The adjective clause who escaped from the prison modifies prisoner. Mark lester and larry beason point out that misplaced modifiers do not make sentences ungrammatical. Modifier is a word, a phrase, or a dependent clause functioning either as an adjective or as an adverb modifiers describe words and phrases. Rearrange the sentence so that it begins with the word being modified or change the modifier to a subordinate clause with a subject and a verb. Phrases do not contain a subject and a predicate, or we would call them clauses. A participial phrase that does not sensibly modify any word in. In other words, a clause will have a subject that does or performs the action of a verb. Misplaced prepositional phrases place modifying words, phrases,and clauses as close as possible to the words they modify.
Examples of misplaced modifiers show us how important it is to place our modifying words and phrases in the proper place. Misplaced and dangling modifiers often result in comic miscommunications. Nov 26, 2016 a misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is located incorrectly in relation dangling participial phrases and prepositional phrases are best revised. Dangling and misplaced modifiers by mark nichol each of the following sentences includes a modifying phrase that confuses because it the statement is erroneously constructed or because the phrase is incorrectly located in the sentence. There are many different types of phrases and clauses. The two common types of modifier errors are called misplaced modifiers and dangling modifiers. A clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a predicate. Jolene gave a bird to her brother that has white feathes. Illustrated misplaced modifier examples to make you smile. The waitress served gilbert a plate of gray meatloaf sauced with lumpy gravy. Dangling phrases and clauses grammar and punctuation. The misplaced use of time is of the essence clauses in construction contracts, from page 55 continued, page 57 page 56 actionline spring 2018. A dangling modifier is a phrase or clause that does not logically modify any word in the.
Exercise b each sentence below contains a misplaced adjective clause. To place modifiers correctly, avoid passive voice verbs. Modifiers need to be next to the word, phrase, or clause it that modifies. Phrases, clauses, and sentences john keith 1 phrase a phrase is a group of words working together. Misplaced, interrupting, and dangling modifiers misplaced modifiers a misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is located incorrectly in relation to the word or words it modifies. Modifier in english grammar with examples pdf parts of.
Refer to discovery, 320324, for additional practice. Because a participle is a verbal that functions as an adjective, it must come close to the noun or pronoun that it modifies remember that present participles end in ing and past participles end in ed participles and participle phrases that do not seem to modify any word in the sentence are called dangling participles. The head determines the phrases grammatical category. Most commonly, misplaced modifiers are funny because the modifiers describe the wrong element in the. The modifier is in the wrong position relative to what it should be affecting 2. The two common types of modifier errors are called misplaced modifiers and. Whether they are adjectives nice, bright, efficient, adverbs nicely, brightly, efficiently, or participial phrases taking a parttime job, going to school, helping the student to learn, they. The little girl screamed at the library at her mother. A clause has a subject and a verb that are joined or combined together. A misplaced modifier is a phrase, clause, or word that is incorrectly separated from the word it modifies. Recognize the following types of dangling modifiers and their corrections. Misplaced modifiers a misplaced modifier is a modifying word, phrase, or clause that does not point clearly and directly to what it is supposed to modify. The case of the misplaced modifier daily writing tips.
Because of this separation, the meaning of the sentence is. Dangling modifiers cause the sentence to lack coherence. This means that you take the ing word the participle, give it a subject, turn it into a verb, and attach it to the main clause. The ing phrase must modify the first noun it gets to, so we place james as the subject because he is the one who is driving to the homestead campus.
When sam arrived home exhausted, a beer and bed were the only things on his mind. Youll notice that a clause is the exact opposite of a phrase. Misplaced modifiers should i put my modifier at the beginning of the sentence. Adjectives automatically modify the noun, pronoun or phrase they are physically. Avoid placing a prepositional phrase so that it seems to modify either of two words.
Misplaced modifiers may be single words, phrases, or clauses. A single word may be a phrase when it is the head of that phrase. In your original example, it sounds as if mollie baked the cake in the lunch bag. It occurs when the modifier has no clear referent, often causing confusion and twisting the meaning of words in an unintended fashion. The head of a phrase is the phrases central element. Smoking my cigar, a fire engine came roaring around the corner. Besides the verbal adjective dangler, a misplaced modifier occurs when an adjective clause or phrase is too far from the word it modifies. The first step to identifying the different types, though, is to understand the difference between a phrase and a clause. In prescriptive grammar, misplaced modifiers are usually regarded as errors. I have followed the advice faithfully given by the manual. Enclose a relative clause that may be omitted between commas my brother george, who is in another class, has a new bicycle. Groucho marx as captain spaulding in the film animal crackers, 1930 is often quoted as having one of the most humorous misplaced. At the library, the little girl screamed at her mother. You are telling me a story that you have told me before.
A phrase is a group of words related to the subject, predicate, or object. A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it describes. Place an adjective clause right after the word it describes. Recognize and correct the following kinds of misplacement. A relative clause that cant be omitted is not enclosed within commas the boy who spoke to me is my brother. Dangling and misplaced modifiers dangling modifiers a dangling modifier is a phrase or clause that does not logically modify any word in the sentence in which it appears. A phrase is a collection of words that may have nouns or verbals, but it does not have a subject doing a verb. The subordinating clause is making the sentence sound like the brother has white feathers, but really the bird. The words work together as a unit, but they do not have a subject and a verb. A participial phrase is misplaced if it seems to modify a word other than the one the writer intended to modify. These modifiers usually have to be near the primary words. Mar 30, 2008 the example that you cited is an ambiguous sentence. Misplaced clauses misplaced clauses are obviously clauses that are out of place in a sentence. Funny misplaced modifiers and other common writing.
Remember that clauses always need to be followed by the name of the person or thing they are describing. His mother is a writer whose latest book is on palmistry. Phrases provide additional information about subjects, predicates, and or objects, and understanding how they work is helpful to building an analyzing sentences. In a similar manner, multiword phrases and clauses often go right next to the word they describe. Place a prepositional phrase used as an adjective or as an adverb near the word it modifies. Modifiers 4 dangling noun expressed phrase to clause. The idea was clear in the authors mind, but it didnt translate to the reader. Misplaced we talked about the football game in the. Put the relative clause immedwtefy after the noun to which it refers.
Lets dive right in to some examples of misplaced modifiers and talk about why these examples dont work. An adverbial phrase also known as an adverb phrase is group of words that functions as an adverb in a sentence. Arriving home exhausted, sam could think only of a beer and bed. Creating a dependent clause is always a safe way to go. A modifier can be an adverb, an adverb clause, an adjective or an adjective clause that changes a word in a sentence to make it more descriptive. One sentence, two clauses although he still has his old one, michael now has a new computer. Misplaced and dangling modifier humanities libertexts. A pet peeve of mine, the dangling modifier is usually a phrase or an elliptical clause a dependent clause in which some words have intentionally been left out, often at the beginning of a sentence, that either doesnt modify anything specific in the sentence or modifies the wrong word or part of the sentence. Dangling and misplaced modifiers austin peay state university.
Modifiers can make your writing more specific and more concrete. That is, it modifies a verb, adjective, adverb, clause, or the sentence as a whole. Jun 18, 2017 a misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that doesnt clearly relate to the word or phrase it is intended to modify. Types of misplaced modifiers include the following.
The point of the blog dangling phrases and clauses is to alert our readers to misplaced phrases and clauses that change the meaning of the sentence. It can be a word, a clause or a phrase the modifiers will either alter verbs, nouns, adverbs or adjectives. In this show, well explore the world of misplaced prepositional phrases, a kind of misplaced modifier. Sometimes writers use modifiers incorrectly, leading to strange and unintentionally humorous sentences. The adjective clause that you have told me before modifies story. Unlike a misplaced modifier, a dangling modifier cannot be corrected by simply moving it to a different place in a sentence. Having flunked two tests, the best option was to drop the class. In the second and third sentences, the writer creates a dependent clause from the participial phrase. The sentence must be rewritten to move the misplaced participle closer to the word that it modifies. Chapter 4 modifiers and complements adjectives and. One sentence, one clause michael bought a new computer, but he still has the old one. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.
A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that doesnt clearly relate to the word or phrase it is intended to modify. A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies describes. A modifier is a phrase or clause that describes something. Modifiers and complements adjectives and adjective phrases structure an adjective phrase consists of an adjective and all of its modifiers and complements. Because a participle is a verbal that functions as an adjective, it must come close to the noun or pronoun that it modifies remember that present participles end in ing and past participles end in ed. Sentences with misplaced modifiers often sound awkward, confusing, or downright illogical. Occasionally some modifiers do not work with the rest of the sentence because they are in the. The adjective clause whose latest book is on palmistry modifies writer. Misplaced and dangling modifiers towson university. Marys birthday eagerly awaiting her birthday, marys presents were all picked up and admired by mary many times throughout the day. Often, extra words or phrases modify the meaning of a primary word or clause, answering questions of why. A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is located incorrectly in relation.
In a clear, logical sentence, you will find most modifiers right next to the words they describe. A dangling modifier is a phrase or clause that either modifies no word in the sentence or refers to the wrong word. Avoiding misplaced and dangling modifiers t 2000, 1999, 1998, 1998 margaret l. Although most commonly found at the beginning of the sentence, the dangling modifier may be. As a rule, modifiers and related words should be kept close together in a sentence. Feb 29, 2020 a modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that clarifies or describes another word, phrase, or clause. Misplacedanddanglingmodifiers 1 misplaced and dangling modifiers a misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word or clause it modifies or describes. The first step to identifying the different types, though, is to understand the difference between a phrase and a clause a phrase is a related group of words. Used effectively and correctly, modifiers give the reader a clear, exact picture of what you want to say. Dangling modifiers are words, phrases, or reduced clauses lacking an appropriate noun. Because of this separation, the meaning of the sentence is often awkward, ridiculous, illogical, or confusing. The clause although she was only sixteen years old describes the characteristics of the female student. Dangling noun expressed phrase to clause arriving home exhausted, a beer and bed were the only things on his mind.
It is just not close to it, so it seems to modify something else. A misplaced modifier is a modifying word, phrase, or clause that does not point clearly and directly to what it is supposed to modify. Without getting complicated, a modifier is a word, clause, or phrase that modifies changes, clarifies, enhances, describes another word, clause, or phrase in the sentence. Modifiers can take the form of a word, phrase, or clause, and should point clearly toward the words they modify. Every complete sentence is made up of at least one clause.
Misplaced phrases often, extra words or phrases modify the meaning of a primary word or clause, answering questions of why. When modifiers adjectives and adverbs are out of place, too far away from the word they modify, the sentence will be awkward or confusing. A dangling modifier is a phrase or clause that is not clearly and logically related to the word or words it modifies i. In the exercise that follows, you will need to determine whether or not sentences contain misplaced or dangling modifiers. Misplaced the dog belongs to that man with the black spots. Notice that in the sentence like olive wants a really big car, there is an adjective phrase really. Misplaced, interrupting, and dangling modifiers blinn college. Sample item place a present participle phrase right before or right after the word it describes. Samples of misplaced modifiers periodically circulate through email, purportedly examples.
This presentation covers placing modifiers correctly. Place a past participle phrase right before or right after the word it describes. Misplaced modifiers may be single words phrases or clauses. A modifier a word or phrase that qualifies the meaning of another element in a sentence. Misplaced modifiers may be single words phrases or clauses b study the from module 4a at california state university, fullerton.
I held the ticket tightly in my hand that my friend gave me. Clear the dog with the black spots belongs to that man. A misplaced andor inappropriately used modifier item on an objective test might look like this. It is often added to a sentence as an afterthought. A misplaced participle, however, does modify a noun or pronoun that is in the sentence. Adjectives affect nouns while adverbs will alter the meaning of a verb, an adjective or another adverb. So, to reiterate, is there such a thing as misplaced clauses. The smallest possible adjective phrase therefore consists of just an adjective. A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is located incorrectly in relation dangling participial phrases and prepositional phrases are best revised. Turn the misplaced or dangling participle into a dependent clause. The example that you cited is an ambiguous sentence. Here is an example of a misplaced phrase misplaced.
A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that clarifies or describes another word, phrase, or clause. Misplaced and dangling modifiers what is a modifier. Adverbial phrases often feature an adverb known as the head word being modified by. Sep 04, 2009 it refers to a phrase or clause that acts on something other than what the writer intended.1072 1045 60 1047 952 753 767 481 702 671 94 664 74 401 109 888 993 1174 52 1313 56 1171 1006 1114 949 549 602 1092 42 1255 59 1282 1009 635 1265 1026 1252 1043 1409 445 1106