By doing so, the peace is maintained.

John Kent

Senior Member
Korea - English
Hello, my friends!

I was wondering whether the sentence below is correct:

By doing so ,the peace of this society is maintained.

The problem is the "subject." Some of my friends think that the sentence might be wrong, for they think the Logical Subject of "following" should be "they" or "he" and so on (that is, "By doing so, they can maintain the peace of this society")". They think that it is Ungrammatical. Yet some think that it is acceptable in spoken English. What is your opinion? :)
 
  • Grumpy Old Man

    Senior Member
    There should be no space before he comma, and there should be one after it. Some may think the peace of this society is not particularly natural English and peace in this society would be better. Apart from that, I can't think of anything to object to. The sentence is in the passive voice and its grammatical subject is the peace of this society.

    PS Cross-posted with Englishmypassion
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Ity seems to me ungrammatical, because" by doing so" has a dangling participle. Someone else is doing something - this must have been mentioned in a previous sentence. That "someone else" should be the subject of the main clause.

    By doing so, (they) maintain the peace of this society.

    I agree with your friends that in speech a mistake of this kind passes unnoticed.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "By doing so, the peace..." - "the peace" is the subject of the sentence and of "doing", but then the sentence doesn't make sense. What did peace do?

    This having been done (by someone), the peace of this society is maintained.:tick:
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    This is something proofreaders are often told to look out for. You might want to have a look at Oxford Dictionaries' article about the dangling participle:
    What is a dangling participle? | OxfordWords blog
    This type of grammatical faux pas is called a dangling participle ..., otherwise known as a ‘dangler’ and (rather less picturesquely) as an ‘unattached’, ‘misrelated’, or ‘hanging’ participle. Fortunately, my grammatically expert colleagues edited my work and prevented me from dangling my participles for all to see in the published dictionary.
     

    Grumpy Old Man

    Senior Member
    I read the Oxford Dictionaries' article about dangling participles, but it says nothing about the kind of sentences we are dealing with in this thread. In the original poster's sentence, the participle is followed by a passive clause. In other words, it only has a grammatical subject. It says nothing about who or what maintains the peace. Therefore, I see no problem.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Perhaps we could have the preceding sentences. I read it easily, making assumptions that the participle phrase referred to something that immediately preceded the sentence.
    I suspect there are other things wrong with the sentence apart from the punctuation. Context is required too. What 'society'?

    I don't understand the bold- where's the word "following"?
    Some of my friends think that the sentence might be wrong, for they think the Logical Subject of "following" should be "they" or "he" and so
    I suggest too turning it into a clause with a finite verb, for example, " Once this has been done, peace ... ". Or, "Once [subject] have/has done this, peace will ... ."

    How I hate these participle clauses. They are more trouble than they worth.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I read the Oxford Dictionaries' article about dangling participles, but it says nothing about the kind of sentences we are dealing with in this thread. In the original poster's sentence, the participle is followed by a passive clause. In other words, it only has a grammatical subject. It says nothing about who or what maintains the peace. Therefore, I see no problem.
    The participle is supposed to modify the subject (the peace). Whether it is a passive structure or not is not relevant.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Please tell us what comes before this. The grammar of the individual sentence can be discussed by itself, but the remedy will depend on what "By doing so" refers to.
     
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