I have just read an article, which has following sentence:

The power failed repeatedly throughout the day, adding to the chaos

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/climate/record-heat-waves.html

Such examples continue to confuse me. It seems to be describing action/state of frequent power failure, so it must be acting as an adverb. This website explains that participial phrases act as adverbs where there is a cause-and-effect relationship between a dependent and an independent clause. This seems appropriate explanation for the sentence I shared.

My question is how one can form unreduced version of such participial phrases. For the above sentence, I can think of one possible version of its full form:

The power failed repeatedly throughout the day, which added to the chaos. 

Based on shortening rules, we can delete 'which' and convert 'added' into 'adding'. But, as far as I know, adjective not adverb clauses start with 'which'. So, above version of full-sentence may be incorrect.

So, I would like to know:

  • How can one tell if participial phrase is acting as an adjective or adverb?
  • For such confusing phrases, how can one full-form of sentence?

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