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					Putting Misplaced and
 Dangling Modifiers


     In
          Their
            Place
The noise is bugging me!
         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.
          Misplaced Modifiers
• Misplaced modifier:
Sam bought a used car from a local dealer with
a smoky tailpipe.

• Corrected version:
Sam bought a used car with a smoky tailpipe from
a local dealer.
  Misplaced Modifiers
• Misplaced modifier:
The robin built a nest at the back of our house of
grass and string.

• Corrected version:
The robin built a nest of grass and string at the back
of our house.
Misplaced Modifiers

• Misplaced modifier:

Having finished the assignment, the TV
was turned on.
• Corrected version:

 Having finished the assignment, Mabel
 turned on the TV .
Having finished is a participle
expressing action, but the doer is
not the TV set (the subject of the
main clause).

TV sets don't finish assignments.
Since the doer of the action
expressed in the participle has not
been clearly stated, the participial
phrase is said to be a dangling
modifier.
          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.
            Dangling Modifiers
• Dangling modifier:
Sitting in the dentist’s chair, the sound of
the drill made Larry sweat.

• Corrected version:
As Larry was sitting in the dentist’s chair,
the sound of the drill made him sweat.
            Dangling Modifiers
• Dangling modifier:
Sitting in the dentist’s chair, the sound of the
drill made Larry sweat.

• Corrected version:
Sitting in the dentist’s chair, Larry sweated (or sweat) at the s
of the drill.
Dangling Modifiers
• Dangling modifier:
Soaring through the sky, Brenda watched the high-
powered jet.

• Corrected version:
Brenda watched the high-powered jet soaring through
the sky.
          Now for some practice…
Incorrect: After reading the original study, the article remains
unconvincing.

Incorrect: Relieved of your responsibilities at your job, your
home should be a place to relax.

Incorrect: The experiment was a failure, not having studied
the lab manual carefully.
       Let’s check our answers!
Revised: After reading the original study, I find the article
unconvincing.

Revised: Relieved of your responsibilities at your job, you
should be able to relax.

Revised: They failed the experiment, not having studied the
lab manual carefully.

				
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posted:10/13/2010
language:English
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