Presentation on theme: "Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers Excuse me, your modifier is dangling."— Presentation transcript:
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers Excuse me, your modifier is dangling.
First things first. Who knows what a modifier is? A modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. There are two types of modifiers. – adjectives: describes a noun – adverbs: describes a verb
So…what are misplaced modifiers? A misplaced modifier is a modifier that describes something you did not want to describe. For example, only is a modifier that is often misplaced. – I ate only fruit. – I only ate fruit. The first sentence tells us that I ate fruit— not vegetables, meat, or cheese. The second sentence tells us that all I did with the fruit is eat it. I didn’t plant it, harvest it, or cook it.
Let’s look at another example… I almost failed every cooking class I ever attempted. I failed almost every cooking class I ever attempted. – The first sentence tells us that I barely passed every cooking class I took. – The second sentence tells us that I passed only a few of the cooking classes I attempted. Do you see how those sentences mean two VERY different things?
So how do we fix these mistakes in our writing? The goal is to keep the modifier as close as possible to the word you want to describe. You can do this by following these three easy steps: – One, find the modifier. – Two, check if it makes sense where it is. – Three, if it seems to be misplaced, find it’s true place.
Misplaced modifiers can be quite funny… Rolling down the hill, Joe Bob was frightened that the rocks would hit the campsite. (Remember the three steps.) – What is the modifier? – Does it make sense? – Where does it really belong? HINT: Who is rolling down the hill?
The corrected sentence… Rolling down the hill, the rocks threatened the campsite and frightened Joe Bob. Or I could write Joe Bob was frightened that the rocks, which were rolling down the hill, would land on the campsite.
Let’s try another one… The dog was chasing the man with the spiked collar. (Remember the three steps.) – What is the modifier? – Does it make sense? – Where does it really belong?
Of course not… Here’s what we want to say. – The dog with the spiked collar chased the man.
One more… Twinkling in the sky, we admired the stars. (Remember the three steps.) – What is the modifier? – Does it make sense? – Where does it really belong? HINT: Who’s twinkling in the sky? We admired the stars twinkling in the sky.
Now that you understand misplaced modifiers, let’s take a look at dangling modifiers.
What’s a dangling modifier? A dangling modifier describes something that isn't even in your sentence. Usually you are implying the subject and taking for granted that your reader will know what you mean—not a good strategy.
Here's an example: Hiking the trail, the birds chirped loudly. The way the sentence is written, the birds are hiking the trail because they are the only subject present in the sentence. If that's not what you mean, you need to rewrite the sentence to something like, “While hiking the trail, we heard birds chirping loudly.”
Changing the oil every 3,000 miles, the car seemed to run better. Who is changing the oil? How can we correct this? Changing the oil every 3,000 miles, Maddy found that the car got better gas mileage.
I saw a mouse going to our class meeting. Flying around the room, I saw two mockingbirds. Climbing a tree the other day, I saw a monkey at the zoo. I bought a puppy for my brother with a cute little tail. A cow is wanted by a farmer weighing about 1500 pounds.
Going to our class meeting, I saw a mouse. I saw a mouse going to our class meeting. I saw two mockingbirds flying around the room. Flying around the room, I saw two mockingbirds. The other day I saw a monkey climbing a tree at the zoo. Climbing a tree the other day, I saw a monkey at the zoo. I bought a puppy with a cute little tail for my brother. I bought a puppy for my brother with a cute little tail. A cow weighing about 1500 pounds is wanted by a farmer. A cow is wanted by a farmer weighing about 1500 pounds.
TRY THESE! I returned the kitty to my Mom which had been missing for a couple of days. I relaxed on the mat wearing my Hawaiian shirt and shorts. I replaced a tile on the floor that was loose. Jerry stepped on the snake without any shoes on. I bought the used television from a friend with a broken antennae.
TRY THESE! Carlos returned the hot dog to the Circle K that was rotten. I love the donuts from Krispy Kreme with the vanilla frosting. My cousin told me how to get to her business in a text message. Alex visited the hospital, still worn out from all the work. The woman by the pool with the bright T-shirt always drank water.
Your assignment In a moment, you will receive a list of dangling/misplaced modifiers. You will pick two dangling/misplaced modifiers to illustrate. Each picture should include an illustration of the dangling/misplaced modifier, the actual sentence underneath it, and a corrected sentence on the back. Once everyone has completed their illustrations, we will dangle them from the ceiling.
Thank you Grammar Girl for some excellent examples. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/misplaced- modifiers.aspx