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'Escaping prisoner' is acceptable whereas 'sitting man' is not. Is there any explanation.

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    "Sitting man" seems fairly acceptable to me. – sumelic Mar 26 at 2:19
  • A similar previous question: When can the -ing form of a verb be placed before a noun? – sumelic Mar 26 at 2:25
  • In escaping prisoner the -ing form has the force of a verb, but in sitting man it would usually have the force of a noun. Note that the sitting man means the same as the seated man, whereas the escaping prisoner does not mean the same as the escaped prisoner; also that you can put an adverb in front of one but not the other - the rapidly escaping prisoner vs the comfortably sitting man. You could just about use sitting verbally in a context like she deftly replaced the cushion under the rapidly sitting man, but 99 times out of 100 it will be noun-like. – Minty Mar 26 at 10:40
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"Sitting" as a participle is ok. We have the expression "sitting president." This is an example. The question arises as to how you think about "sitting." "Escaping" and "sitting" are different kinds of verbs with different aspects. "Escaping" is active and conceptual "fits" with a prisoner. "Sitting" however as the idea of remaining in a chair doesn't quite fit alone with man. It needs more to help; a preposition such as "on" or "in." "The man sitting in the chair," or "The man sitting on the car." Grammatically-speaking, there is nothing objectionable about pairing "sitting" and man.

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