Is there a better way to write the following sentence:

After you called me at home – angry about a request I did not make, nor was aware of – I cried in front of my family.

Second, is of a dangling participle in the sentence?


First, I don't believe of is a dangling participle because I don't believe it to be a participle at all. Here is a quick guide on that.

As to how to write this:

I would add I to the second clause.

… I did not make, nor was I aware of …

As to why, it certainly flows better. And, I believe the second clause needs a subject here to make sense. (I believe, but I'm not 100% certain, it is a relative clause see here)

An even better construction was suggested in comments below by @GEdgar.

... angry about a request I neither made nor was aware of...

This is better because using nor in a sentence will typically follow neither. More on this here

While I don't believe it to be 100% necessary to lead with neither, it is certainly a better practice. And, you cannot go wrong pairing neither with nor. Just don't ever pair either with nor.

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    "... angry about a request I neither made nor was aware of ..." – GEdgar Mar 2 '14 at 2:52
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    Grammar Girl? Really? That quack, ugh. You ought to be downvoted just on principle. :) -- Anyway, is there a relative clause in there or not? And, without your extra "I", would it still be grammatical? . . . (Yes, I'm procrastinating.) – F.E. Mar 2 '14 at 2:56
  • @F.E. Grammar Girl was easy to understand and hence a good reference. Plus, I did the search from my phone while waiting for a movie to begin. As to relative clause or not, I admit my uncertainty about it, and I was hoping for a commenter to set me straight. I'm not a grammarian, so I'm not always 100% on the proper names of constructs. I believe it needs the I to be grammatical, but I can't back it up because I can't find the right rule to demonstrate it. – David M Mar 2 '14 at 5:26
  • @GEdgar Yes, that is better. I was trying to maintain the style of the original, but yours is certainly better! – David M Mar 2 '14 at 5:27
  • @F.E. Upon further inspection, I believe I was wrong. I believe I have edited the post correctly, now. – David M Mar 2 '14 at 5:45

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