top of page

Dangling Modifiers

A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that is improperly positioned in a sentence, creating confusion about what it is supposed to modify. The modifier is said to be "dangling" because it doesn't have a clear, logical connection to the word it's supposed to modify.

Here's a more detailed breakdown:

Definition:

A dangling modifier occurs when the word or phrase intended to modify a noun is placed in a position that doesn't clearly or logically connect to the noun.

Example:

Incorrect:

  • Walking down the street, the flowers caught my attention.

In this sentence, "Walking down the street" is a dangling modifier because it seems to suggest that the flowers are walking down the street. However, the intended meaning is that the speaker was walking down the street when they noticed the flowers.

Corrected:

  • Walking down the street, I noticed the flowers.


Common Types of Dangling Modifiers with ample examples and explanation


1. Participial Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Having finished my work, the computer crashed.

Explanation: The participial phrase "Having finished my work" is placed at the beginning of the sentence, creating confusion about who or what finished the work.

Corrected:

  • Having finished my work, I realized that the computer had crashed.

2. Infinitive Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • To improve my health, jogging every morning was the first step.

Explanation: The infinitive phrase "To improve my health" is not clearly connected to the subject performing the action, leading to ambiguity.

Corrected:

  • To improve my health, I decided to take the first step by jogging every morning.

3. Prepositional Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • With my hands tied, the project became more challenging.

Explanation: The prepositional phrase "With my hands tied" creates confusion about what is tied, suggesting the project itself has hands.

Corrected:

  • With my hands tied, I found the project more challenging.

4. Absolute Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Weather permitting, the event will be held outdoors.

Explanation: The absolute phrase "Weather permitting" is not clearly connected to the subject, making it unclear whose perspective is considered.

Corrected:

  • Weather permitting, we will hold the event outdoors.

5. Gerund Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • After finishing their meal, the dishes were washed.

Explanation: The gerund phrase "After finishing their meal" seems to imply that the dishes themselves finished the meal.

Corrected:

  • After finishing their meal, they washed the dishes.

6. Appositive Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Being a skilled chef, the meal was prepared perfectly.

Explanation: The appositive phrase "Being a skilled chef" is not clearly connected to the person who prepared the meal.

Corrected:

  • Being a skilled chef, she prepared the meal perfectly.

7. Adjective Clause:

Incorrect:

  • Hoping to impress the interviewer, the resume was polished.

Explanation: The adjective clause "Hoping to impress the interviewer" is not properly connected to the person associated with it.

Corrected:

  • Hoping to impress the interviewer, he polished his resume.

8. Noun Clause:

Incorrect:

  • Whether studied carefully or not, the subject remained confusing.

Explanation: The noun clause "Whether studied carefully or not" lacks a clear connection to the subject.

Corrected:

  • Whether studied carefully or not, the subject remained confusing.

9. Absolute Adjective:

Incorrect:

  • Without hesitation, the decision was made.

Explanation: The absolute adjective "Without hesitation" is not clearly tied to the subject making the decision.

Corrected:

  • Without hesitation, she made the decision.

10. Time Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Arriving late, the game had already started.

Explanation: The time phrase "Arriving late" is not properly connected to the person arriving.

Corrected:

  • Arriving late, we found that the game had already started.


11. Past Participle Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Raised in a small town, the city lights fascinated her.

Explanation: The past participle phrase "Raised in a small town" lacks a clear connection to the person fascinated by the city lights.

Corrected:

  • Raised in a small town, she was fascinated by the city lights.

12. Elliptical Clause:

Incorrect:

  • As a fan of thrillers, the new book by the author was eagerly anticipated.

Explanation: The elliptical clause "As a fan of thrillers" lacks a specific subject, causing confusion.

Corrected:

  • As a fan of thrillers, she eagerly anticipated the new book by the author.

13. Verb Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Running down the street, the bus was missed.

Explanation: The verb phrase "Running down the street" is not properly connected to the subject who missed the bus.

Corrected:

  • Running down the street, she missed the bus.

14. Present Participle Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • Smiling happily, the sun began to set.

Explanation: The present participle phrase "Smiling happily" is not clearly tied to the entity smiling.

Corrected:

  • Smiling happily, she watched as the sun began to set.

15. Dependent Clause:

Incorrect:

  • Because of a broken leg, the hike was canceled.

Explanation: The dependent clause "Because of a broken leg" lacks a clear subject performing the action.

Corrected:

  • Because of a broken leg, he canceled the hike.

16. Adverb Clause:

Incorrect:

  • While waiting for the train, the schedule was checked.

Explanation: The adverb clause "While waiting for the train" lacks a specific subject performing the action.

Corrected:

  • While waiting for the train, she checked the schedule.

17. Comparative Adjective:

Incorrect:

  • Compared to previous models, the new phone impressed.

Explanation: The comparative adjective "Compared to previous models" lacks a clear connection to the subject who is impressed.

Corrected:

  • Compared to previous models, she was impressed with the new phone.

18. Exclamatory Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • With great enthusiasm, the announcement was made.

Explanation: The exclamatory phrase "With great enthusiasm" is not clearly tied to the subject making the announcement.

Corrected:

  • With great enthusiasm, she made the announcement.

19. Noun Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • A master of disguise, the criminals were fooled.

Explanation: The noun phrase "A master of disguise" is not clearly connected to the person fooling the criminals.

Corrected:

  • A master of disguise, she fooled the criminals.

20. Possessive Noun Phrase:

Incorrect:

  • With my neighbor's dog barking, the peace was disturbed.

Explanation: The possessive noun phrase "With my neighbor's dog barking" is not properly linked to the person experiencing the disturbance.

Corrected:

  • With my neighbor's dog barking, I was disturbed by the noise.


Examples

  1. Hiking in the mountains, the trail was steep and challenging.

  • Correction: Hiking in the mountains, we found the trail steep and challenging.

  1. Talking on the phone, the time quickly passed by.

  • Correction: Talking on the phone, I didn't realize how quickly time passed by.

  1. Dreaming of a tropical vacation, the travel brochure caught her eye.

  • Correction: Dreaming of a tropical vacation, she noticed the travel brochure.

  1. Running through the park, the flowers looked vibrant and colorful.

  • Correction: Running through the park, I noticed the flowers were vibrant and colorful.

  1. After cooking for hours, the delicious aroma filled the kitchen.

  • Correction: After cooking for hours, I could smell the delicious aroma filling the kitchen.

  1. Climbing to the mountaintop, the view was breathtaking.

  • Correction: Climbing to the mountaintop, we enjoyed a breathtaking view.

  1. Being an experienced driver, the road trip was smooth and enjoyable.

  • Correction: Being an experienced driver, she made the road trip smooth and enjoyable.

  1. Excited about the concert, the tickets were purchased online.

  • Correction: Excited about the concert, she purchased the tickets online.

  1. Lost in thought, the solution to the problem became clear.

  • Correction: Lost in thought, I found the solution to the problem.

  1. Playing in the backyard, the sound of children's laughter echoed.

  • Correction: Playing in the backyard, the children's laughter echoed.

  1. With a broken compass, the directions were unreliable.

  • Correction: With a broken compass, we found the directions unreliable.

  1. Being an early riser, the sunrise is a daily spectacle.

  • Correction: Being an early riser, I witness the sunrise as a daily spectacle.

  1. Having finished the novel, the movie adaptation was disappointing.

  • Correction: Having finished the novel, she found the movie adaptation disappointing.

  1. Sitting in the waiting room, the magazine provided entertainment.

  • Correction: Sitting in the waiting room, I found entertainment in the magazine.

  1. In love with technology, the new smartphone was eagerly awaited.

  • Correction: In love with technology, she eagerly awaited the new smartphone.

  1. Being a photography enthusiast, the camera captured stunning images.

  • Correction: Being a photography enthusiast, he captured stunning images with the camera.

  1. Interested in art, the museum tour was a delightful experience.

  • Correction: Interested in art, she found the museum tour a delightful experience.

  1. With a green thumb, the garden bloomed with colorful flowers.

  • Correction: With a green thumb, she cultivated a garden that bloomed with colorful flowers.

  1. Distracted by the conversation, the details of the meeting were missed.

  • Correction: Distracted by the conversation, I missed the details of the meeting.

  1. Having a love for languages, the new book on linguistics was captivating.

  • Correction: Having a love for languages, she found the new book on linguistics captivating.

Exercise:

identify and correct the dangling modifier.

  1. After studying for hours, the book was finally finished.

  2. Running down the street, the stray dog was noticed by Sarah.

  3. Hiking through the mountains, the scenery was breathtaking.

  4. Being an expert in software development, the project was assigned to John.

  5. Excited about the vacation, the plane tickets were booked.

  6. Having lost my keys, the spare set was used to unlock the door.

  7. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, the garden was a peaceful retreat.

  8. Biking along the trail, the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  9. Determined to succeed, obstacles were overcome.

  10. Walking through the museum, the artwork impressed everyone.



Answer:

  1. After studying for hours, I finally finished the book.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "After studying for hours" should be followed by the doer of the action. In this case, "I" is the one who studied and finished the book.

  1. Running down the street, Sarah noticed the stray dog.

  • Explanation: The modifier "Running down the street" should be associated with the doer of the action, which is "Sarah" in this case.

  1. Hiking through the mountains, we found the scenery breathtaking.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "Hiking through the mountains" should be followed by the doer of the action, which is "we" in this case.

  1. Being an expert in software development, John was assigned the project.

  • Explanation: The modifier "Being an expert in software development" should be associated with the doer of the action, which is "John" in this case.

  1. Excited about the vacation, we booked the plane tickets.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "Excited about the vacation" should be followed by the doer of the action, which is "we" in this case.

  1. Having lost my keys, I used the spare set to unlock the door.

  • Explanation: The modifier "Having lost my keys" should be associated with the doer of the action, which is "I" in this case.

  1. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, the garden provided a peaceful retreat.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "Surrounded by beautiful flowers" should be followed by the doer of the action. In this case, it's not explicitly mentioned, so the sentence is revised to include "the garden."

  1. Biking along the trail, we found the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "Biking along the trail" should be followed by the doer of the action, which is "we" in this case.

  1. Determined to succeed, we overcame obstacles.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "Determined to succeed" should be followed by the doer of the action, which is "we" in this case.

  1. Walking through the museum, everyone was impressed by the artwork.

  • Explanation: The introductory phrase "Walking through the museum" should be followed by the doer of the action. In this case, it's not explicitly mentioned, so the sentence is revised to include "everyone."


Correct the Dangling Modifiers

  1. Exhausted from the hike, the mountain peak offered a stunning view.

  2. Biking along the trail, the river sparkled in the sunlight.

  3. Eager to impress, the job interview went well.

  4. Having finished the assignment, the TV show was watched.

  5. Excited about the holiday, the hotel reservations were made early.

  6. Caught in the rain, the umbrella kept me dry.

  7. Confused by the map, the correct route was eventually found.

  8. Reading in the garden, the aroma of roses filled the air.

  9. Being an early bird, the sunrise was breathtaking.

  10. Hiking in the forest, the trail became steeper.


Corrected Answers:

  1. Exhausted from the hike, we enjoyed a stunning view from the mountain peak.

  2. Biking along the trail, I noticed the river sparkling in the sunlight.

  3. Eager to impress, she performed well in the job interview.

  4. Having finished the assignment, I watched the TV show.

  5. Excited about the holiday, we made hotel reservations early.

  6. Caught in the rain, I stayed dry under the umbrella.

  7. Confused by the map, we eventually found the correct route.

  8. Reading in the garden, I enjoyed the aroma of roses filling the air.

  9. Being an early bird, I found the sunrise breathtaking.

  10. Hiking in the forest, the trail became steeper.


Correct the dangling modifier:


  1. Exhausted from the long journey, the hotel bed felt heavenly.

  2. Enjoying a sunny day at the beach, the sandcastles were built with care.

  3. Lost in the busy city, landmarks were hard to find.

  4. With her exceptional leadership skills, the team achieved success.

  5. Caught in heavy traffic, a detour was taken to reach the destination.

  6. Biking along the trail, the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  7. Feeling unwell, the doctor recommended a thorough check-up.

  8. With great enthusiasm, the speech captivated the audience.

  9. Working late into the night, the report was finally completed.

  10. Determined to succeed, obstacles were overcome.

  11. Walking through the museum, the artwork impressed everyone.

  12. In pursuit of happiness, the job offer was accepted.

  13. Worried about the upcoming exam, the study guide was diligently reviewed.

  14. Having lost my keys, the spare set was used to unlock the door.

  15. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, the garden was a peaceful retreat.

  16. Hiking through the mountains, the scenery was breathtaking.

  17. Being a talented musician, the concert tickets were sold out quickly.

  18. With a broken leg, the marathon had to be canceled.

  19. Running down the street, the stray dog was noticed by Sarah.

  20. Excited about the vacation, the plane tickets were booked.


Answer:



  1. Exhausted from the long journey, the hotel bed felt heavenly.

  • Correction: After feeling exhausted from the long journey, the hotel bed felt heavenly.

  • Explanation: The initial sentence suggests that the hotel bed itself was exhausted, which is a misplaced modifier. The correction clarifies that the person is exhausted.

  1. Enjoying a sunny day at the beach, the sandcastles were built with care.

  • Correction: While enjoying a sunny day at the beach, they built the sandcastles with care.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the sandcastles were enjoying the sunny day. The correction specifies who was enjoying the day and building the sandcastles.

  1. Lost in the busy city, landmarks were hard to find.

  • Correction: While lost in the busy city, they found landmarks hard to find.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that landmarks were lost in the busy city. The correction clarifies that the person is lost and has difficulty finding landmarks.

  1. With her exceptional leadership skills, the team achieved success.

  • Correction: With her exceptional leadership skills, she led the team to achieve success.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the team possesses leadership skills. The correction specifies that the person with leadership skills led the team.

  1. Caught in heavy traffic, a detour was taken to reach the destination.

  • Correction: Caught in heavy traffic, they took a detour to reach the destination.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that a detour was caught in heavy traffic. The correction clarifies that the person, caught in traffic, took a detour.

  1. Biking along the trail, the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  • Correction: While biking along the trail, they found the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the hills were biking along the trail. The correction specifies who was biking and observing the hills.

  1. Feeling unwell, the doctor recommended a thorough check-up.

  • Correction: Feeling unwell, they visited the doctor who recommended a thorough check-up.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the doctor is feeling unwell. The correction specifies that the person feeling unwell visited the doctor.

  1. With great enthusiasm, the speech captivated the audience.

  • Correction: With great enthusiasm, the speaker captivated the audience with the speech.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the enthusiasm itself captivated the audience. The correction clarifies that the speaker, with great enthusiasm, captivated the audience.

  1. Working late into the night, the report was finally completed.

  • Correction: Working late into the night, they finally completed the report.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the report was working late into the night. The correction specifies that the person, working late, completed the report.

  1. Determined to succeed, obstacles were overcome.

  • Correction: Determined to succeed, they overcame obstacles.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that obstacles were determined to succeed. The correction clarifies that the person, determined to succeed, overcame obstacles.

  1. Walking through the museum, the artwork impressed everyone.

  • Correction: While walking through the museum, everyone was impressed by the artwork.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the artwork was walking through the museum. The correction specifies who was walking and impressed by the artwork.

  1. In pursuit of happiness, the job offer was accepted.

  • Correction: In pursuit of happiness, they accepted the job offer.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the job offer is in pursuit of happiness. The correction clarifies that the person, in pursuit of happiness, accepted the job offer.

  1. Worried about the upcoming exam, the study guide was diligently reviewed.

  • Correction: Worried about the upcoming exam, they diligently reviewed the study guide.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the study guide is worried about the upcoming exam. The correction specifies who was worried and reviewed the study guide.

  1. Having lost my keys, the spare set was used to unlock the door.

  • Correction: Having lost my keys, I used the spare set to unlock the door.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the spare set lost the keys. The correction specifies that the person, having lost keys, used the spare set.

  1. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, the garden was a peaceful retreat.

  • Correction: Surrounded by beautiful flowers, it was a peaceful retreat for those in the garden.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the garden itself is surrounded by flowers. The correction specifies who found it to be a peaceful retreat.

  1. Hiking through the mountains, the scenery was breathtaking.

  • Correction: While hiking through the mountains, they found the scenery breathtaking.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the scenery was hiking through the mountains. The correction clarifies who was hiking and found the scenery breathtaking.

  1. Being a talented musician, the concert tickets were sold out quickly.

  • Correction: Being a talented musician, she quickly sold out the concert tickets.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the concert tickets were a talented musician. The correction specifies that the person, being a talented musician, sold out the tickets.

  1. With a broken leg, the marathon had to be canceled.

  • Correction: With a broken leg, the participant had to cancel the marathon.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the marathon had a broken leg. The correction specifies who had a broken leg and had to cancel the marathon.

  1. Running down the street, the stray dog was noticed by Sarah.

  • Correction: While running down the street, Sarah noticed the stray dog.

  • Explanation: The original sentence implies that the stray dog was running down the street. The correction specifies who was running and noticed the stray dog.

  1. Excited about the vacation, the plane tickets were booked.

  • Correction: Excited about the vacation, they booked the plane tickets.

  • Explanation: The original sentence suggests that the plane tickets were excited about the vacation. The correction clarifies who was excited and booked the plane tickets.


 Identify and correct the misplaced or dangling modifiers in the following sentences:

  1. Walking through the park, the flowers were admired by Jane.

  2. Covered in chocolate, the children enjoyed the ice cream.

  3. After finishing the project, a celebration was held in the office.

  4. Eager to please, the job interview went well.

  5. Swimming in the ocean, the dolphins entertained the tourists.

  6. Having studied for hours, the exam was aced by Sarah.

  7. With a broken leg, the marathon had to be canceled.

  8. Dressed in a red gown, the crowd applauded the singer.

  9. Running down the street, the stray dog was noticed by Sarah.

  10. Biking along the trail, the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  11. Attracted to shiny objects, the keychain was picked up by the magpie.

  12. Feeling unwell, the doctor recommended a thorough check-up.

  13. Caught in heavy traffic, a detour was taken to reach the destination.

  14. Having lost my keys, the spare set was used to unlock the door.

  15. In pursuit of happiness, the job offer was accepted.

  16. Blessed with incredible creativity, the novel was authored by Jane.

  17. Worried about the upcoming exam, the study guide was diligently reviewed.

  18. With a big smile on his face, the news was shared with the family.

  19. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, the garden was a peaceful retreat.

  20. Being a talented musician, the concert tickets were sold out quickly.


Answer:

  1. Walking through the park, the flowers were admired by Jane.

  • Correction: Walking through the park, Jane admired the flowers.

  1. Covered in chocolate, the children enjoyed the ice cream.

  • Correction: The children enjoyed the ice cream, covered in chocolate.

  1. After finishing the project, a celebration was held in the office.

  • Correction: After finishing the project, the team held a celebration in the office.

  1. Eager to please, the job interview went well.

  • Correction: The job interview went well because the candidate was eager to please.

  1. Swimming in the ocean, the dolphins entertained the tourists.

  • Correction: The dolphins, swimming in the ocean, entertained the tourists.

  1. Having studied for hours, the exam was aced by Sarah.

  • Correction: Having studied for hours, Sarah aced the exam.

  1. With a broken leg, the marathon had to be canceled.

  • Correction: The marathon had to be canceled because the participant had a broken leg.

  1. Dressed in a red gown, the crowd applauded the singer.

  • Correction: The crowd applauded the singer, dressed in a red gown.

  1. Running down the street, the stray dog was noticed by Sarah.

  • Correction: The stray dog was noticed by Sarah running down the street.

  1. Biking along the trail, the hills seemed steeper than usual.

  • Correction: The hills seemed steeper than usual while biking along the trail.

  1. Attracted to shiny objects, the keychain was picked up by the magpie.

  • Correction: The magpie, attracted to shiny objects, picked up the keychain.

  1. Feeling unwell, the doctor recommended a thorough check-up.

  • Correction: Feeling unwell, Sarah consulted the doctor, who recommended a thorough check-up.

  1. Caught in heavy traffic, a detour was taken to reach the destination.

  • Correction: Caught in heavy traffic, they took a detour to reach the destination.

  1. Having lost my keys, the spare set was used to unlock the door.

  • Correction: Having lost my keys, I used the spare set to unlock the door.

  1. In pursuit of happiness, the job offer was accepted.

  • Correction: The job offer was accepted in pursuit of happiness.

  1. Blessed with incredible creativity, the novel was authored by Jane.

  • Correction: Jane, blessed with incredible creativity, authored the novel.

  1. Worried about the upcoming exam, the study guide was diligently reviewed.

  • Correction: Worried about the upcoming exam, Sarah diligently reviewed the study guide.

  1. With a big smile on his face, the news was shared with the family.

  • Correction: The news was shared with the family with a big smile on his face.

  1. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, the garden was a peaceful retreat.

  • Correction: The garden, surrounded by beautiful flowers, was a peaceful retreat.

  1. Being a talented musician, the concert tickets were sold out quickly.

  • Correction: The concert tickets were sold out quickly because the performer was a talented musician.

5 views0 comments

Opmerkingen

Beoordeeld met 0 uit 5 sterren.
Nog geen beoordelingen