This site is excellent. Thank you! A Japanese colleague of mine recently asked me to explain to him the rules about comma usage in the following two sentences (taken from an English textbook):
"He always eats breakfast reading the paper."
"She was making sandwiches, talking with her daughter."
I've been Googling participial phrases and comma usage for hours, but have been unable to find a satisfactory answer. I know that the comma is omitted when the noun modified by the participial phrase comes directly before the participial phrase, but what about the first sentence, above? Is it a question of restrictive vs. nonrestrictive elements? Or is the textbook example wrong? A comma in that case seems wrong to me, but sometimes, when it comes to grammar, the more I think about something, the more difficult it becomes to figure out the proper choice.
Thanks in advance!