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Descriptive/Narrative Essay Trouble Spots. Commas with two or more coordinate adjectives. Use a comma to separate two or more coordinate adjectives—adjectives that have equal status when describing the noun

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commas with two or more coordinate adjectives
Commas with two or more coordinate adjectives

Use a comma to separate two or more coordinate adjectives—adjectives that have equal status when describing the noun

TEST: Can you insert “and” OR rearrange the adjectives and have the sentence still make sense?

He was a difficult stubborn child.

They lived in a white frame house.

She often wore a gray wool shawl.

The relentless powerful summer sun beat down on them.

hyphens to connect words
Hyphens to connect words

Use a hyphen to join two or more words serving as a single adjective before a noun.

A one-way street

A well-known author

Chocolate-covered peanuts.

However, DON’T hyphenate compound modifiers when they come after the noun.

The author was well known.

The peanuts were chocolate covered.

dangling and misplaced modifiers
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Examples of Modifiers:

  • I walked in an out of dozens of stores yesterday, searching for the perfect purse.
  • Shopping with Lisa today, I found a great purse.

Dangling Modifiers:

  • The subject of the modifier is unclear—the noun closest to it doesn’t make sense with the modifier.
    • Ex: Having looked through the whole music store, the CD I wanted just wasn’t there.
      • Who is doing the looking here?
    • These often come at the beginning of the sentence, but they can also come at the end.
misplaced modifiers
Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced Modifier: When the subject of the modifier is unclear because the modifier is misplaced, usually it is too far from the noun being modified.

  • Ex: The jacket was just too small in the store.
    • How do we fix this to make it more clear?

Ways to correct these errors:

  • Connect dangling modifiers to a logical subject.
  • Add a subject to the modifier itself.
    • Ex: When you are writing, modifiers can really help to add detail to your essays.
  • Move misplaced modifiers closer to the nouns they modify.
    • Ex: The jacket in the store was just too small.
dangling and misplaced modifiers can be funny
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers can be funny!

Illustrate each sentence as it is written.

Write the incorrect sentence at the bottom of your illustration.

Then, correct your sentence and write the new version under the incorrect one.



Now, trade papers and look for these errors in a partner’s piece.

Highlight any errors with commas and coordinating adjectives in GREEN.

Highlight any errors with hyphens in PINK.

Highlight any dangling or misplaced modifiers in YELLOW.

Please write this key on your partner’s paper.

Provide ONE piece of positive feedback on their IDEAS.

Provide ONE piece of constructive criticism with a suggestion for improvement on their IDEAS.