misplaced and dangling modifiers n.
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Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers. Misplaced Modifiers. A modifier is a word or a phrase that describes something else. You should place it as close as possible to what it describes. If you don't, your intended meaning may not be clear. Consider the unintentional meanings in the following:

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Presentation Transcript
misplaced modifiers
Misplaced Modifiers
  • A modifier is a word or a phrase that describes something else. You should place it as close as possible to what it describes. If you don't, your intended meaning may not be clear.
  • Consider the unintentional meanings in the following:
    • The young girl was walking the dog in a short skirt.
    • The dog was chasing the boy with the spiked collar.
  • What's wrong?
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You also need to watch the placement of modifiers such as almost, even, hardly, nearly, often, and only.

  • Consider the unintentional meanings in the following:
    • The large dog almost ran around the yard twenty times.
    • He nearly ate a whole box of treats.
  • What's wrong?
practice
Practice
  • The dentist sent me a bill for the teeth she had filled by mail.
  • The mystery has been solved after 12 years of the missing socks.
  • At the picnic Duane served corn chowder to hungry guests in paper cups.
  • Rev. Howells announced that next Sunday’s sermon would include an explanation of the nature of sin, which he hoped the congregation would be interested in.
  • Barbara prepares lavish lunches complete with soup, salad, and desserts just for her friends on Monday.
write the misplaced modifier then rewrite the sentence correctly
Write the misplaced modifier. Then, rewrite the sentence correctly.
  • The child ate a cold dish of cereal this morning.
  • The torn student’s book lay on the desk.
  • We ate the lunch that we had brought slowly.
  • I only contributed $10 to the fund.
  • They bought a puppy for my sister they call Fido.
  • The patient was referred to a psychiatrist with several emotional problems.
  • The writer read from his new book wearing glasses.
  • For sale: an antique desk suitable for a lady with thick legs and large drawers.

Answer Key

dangling modifiers
Dangling Modifiers
  • A modifier is said to “dangle” when there isn’t any word right next to it to modify. It’s as if the writer left out the person or thing the modifying words are supposed to be describing.
  • Unclear:All alone in the house, the sound of the howling wind petrified him.
    • (You sort of get what’s going on in the sentence. You know there’s some boy or man who’s all alone and scared of the noise. But the word order suggests that the sound of the howling wind was left all alone in the house.)
  • Clear:All alone in the house, Eliot was petrified by the sound of the howling wind.
    • (Now we know who was alone and what he was feeling. “All alone in the house” is the modifier for Eliot. Therefore, “Eliot” comes just after the modifier.)
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Directions:Rewrite the following sentences to eliminate the dangling modifier. Remember, you will have to add some words and punctuation to make the meaning clear.

  • To run efficiently, the mechanic should oil the engine well.
  • After sitting there a while it began to snow.
  • Coming into the ice arena, the sound of the roaring crowd told Eli his team had just scored a goal.
  • The evening passed very pleasantly, eating candy and watching videos.
  • While racing along a deserted stretch of highway, two deer suddenly appeared in front of our car.