accident ride his bike or did he see an accident while riding his bike?
    – SrJoven
    Dec 17 '14 at 12:51
  • If you change "to go" to "going," it would work: It is not easy going to school and working part-time.
    – Nicole
    Dec 17 '14 at 14:37
  • @Nicole: Yeah, that's what I meant. I didn't realize I was being as ambigious as the example!
    – jocap
    Dec 17 '14 at 21:44
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You could augment the examples with "while" (whilst?), but all three are grammatically correct as they stand.

e.g.

Tom is doing laundry while singing a song.

or

Tom is doing laundry while he sings a song.

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  • 'Whilst' (as well as many other adverbs that end in -st, such as amongst, amidst) is mostly British English; 'while' is universal.
    – Erik Kowal
    Dec 17 '14 at 3:39

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