Here is a sentence, slightly modified to be generic, for an award. My supervisor insists that the sentence is incorrectly written, although I cannot spot the error.

...the person was located and after XXX, BOB was immediately deployed to the frigid river to render assistance. Bob expertly directed the recovery of the severely hypothermic survivor and provided critical medical care enroute to XXX Hospital, saving her life.

Sure, there are other ways to write it, but space is an issue and I feel this is the most effective way of writing the sentence.

I was given the advice that it might be a dangling participle, but I am not sure it is. Thoughts?

  • It's grammatically fine (not a dangling participle, as 'saving' attaches to the subject, Bob. Stylistically, there's a lot of stuff between the subject and the participial phrase. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 14:50
  • Well, style is important (and very subjective) but we CAN be fairly wordy when writing awards like this.
    – D.M.
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 14:57
  • Which part do you think is the dangling participle? And why take grammatical advice from somebody you don't trust? Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:05
  • @JohnLawler: I didn't. The advice or suggestion was from the boss, which is why I looked into the issue, and subsequently asked this question to confirm. Anyway, we simply reworded it for style.
    – D.M.
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


With Bob serving as the grammatical subject of the sentence and both its finite verbs, there can be no real question that Bob is also the subject of the participle saving, i.e., the one doing the saving, which is presumably what is intended. A participle dangles only when it lacks such an apparent and appropriate subject. So no, this participle does not dangle.

  • That's what I thought... and (BOB) is a placeholder. So is there a problem at all? Some other grammar issue?
    – D.M.
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 14:52
  • 1
    @D.M. 'Colorless green ideas sleep furiously' has no grammar issues. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:13

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