A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that clarifies or describes an additional word, phrase, or clause. Sometimes writers use modifiers incorrectly, resulting in strange and also unintentionally humorous sentences. The two common species of modifier errors are referred to as misplaced modifiers and also dangling modifiers. If either of these errors occurs, readers have the right to no longer read smoothly. Instead, they come to be stumped trying to number out what the writer intended to say. A writer’s goal must constantly be come communicate clearly and to protect against distracting the reader v strange sentences or awkward sentence constructions. The an excellent news is that these errors can be easily overcome.

You are watching: Which of the following sentences has a dangling/misplaced modifier?

Misplaced Modifiers

A misplaced full is a modifier that is inserted too much from the word or words the modifies. Misplaced modifiers make the sentence awkward and also sometimes unintentionally humorous.

Incorrect: She wore a bicycle helmet on her head that was as well large.

Correct: She wore a bike helmet that was too large on her head.

Notice in the not correct sentence the sounds together if she head was as well large! of course, the writer is referring to the helmet, not to the who head. The corrected variation of the sentence clarifies the writer’s meaning.

Look at the complying with two examples:

Incorrect: they bought a kitten because that my brothers they contact Shadow.

Correct: castle bought a kitten they call Shadow because that my brother.

In the not correct sentence, it appears that the brother’s surname is Shadow. That’s due to the fact that the modifier is too far from the word it modifies, i beg your pardon is kitten.

Incorrect: The patient was referred to the physician with stomach pains.

Correct: The patient with stomach pains was described the physician.

The not correct sentence reads together if that is the physician who has stomach pains! What the writer means is the the patient has actually stomach pains.

Simple modifiers favor only, almost, just, nearly, and barely regularly get supplied incorrectly because writers regularly stick lock in the dorn place.

Confusing: Tyler almost uncovered fifty cents under the sofa cushions.

Repaired: Tyler discovered almost fifty cents under the sofa cushions.

How carry out you almost find something? one of two people you discover it or you carry out not. The repaired sentence is much clearer.

Exercise 1

On a separate sheet the paper, rewrite the complying with sentences to correct the misplaced modifiers.

The young lady was walking the dog top top the telephone.I heard that there to be a bolt on the night news.Uncle Louie purchase a to run stroller for the baby the he called “Speed Racer.”Rolling down the mountain, the traveler stopped the boulder v his an effective foot.We are in search of a babysitter for our precious six-year-old who doesn’t drink or smoke and also owns a car.The teacher offered cookies to the children wrapped in aluminum foil.The mysterious mrs walked towards the automobile holding one umbrella.We returned the wine to the waiter the was sour.Charlie spotted a stray puppy driving house from work.I ate nothing but a cold key of noodles because that dinner.

Dangling Modifiers

A dangling comprehensive is a word, phrase, or i that explains something that has actually been left out of the sentence. Once there is nothing the the word, phrase, or clause deserve to modify, the full is said to dangle.

Incorrect: Riding in the sporting activities car, the civilization whizzed by rapidly.

Correct: together Jane was riding in the sporting activities car, the people whizzed through rapidly.

In the incorrect sentence, riding in the sports car is dangling. The reader is left wondering who is talk in the sporting activities car. The writer must tell the reader!

Incorrect: Walking house at night, the tree looked prefer spooky aliens.

Correct: together Jonas to be walking house at night, the trees looked choose spooky aliens.

Correct: The tree looked prefer spooky aliens together Jonas to be walking home at night.

In the incorrect sentence walking house at night is dangling. That is walking house at night? Jonas. Note that there space two various ways the dangling modifier can be corrected.

Incorrect: To success the order bee, Luis and Gerard should sign up with our team.

Correct: If we want to success the spelling punishment this year, Luis and also Gerard should join our team.

In the incorrect sentence, to success the spelling bee is dangling. Who wants to victory the spelling bee? we do!

The adhering to three actions will assist you conveniently spot a dangling modifier:

Look because that an -ing modifier at the beginning of your sentence or an additional modifying phrase:

Painting for three hours at night, the kitchen was ultimately finished through Maggie. (Painting is the -ing modifier.)

Underline the first noun that adheres to it:

Painting because that three hours at night, the kitchen was finally finished through Maggie.

Make certain the modifier and also noun go with each other logically. If they execute not, the is very likely you have actually a dangling modifier.

After identifying the dangling modifier, rewrite the sentence.

Painting because that three hours at night, Maggie lastly finished the kitchen.

Exercise 2

Rewrite the adhering to the sentences onto your own sheet of paper to exactly the dangling modifiers.

Bent over backward, the posture was really challenging.Making explorations about brand-new creatures, this is an exciting time to be a biologist.Walking in the dark, the snapshot fell off the wall.Playing a etc in the bedroom, the cat was seen under the bed.Packing because that a trip, a cockroach scurried under the hallway.While feather in the mirror, the bath towel swayed in the breeze.While driving come the veterinarian’s office, the dog nervously whined.The priceless paint drew large crowds once walking right into the museum.Piled up alongside the bookshelf, I determined a romantic novel.Chewing furiously, the gum fell out of my mouth.
ns bought a fresh bread of bread for my sandwich shopping in the grocery store. Wanting to do a very delicious sandwich, the mayonnaise was thickly spread. Put the cold cut on the bread, the lettuce was placed on top. I cut the sandwich in half with a knife turning on the radio. Biting right into the sandwich, my favorite song blared loudly in my ears. Humming and also chewing, my sandwich went under smoothly. Smiling, my sandwich will be made again, yet next time i will include cheese.


Please share through a classmate and compare your answers.

Key Takeaways

Misplaced and also dangling modifiers do sentences an overwhelming to understand.Misplaced and dangling modifiers distract the reader.There room several efficient ways to identify and also correct misplaced and also dangling modifiers.
Writing Application

See how an innovative and feeling you can obtain by composing ten sentences with misplaced and also dangling modifiers. This is a deceptively simple task, but rise to the challenge. Your writing will be more powerful for it. Exchange records with a classmate, and also rewrite her classmate’s sentence to correct any kind of misplaced modifiers.

See more: How To Glue Magnets To Plastic : Easy And Simple Step By Step Guide


Writing for Success by university of Minnesota Libraries posting is licensed under a creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 international License, other than where otherwise noted.