Modifiers 1

Video (from Youtube): Misplaced and dangling modifiers by tamuwritingcenter (new tab). (Watching time: 5m:08secs)

Instructions: Hover or tap the questions below to see the reason for the answers given in the quiz.

1. I want to win lotto to be independent.
Add the word "only" to convey that there is one reason for wanting to win.

I want to win lotto only to be independent ✔
Why: The position of the modifier should be adjacent to the element that it is modifying, and in this sentence the reason is "to be independent". Another option: I want to win lotto to be independent only. ✔

2. We almost made a profit of $10.
Excerpt from Misplaced Modifiers: Lost and found (opens in new window)
Yes or no: Did they actually make a profit?

No ✔
Why: The writer reports that they 'almost made a profit', which means they did not actually make one. The writer probably intended us to think they made a small profit (of $10), so he or she should have written: We made a profit of almost $10.

3. * The rockets that accelerated quickly burned through their fuel. *
What modifier mistake does this sentence contain?

squinting modifier. ✔
Why: The placement of the modifier, without the benefit of additional punctuation, leaves the reader wondering if the sentence intends to say "accelerated quickly" or "quickly burned".

4. I even saw a platypus
What meaning does the placement of the word 'even' convey in this sentence?

My experience was complete to the extent that I was able to see a platypus ✔
Why: The placement of the word 'even' directly before the verb "see" indicates that this is the word that it is modifying. The word "even" is often used to add an underlying element of surprise to the meaning.