Being a responsible man, arriving half an hour late would surely surprise his wife. But then he thought that it'd be funnier if he waited a couple of hours.


Being a responsible man, he would surely surprise his wife if he arrived half an hour late. But then he thought that it'd be funnier if he'd waited a couple of hours.

First, I would like to know if after the participial phrase "Being a responsible man", one should use the noun it modifies, he?

Moreover, the first sentence seems lacks a subject.

Second, whether "would" is necessary before "waited" or not or both are possible depending on the sentence.

Actually these sentences are two corrections by seemingly two English-speakers for a post by a non-native speaker.

  • @TRomano I completed the question. I also didn't get what is funny, or its about me or the man in story.
    – Ahmad
    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:54
  • Why not use the same basic question twice, rather than introducing a different sentence? You are introducing unnecessary variables.
    – TimR
    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:55
  • @TRomano if you mean arrive instead of got up I modified it. I didn't notice that.
    – Ahmad
    Sep 19, 2016 at 11:57
  • 2
    If you use 'd waited, the 'd will be understood as had, not would. Sep 19, 2016 at 12:15
  • 1
    @Ahmad A verb after the modal verb would never is in its past participle form. Sep 19, 2016 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


Especially since the sentence uses informal contractions (it'd) it could say:

Him being a responsible man, it would surely surprise his wife if he was half an hour late.

Whether to use past perfect depends on whether the man is looking forward to looking back upon the joke or is enjoying it now:

If would be funnier if he had waited...

It would be funnier if he waited...

  • But if it was Being a responsible man, it'd better the next clause begins with "He" right?
    – Ahmad
    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:11
  • Questions of register aside (raised by the use of informal contractions), yes, the main clause should begin with the subject the participle phrase is modifying, he or "Mister Jones" or whatever.
    – TimR
    Sep 19, 2016 at 12:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .