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Modifiers
Modifiers
 Modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses
 that provide description in sentences.
 Modifiers allow writers to take the picture
 that they have in their heads and transfer it
 accurately to the heads of their readers.
Modifiers….
 It can be a WORD, A PHRASE or A
 CLAUSE
 Word: E.g. Cool and intelligent, Ken is the
 class hero.
 Phrase: The moment Michael saw the ghost,
 the hair on his hands stood up. (Shows
 where..) Be very careful with prepositional
 phrases.
 Clause: The girl, whom you spoke to a
 minute ago, is dead!
Modifiers paint a better picture
 Essentially, modifiers breathe life into
 sentences. Take a look at this "dead"
 sentence: Stephen dropped his fork.
 Poor Stephen, who just wanted a quick
 meal to get through his three-hour biology
 lab, accidentally dropped his fork on the
 cafeteria floor, gasping with disgust as a
 tarantula wiggled out of his cheese omelet,
 a sight requiring a year of therapy before
 Stephen could eat eggs again.
Importance of Modifiers
  Modifiers can be adjectives, adjective clauses, adverbs, adverb clauses,
  absolute phrases, infinitive phrases, participle phrases, and prepositional
  phrases. The sentence above contains at least one example of each:
  Adjective = poor.
  Adjective clause = who just wanted a quick meal.
  Adverb = quickly.
  Adverb clause = as a tarantula wiggled out of his cheese omelet.
  Absolute phrase = a sight requiring a year of therapy before Stephen
  could eat eggs again.
  Infinitive phrase = to get through his three-hour biology lab.
  Participle phrase = gasping with disgust.
  Prepositional phrase = on the cafeteria floor
Without modifiers, sentences would be no fun to read. Carefully chosen,
  well-placed modifiers allow you to depict situations with as much
  accuracy.
Misplaced Modifiers
 A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or
 clause that is improperly separated from the
 word it modifies / describes.
 Because of the separation, sentences with
 this error often sound awkward, ridiculous,
 or confusing. Furthermore, they can be
 downright illogical.
Consider the unintentional meanings in the
following



   o The young girl was walking the dog in a
   short skirt.
The dog was chasing the boy with the spiked
collar.
You can see what's wrong. The dog isn't
"in a short skirt" and the boy doesn't have
a "spiked collar." Because the modifier is
 misplaced, we have to think for a minute
   before we get the intended meaning.
The young girl in a short skirt
was walking the dog.
The dog with the spiked
collar was chasing the boy
Misplaced Modifiers
 Hence, misplace modifiers are words that
 because of awkward placements, do not
 describe what the writer intended them to
 describe. So to avoid them, place modifying
 words as close as possible to what they
 describe. Be very careful with:
Place a past participle phrase right before or right
after the word it describes.

   Past participle: regular = verb + ed; irregular
                   forms vary.

      Angered by the football score, Paul kicked the
      In the living room, Paul kicked the television
                angered byin the living room.
                 television the football score.



Right!sounds as if the if
  This This sounds as
Paul is angered by the
 television is angered
by the football score!
    football score!
Place an adjective clause right after the word it
describes.

An adjective clause begins with a word such as
           that, which, or who.

       landscaper wrestled the old lawnmower
   TheThe landscaper wrestled the old lawnmowerthat
      coughed and grass that coughed and choked.
   through the long choked through the long grass.


                        I don’t know about you,
                        That makes sense! An
                         but I have never heard
                           old lawn mower can
                            grass cough and
                          cough and choke!
                                 choke!
Try and Correct this misplaced
modifiers ^^
1. The patient talked about his childhood on the
   psychiatrist’s couch.
2. The crowd watched the tennis player with swiveling
   heads.
3. Vonnie put 4 hamburgers on the counter which she was
   cooking for dinner.
4. Steve carefully hung the new suit that he would wear to
   his first job interview in the bedroom closet.
5. Anne ripped the shirt on a car door that she made in
   sewing class.
6. The newscaster spoke softly into a microphone wearing a
   bulletproof vest.
You also need to watch the placement of modifiers such as
almost, even, hardly, nearly, often, and only. A couple of
examples should be enough:


    1.     Big Dog almost ran around the
    yard twenty times.
    2.      He nearly ate a whole box of
    treats.
In both sentences--when he "almost ran" and
"nearly ate"--nothing happened! He didn't
quite get around to doing either thing. What is
intended is:
     1. Big Dog ran around the yard almost
     twenty times.
     2. He ate nearly a whole box of
     cereals.
       I almost kissed William 20 times a
     day!
Hmm….
1. I nearly napped for 20 minutes during the
biology lecture.
2. I napped for nearly 20 minutes during the
biology lecture.
3. Only Nadia reads that book.
4. Nadia only reads that book.
5. Nadia reads only that book.
Dangling Modifiers
O1. Having been thrown in the air,
the dog caught the stick.
2. Smashed flat by a passing truck, Big Dog
 sniffed at what was left of a half-eaten
               hamburger.
the writer has unintentionally said
something that he (or she) didn't intend. The
dog wasn't "thrown in the air," and Big Dog
wasn't "smashed flat."
We can work out what is actually meant.
But a reader shouldn't have to work things
out.
So how do you get rid of these? Do the following:
1.     Check for modifying phrases at the
beginning of your sentences.
2.     If you find one, underline the first
noun that follows it. (That's the one that is
being modified.)
3.     Make sure the modifier and noun go
together logically. If they don't, chances
are you have a dangling modifier.
4.   Rewrite the sentence.
oWhen the stick was thrown in the air, the
dog caught it. (Here, the modifying phrase
has become a dependent clause. The
meaning is clear.)

o Big Dog sniffed at what was left of a
half-eaten burger that had been smashed
by a passing truck. (Again, the phrase has
been rewritten as a clause.)
Shaving in front of the steamy mirror, the
razor nicked Ed’s Chin.
Correct:
Shaving in front of the steamy mirror, Ed
nicked his chin with the razor.
While Ed was shaving in front of the
steamy mirror, he nicked his chin with the
razor.
While turning over the bacon, hot grease
splashed on my arm.

CORRECTION:
While I was turning over the bacon, hot
grease splashed on my arm.
While turning over the bacon, I was
splashed by hot grease.
Place a present participle phrase right before or right
after the word it describes.
          Present participle: verb + ing

    The children ate banana splits dripping with hot
     Dripping with hot fudge and whipped cream, the
               children ate banana splits.
                fudge and whipped cream.



                               Good! Now the banana
                               Well, that sounds as if the
                               splits are dripping with
                                children are dripping
                                 with the hot fudge!
                                       hot fudge!
To place modifiers correctly, avoid passive voice
verbs.
       Passive voice: form of be + past
               participle + by.
     Typing furiously, Beatrice finished the essay
      Typing furiously, the essay was finished by
        Beatrice by the 3 p.m. deadline.
                 just before the 3 p.m. deadline.




                      I wish my essays typed
                      This is logical! Beatrice
                      themselves! But that’s
                        can type an essay!
                           just not logical!
Try and correct this ^^’’’

  1. Dancing on their hind legs, the audience cheered
           wildly as the elephants paraded by.
THE END…NOW YOUR
  SENTENCES WILL
    NEVER HAVE
    UNINTENDED
     MEANINGS

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Modifiers

  • 2. Modifiers Modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses that provide description in sentences. Modifiers allow writers to take the picture that they have in their heads and transfer it accurately to the heads of their readers.
  • 3. Modifiers…. It can be a WORD, A PHRASE or A CLAUSE Word: E.g. Cool and intelligent, Ken is the class hero. Phrase: The moment Michael saw the ghost, the hair on his hands stood up. (Shows where..) Be very careful with prepositional phrases. Clause: The girl, whom you spoke to a minute ago, is dead!
  • 4. Modifiers paint a better picture Essentially, modifiers breathe life into sentences. Take a look at this "dead" sentence: Stephen dropped his fork. Poor Stephen, who just wanted a quick meal to get through his three-hour biology lab, accidentally dropped his fork on the cafeteria floor, gasping with disgust as a tarantula wiggled out of his cheese omelet, a sight requiring a year of therapy before Stephen could eat eggs again.
  • 5. Importance of Modifiers Modifiers can be adjectives, adjective clauses, adverbs, adverb clauses, absolute phrases, infinitive phrases, participle phrases, and prepositional phrases. The sentence above contains at least one example of each: Adjective = poor. Adjective clause = who just wanted a quick meal. Adverb = quickly. Adverb clause = as a tarantula wiggled out of his cheese omelet. Absolute phrase = a sight requiring a year of therapy before Stephen could eat eggs again. Infinitive phrase = to get through his three-hour biology lab. Participle phrase = gasping with disgust. Prepositional phrase = on the cafeteria floor Without modifiers, sentences would be no fun to read. Carefully chosen, well-placed modifiers allow you to depict situations with as much accuracy.
  • 6. Misplaced Modifiers A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies / describes. Because of the separation, sentences with this error often sound awkward, ridiculous, or confusing. Furthermore, they can be downright illogical.
  • 7. Consider the unintentional meanings in the following o The young girl was walking the dog in a short skirt.
  • 8. The dog was chasing the boy with the spiked collar.
  • 9. You can see what's wrong. The dog isn't "in a short skirt" and the boy doesn't have a "spiked collar." Because the modifier is misplaced, we have to think for a minute before we get the intended meaning.
  • 10. The young girl in a short skirt was walking the dog. The dog with the spiked collar was chasing the boy
  • 11. Misplaced Modifiers Hence, misplace modifiers are words that because of awkward placements, do not describe what the writer intended them to describe. So to avoid them, place modifying words as close as possible to what they describe. Be very careful with:
  • 12. Place a past participle phrase right before or right after the word it describes. Past participle: regular = verb + ed; irregular forms vary. Angered by the football score, Paul kicked the In the living room, Paul kicked the television angered byin the living room. television the football score. Right!sounds as if the if This This sounds as Paul is angered by the television is angered by the football score! football score!
  • 13. Place an adjective clause right after the word it describes. An adjective clause begins with a word such as that, which, or who. landscaper wrestled the old lawnmower TheThe landscaper wrestled the old lawnmowerthat coughed and grass that coughed and choked. through the long choked through the long grass. I don’t know about you, That makes sense! An but I have never heard old lawn mower can grass cough and cough and choke! choke!
  • 14. Try and Correct this misplaced modifiers ^^ 1. The patient talked about his childhood on the psychiatrist’s couch. 2. The crowd watched the tennis player with swiveling heads. 3. Vonnie put 4 hamburgers on the counter which she was cooking for dinner. 4. Steve carefully hung the new suit that he would wear to his first job interview in the bedroom closet. 5. Anne ripped the shirt on a car door that she made in sewing class. 6. The newscaster spoke softly into a microphone wearing a bulletproof vest.
  • 15. You also need to watch the placement of modifiers such as almost, even, hardly, nearly, often, and only. A couple of examples should be enough: 1. Big Dog almost ran around the yard twenty times. 2. He nearly ate a whole box of treats.
  • 16. In both sentences--when he "almost ran" and "nearly ate"--nothing happened! He didn't quite get around to doing either thing. What is intended is: 1. Big Dog ran around the yard almost twenty times. 2. He ate nearly a whole box of cereals. I almost kissed William 20 times a day!
  • 17. Hmm…. 1. I nearly napped for 20 minutes during the biology lecture. 2. I napped for nearly 20 minutes during the biology lecture. 3. Only Nadia reads that book. 4. Nadia only reads that book. 5. Nadia reads only that book.
  • 18. Dangling Modifiers O1. Having been thrown in the air, the dog caught the stick.
  • 19. 2. Smashed flat by a passing truck, Big Dog sniffed at what was left of a half-eaten hamburger.
  • 20. the writer has unintentionally said something that he (or she) didn't intend. The dog wasn't "thrown in the air," and Big Dog wasn't "smashed flat." We can work out what is actually meant. But a reader shouldn't have to work things out.
  • 21. So how do you get rid of these? Do the following: 1. Check for modifying phrases at the beginning of your sentences. 2. If you find one, underline the first noun that follows it. (That's the one that is being modified.) 3. Make sure the modifier and noun go together logically. If they don't, chances are you have a dangling modifier. 4. Rewrite the sentence.
  • 22. oWhen the stick was thrown in the air, the dog caught it. (Here, the modifying phrase has become a dependent clause. The meaning is clear.) o Big Dog sniffed at what was left of a half-eaten burger that had been smashed by a passing truck. (Again, the phrase has been rewritten as a clause.)
  • 23. Shaving in front of the steamy mirror, the razor nicked Ed’s Chin. Correct: Shaving in front of the steamy mirror, Ed nicked his chin with the razor. While Ed was shaving in front of the steamy mirror, he nicked his chin with the razor.
  • 24. While turning over the bacon, hot grease splashed on my arm. CORRECTION: While I was turning over the bacon, hot grease splashed on my arm. While turning over the bacon, I was splashed by hot grease.
  • 25. Place a present participle phrase right before or right after the word it describes. Present participle: verb + ing The children ate banana splits dripping with hot Dripping with hot fudge and whipped cream, the children ate banana splits. fudge and whipped cream. Good! Now the banana Well, that sounds as if the splits are dripping with children are dripping with the hot fudge! hot fudge!
  • 26. To place modifiers correctly, avoid passive voice verbs. Passive voice: form of be + past participle + by. Typing furiously, Beatrice finished the essay Typing furiously, the essay was finished by Beatrice by the 3 p.m. deadline. just before the 3 p.m. deadline. I wish my essays typed This is logical! Beatrice themselves! But that’s can type an essay! just not logical!
  • 27. Try and correct this ^^’’’ 1. Dancing on their hind legs, the audience cheered wildly as the elephants paraded by.
  • 28. THE END…NOW YOUR SENTENCES WILL NEVER HAVE UNINTENDED MEANINGS