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Can someone kindly explain to me which is correct, and why? I have done some research on this issue and I'm not sure of the name of the construct that I am looking for.

"After washing the dishes, the woman scolds her child for abandoning his homework."

"After having washed the dishes, the woman scolds her child for having abdondoned his homework."

Let's say my intention is that the scolding is happening in the present tense. What is the name of the grammatical issue here? Is "after washing the dishes" ever correct? As in, the word "after" implies that something has already been done. Does the second clause have to agree with the first in this regard?

I'm getting confused.

Apologies if this has been dealt with elsewhere, I am an amateur on this site and couldn't find anything in a preliminary search.

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To me, they both sound correct, but with some distinctions.

After washing the dishes, the woman scolds her child for abandoning his homework

It describes this picture: The lady washes the dishes first. She then reprimands her child because the child does not do the homework.

After having washed the dishes, the woman scolds her child for having abandoned his homework.

She has finished with the dishes. She then reprimands her child because the child, at some unspecified period before the scolding, has not done the homework.

I hope this helps!

  • Thanks - that is helpful to know that both are correct, depending on the meaning. What's the technical grammatical name for the constructs "after washing" and "after having washed"? – Eli Aug 29 '18 at 4:13
  • I think they are termed 'participles'. – Nick Oct 24 '18 at 23:16

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