Dangling modifier - MISPLACED AND DANGLING MODIFIERS S-9...

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MISPLACED AND DANGLING MODIFIERS S-9 MISPLACED MODIFIERS A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase or clause that is awkwardly placed in the sentence so that it does not describe what the writer wanted it to describe. In other words, a misplaced modifier is placed so that it does not modify what it is intended to modify. To avoid this problem, place a modifier as close as possible to the word it modifies . MISPLACED MODIFIER: Jeff bought an old jeep from a crooked dealer with a faulty transmission. Did the jeep or the crooked dealer have a faulty transmission? Yes, it was the jeep; therefore, the modifying phrase is awkwardly placed. The phrase with a faulty transmission should be next to the word jeep, the word it modifies. CORRECTED MODIFIER : Jeff bought an old jeep with a faulty transmission from a crooked dealer. As you can see, many misplaced modifiers actually cause a sentence to be quite funny; unfortunately, the reader may not have a sense of humor! MISPLACED MODIFIER: Sam screamed at the barking dog in his underwear. Now, really, did the dog wear underwear? CORRECTED EXAMPLE: Sam, in his underwear, screamed at the barking dog. Modifying words and phrases should be as close as possible to the word they describe, preferably right next to the word they describe. Modifiers may be placed either before or after the word they describe, but the location may change the meaning of the sentence. MISPLACED MODIFIER: Frances nearly earned fifty dollars. Frances earned nothing because she just couldn't nearly earn. The modifier must be moved. Frances did not nearly earn; she earned nearly fifty. The modifier nearly is describing how many dollars she earned and thus should be placed next to the word fifty. CORRECTED EXAMPLE : Frances earned nearly fifty dollars. Depending on where they are placed in the sentence, the words “nearly” and “only” can change the meaning of a sentence. Consider John and his books: Only John carried his books to class. John only carried his books to class. John carried only his books to class. Revised Summer 2006 1
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MISPLACED AND DANGLING MODIFIERS S-9 John carried his books only to class. DANGLING MODIFIERS A modifying phrase or clause is said to dangle when it has no stated word to describe . A dangling modifier is sometimes difficult to identify because our brains supply the missing word. To correct a dangling modifier, you must rewrite the sentence and supply the word that is to be modified. DANGLING MODIFIER:
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Dangling modifier - MISPLACED AND DANGLING MODIFIERS S-9...

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