Parents always worry about their children being led astray by unsuitable friends.

Is this sentence grammatically correct? What is the grammar of "their children being led astray"?

  • It's correct, but awkward. Are you checking someone else's sentence, or are you trying to write your own? There are better ways to express this -- for example, it's generally considered poor style to use the passive voice, at least when the active voice fits the context.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 6:21
  • @Andrew I saw this in a bilingual dictionary. How would you express the message?
    – Juya
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 12:45
  • 1
    I would rephrase: "Parents often worry that their children will have friends who are a bad influence". "Unsuitable" has many (perhaps unintended) nuances, since there are many reasons why they might consider some child "unsuitable" (such as age, gender, religion, race, income, social status, etc.) other than bad character.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


This is correct.

"Being led astray" is a preposition-gerund clause that modifies the sentence "Parents always worry about their children." Preposition-gerunds add more meaning to an already complete sentence.

All about Gerunds: https://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/part_1.htm)

Examples of Gerund-Preposition clauses: https://www.grammar-quizzes.com/gerund3c.html)

  • 1
    @M Bal I find that an interesting answer about an area of which I know very little. However, all the examples of preposition & gerund clause given on the site you reference actually begin with prepositions while being led astray does not - although it's followed by one. Any thoughts? Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 14:32

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