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Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Transcript of Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Jessie Medintz What is a Modifier? A Modifier is a word or a group of words that makes the meaning of another word or word group more specific. Example: A good night’s sleep was what the exhausted hikers needed. [exhausted modifies hikers] Misplaced Modifiers A word, phrase, or clause that is in the wrong place. It modifies a word that is different from the one it should modify. EX: Sam bought a used car from a local dealer with a smoky tailpipe. Correction: Sam bought a used car with a smoky tailpipe from a local dealer. EX: Passing over the stadium, the pitcher saw an airplane Correction: The pitcher saw an airplane passing over the stadium. Remember!!!! Phrases should be placed near the words they modify!!! Dangling Modifiers A word, phrase, or clause that does not clearly and logically modify any word in the sentence. A modifier that starts a sentence must be followed right away by the word that it describes. Otherwise, the modifier is said to be dangling, and the sentence takes on an unintended meaning. EX: Sitting in the dentist’s chair, the sound of the drill made Larry sweat. EX: As Larry was sitting in the dentist’s chair, the sound of the drill made him sweat. Side Note A sentence may appear to have a dangling modifier when you is the understood subject. In such cases, the modifier is not dangling; it is modifying the understood subject.
EXAMPLE: To assemble the bookcase, (you) read the instructions Choose the correct sentence:
1 A. After studying all the evidence, I am convinced that Alfie did the right thing.
B. After studying all the evidence, it is clear that Alfie did the right thing,
C. I am convinced that Alfie did the right thing after studying all the evidence.
2A.When still in grade school, my parents decided to move to Chicago.
B. When I was still in grade school, my parents decided to move to Chicago.
C. My parents decided when I was still in grade school to move to Chicago.
3A. Poorly typed and hastily proofread, there were several glaring errors in my paper.
B. Poorly typed and hastily proofread, my paper contained several glaring errors.
C. Poorly typed and hastily proofread, several glaring errors were found in my paper. Modifiers are usually adjectives (words that describe nouns or pronouns) or adverbs (words that describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs). Practice Problems Answers 1. A: A is correct. "After studying all the evidence" is correctly modifying I.
2. B: B is correct. "When I was still in grade school" is correctly modifying the headword parents.
3. B: B is correct. "Poorly typed and hastily proofread" is correctly modifying the headword paper. Practice Makes Perfect... Rewrite each of these sentences so that the modifier is correctly placed.
1. While riding my bike to the library, the dog began to bark.
2. She observed the monstrous skyscraper with binoculars.
3. Donna served hot dogs, fries, and potato salad to her guests on paper plates..
4. Did you see a guy cross the bridge with a beard?
5. The red sports car was reported stolen by the police officer. Answers 1. While I was riding my bike to the library, the dog began to bark.
2. With binoculars, she observed the monstrous skyscraper.
3. Donna served hot dogs, fries, and potato salad on paper plates to her guests.
4. Did you see a guy with a beard cross the bridge?
5. The stolen red sports car was reported by the police office Now.... It's Game Time