The following line is from an article in the June 2015 issue of Science magazine.

Readers of Sacks know he is no stranger to writing about himself, having previously written several books detailing his encounters with patients displaying unusual neurological conditions.

Here, can "he" be considered the subject of the participial phrase ("having previously written..."), in which case this would not be a dangling participle; or, is it really "readers" that is the subject of the participial phrase, in which case this would be a dangling participle?

  • 1
    Readers have not previously written several books..., Sacks has. Jun 25, 2015 at 14:10
  • 2
    No, both the suspect clauses have the right subject nearest to them. Ergo, no dangling participle.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jun 25, 2015 at 14:18
  • Related.
    – tchrist
    Oct 3, 2023 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


There are two clauses here, which means you have two subjects:

[Readers of Sacks know] [he is no stranger to writing about himself]

The second clause is followed by the participle, and since the second clause has the subject he (which the participle refers to), the participle is not dangling.

  • 1
    The second clause also ends with himself, which is coreferential with he, and which is located immediately before the participle. No native speaker would ever take the participle as referring to Readers. Jun 25, 2015 at 15:09

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