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18dangling modifiers

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  • 1. Putting Misplaced andDangling Modifiers In Their Place
  • 2. Misplaced Modifiers• A misplaced modifier is a modifier that is incorrectly separated from the word or words that it describes.• Misplaced modifiers seem to describe words that the author did not intend them to describe.• When modifiers are misplaced, the reader may misunderstand the sentence.• Generally, the solution is to place the modifier as close as possible to the word or words it describes.
  • 3. Misplaced Modifiers• Misplaced modifier:Sam bought a used car from a local dealer witha smoky tailpipe.• Corrected version:Sam bought a used car with a smoky tailpipe froma local dealer.
  • 4. Misplaced Modifiers• Misplaced modifier:The robin built a nest at the back of our house ofgrass and string.• Corrected version:The robin built a nest of grass and string at the backof our house.
  • 5. Misplaced Modifiers• Misplaced modifier:Christie almost sneezed fifteen times last evening.• Corrected version:Christie sneezed almost fifteen times last evening.
  • 6. Dangling Modifiers• 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.
  • 7. Dangling Modifiers• Dangling modifier:Sitting in the dentist’s chair, the sound ofthe drill made Larry sweat.• Corrected version:As Larry was sitting in the dentist’s chair,the sound of the drill made him sweat.
  • 8. Dangling Modifiers• Dangling modifier:Sitting in the dentist’s chair, the sound of thedrill made Larry sweat.• Corrected version:Sitting in the dentist’s chair, Larry sweated at the soundof the drill.
  • 9. Dangling Modifiers• Dangling modifier:Soaring through the sky, Brenda watched the high-powered jet.• Corrected version:Brenda watched the high-powered jet soaring throughthe sky.
  • 10. Dangling Modifiers• Dangling modifier:Soaring through the sky, Brenda watched the high-powered jet.• Corrected version:Brenda watched the high-powered jet soaring throughthe sky.
  • 11. Dangling Modifiers• Dangling modifier:While taking a shower, the doorbell rang.• Corrected version:While I was taking a shower, the doorbell rang.While taking a shower, I heard the doorbell ring.
  • 12. Dangling Modifiers• Dangling modifier:Soaring through the sky, Brenda watched the high-powered jet.• Corrected version:Brenda watched the high-powered jet soaring throughthe sky.
  • 13. Now for some practice…Go to the following website for some interactive exercises:• www.webster.commnet.edu/grammar/quiz_list.htmScroll down to the heading “Structural Flaws” anddo the exercises called “Modifier Placement” and“Modifier Placement II”.