Checking into the hotel, it was nice to see a few of my old classmates in the lobby.

Artifacs

Senior Member
Spanish - España
Hello friends. I was watching a youtube video tittled Linguistic and Style in the 21st century by Steven Pinker
Near the end, the professor comments some wrong sentences used by famous people (presidents, politics, actors) and asks the choir why are wrong. I understood all the examples, except one (the audio didn't work for me in this sentence):

Checking into the hotel, it was nice to see a few of my old classmates in the lobby.
Can anyone lecture me about the mistake commited in this one?

Thank you for your help.
 
Last edited:
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It's a dangling participle. You have to make it something like:
    Checking into the hotel, I was pleased to see a few of my old classmates in the lobby.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You may be interested in reading what Pinker had to say here about danging modifiers (scroll down to relevant section):

    Steven Pinker: 10 'grammar rules' it's OK to break (sometimes)

    "More generally, a modifier can dangle when its implied subject is the writer and the reader. The decision of whether to recast a sentence to align its subject with the subject of a modifier is a matter of judgment, not grammar."
     
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