Watch Your Language!

Dangling Modifiers A modifier is a word or phrase that changes the meaning of another word in a sentence. Examples are adjectives or adverbs that give more detail about a noun, a verb, or another adjective or adverb. Sometimes a modifier does not appear to modify any word in the sentence. This is an error known as a dangling modifiers , as this cartoon humorously illustrates.

In the examples below, notice dangling modifiers and corrected sentences.

PRACTICE AND APPLY Mark the dangling modifier in each sentence. Rewrite the sentence to include a word or phrase that the modifier logically modifies. 1. Blowing a shower of peach blossoms, he listened to the gentle sound. 2. Laying out the blueprints, preparations for building the rocket were made. 3. He watched people leaving, loaded with furniture and children. Dangling: Growing up a soft purple, Harry was startled by what he saw. (Who or what is growing up a soft purple?) Clear: Harry was startled to see the lawn growing up a soft purple. Dangling: To leave her dresses behind, Laura climbed happily into the truck. (Is leaving the dresses behind the reason that Laura climbs into the truck?) Clear: Laura climbed into the truck, happy to leave her dresses behind.

Go online for Grammar Practice : Placement of Modifiers

Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed 311

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