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  1. rainous's Avatar
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    #1

    gerund problem

    "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"?

    Thanks
    Last edited by rainous; 30-Nov-2011 at 06:04.

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    #2

    Re: gerund problem

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    "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 doing "carrying her coat"?

    Thanks
    This is not a gerund but a participle.

    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.

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