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*Asterisk = examples of errors or poor constructions*.

Student Learning: Grammar

Modifiers - Lesson three

  1. 3.1 Dangling modifiers:

    A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that doesn't logically connect to the main phrase. Here are some examples of dangling modifiers...

*Being tired, the trip came to an end.* (Note: Asterisks signal examples of poor constructions.)

*After reading the initial study, the article remained unconvincing.*

*Having fallen into the pool, the party was ruined.*

Below is the intended meaning of the sentences once corrected. Note: the subject of the main independent phrase must be the subject of the modifying phrase.

Being tired, we called the trip to an end.

After reading the initial study, we found the article unconvincing.

The guests having fallen into the pool, for them the party was ruined.

  1. 3.2 Modifiers that disrupt:

    It is important not to place a modifying phrase where it disrupts the sentence, especially if it is a long phrase. (See dependent clauses.)

John, after nearly falling into the pool with almost all of his clothes on, left quickly.

The following are better options. (See Dependent clauses and commas for correct use and punctuation.)

John left quickly, after nearly falling into the pool with almost all of his clothes on.

After nearly falling into the pool with almost all of his clothes on, John left quickly.