Business Grammar: Dangling Construction
Stashed away in the company storage room for the past twenty years, the owner of the painting has decided to sell it.
Stashed away in the company storage room for the past twenty years, the owner of the painting has decided to sell it. (Which was stashed in the company storage room: the owner or the painting?)
This is a dangling construction error. When a sentence begins with a participial phrase, make sure that the phrase or clause logically agrees with the subject of the sentence. If not, the construction will "dangle."
- The owner of the painting that has been stored in the company storage room for the past twenty years has decided to sell it.
About the author
Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.