misplaced and dangling modifiers

Misplaced and dangling modifiers

Words, phrases, and clauses that describe or modify nouns and pronouns
need to be properly placed within the sentence. This placement should
clearly indicate which word is being described.

A misplaced modifier is a word or group of words intended to describe a
noun or pronoun, but is placed incorrectly within the sentence.
Speaking to the state officials, the microphone held the reporter.
(In this sentence, the underlined modifier, Speaking to the state officials,
a participial phrase, is misplaced. The reporter, not the microphone,
was speaking to the state officials. Thus, the sentence could read, ‘‘The
reporter speaking to the state officials held the microphone.’’)
Other misplaced modifier examples include these. See if you can correct
each one.

In the microwave, the man cooked the popcorn.
Unhappy, the match was forfeited by the tennis player.
A dangling modifier is a word or group of words intended to describe a
noun or pronoun, but, according to the sentence’s wording, has nothing to
describe.

To get to the airport, the tram needs to be taken.
(In this sentence, the underlined modifier, To get to the airport, describes
nothing. The corrected version should read, ‘‘To get to the airport,
you need to take the tram.’’ Now the modifier has someone to
describe—you!)

Other dangling modifier examples include these. See if you can correct
each one.

To solve this challenging puzzling, patience is needed.
Walking along the Thames River, the flowers looked beautiful.

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