I am trying to translate a sentence from Turkish to English. I'm almost satisfied and it is something along the lines of

A black car kicking up clouds of dust was seen heading to the city from a distant road.

However, in Turkish, the act of "kicking up clouds of dust" is an adverb of the verb "heading", so it qualifies the verb and not the car itself. In other words, the way the car moves along the road is by kicking up clouds of dust, so it is heading to the city by kicking up clouds of dust. Do you think there's a way to make it into an adverb? Or maybe a phrasal verb that catches the essence of those two actions, both heading somewhere and kicking up clouds of dust? The verb "heading" is not mandatory, it can be "arriving", "coming" or something else that matches the meaning, and the meaning is the car is going towards the city and is arriving/about to arrive at its final destination.

The best I can come up with is

A black car at a distant road was seen heading to the city by kicking up clouds of dust.

but using "by" to connect those to actions seems like cheating and makes me feel I'm thinking in Turkish and not in English.

For the curious, this is the original sentence (maybe it helps)

Uzaktaki yoldan siyah bir otomobilin tozu dumana katarak şehre geldiği görüldü.

  • I like your question, but we require a minimum of research...the context is awesome.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 2 '21 at 20:27
  • @Cascabel thanks! any suggestions as to how I can make the question more answerable? What do you mean when you say you require minimum of research?
    – akaralar
    Mar 2 '21 at 20:29
  • @Cascabel no worries, thanks for the comments. Honestly I'm not a translator so I don't even know how to do research on this topic, I found the phrasal verb "kicking up clouds of dust" from the youtube video here: youtube.com/watch?v=FjuMP0oQASo so any suggestions on making my question better is always welcome! If you (or someone else) gives me pointers on how to do more research, I'd be happy to do that.
    – akaralar
    Mar 2 '21 at 20:34
  • 2
    A beautifully composed and explained question. Your “best I can come up with” is flawed by ambiguity or ellipsis; dont’t use it.
    – Anton
    Mar 3 '21 at 7:51
  • Problem is that we in the UK seldom see cars kicking up dust - they are more likely to be churning around in mud.
    – WS2
    Aug 1 '21 at 7:13

I'm not sure what the sense is here. English doesn't require a lot of agreement among the parts of a sentence, so it sometimes requires restructuring for clarity. English is also notorious for its "dangling modifiers". Here are a few options. I'm not sure if either of them capture the meaning you are looking for:

  1. A black car, seen from a distant road, kicked up clouds of dust as it headed to the city.
  2. A black car kicked up clouds of dust as it headed to the city from a distant road.

In English, we tend to relate to the cause of something (cause and effect). Hence your

car kicking up clouds of dust.

But this is not the only way to describe the scene. We can also use (effect and implied cause).

A cloud of dust hung above a distant road, as a/the black car sped towards the city.

  • Not sure if they say sped or speeded in the states.
    – Brad
    Sep 9 '21 at 10:29
  • I find myself saying 'The car speeded up' but 'The car sped up the hill'. Sep 9 '21 at 11:26

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