"It was his duty, as her husband, to accompany her wherever she wanted to go, carrying her coat, ...."
Isn't the underlined phrase ungrammatical given that the subject of the sentence is not the person who's performing the act of "carrying her coat"?
Last edited by rainous; 30-Nov-2011 at 05:04.
It's correct. It happens in English, even in the most serious writing, that a participle is displaced in the sense you are talking about. But this is not such a case. The subject in this sentence is "it", true, but "carrying her coat" doesn't modify the main verb (that is "was") in this sentence. It modifies the phrase "to accompany her wherever she wanted to go". Try reading this sentence:
To accompany her wherever she wanted to go, carrying her coat, was his duty.
It's unnatural but maybe you will see the issue better here.