Author: Kathy Hanley
  1. Explain what modifiers are and how they function in a sentence.

  2. Explain how to avoid dangling modifiers.

  3. Explain how to avoid misplaced modifiers.

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand English grammar and who has made mistakes with dangling or misplaced modifiers. It will explain how modifiers function and how to use them correctly.

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Modifiers: Misplaced and Dangling

A modifier can be an adjective or adverb or a clause or phrase that identifies and/or describes other parts of a sentence. 

Modifiers should clearly indicate what words they describe. 

Misplaced and dangling modifiers occur most frequently when the modifer is placed too far from the word it is modifying.

These mistakes can cause confusion and change the writer's intended meaning. 

Misplaced modifiers:

At my school, all homework is not graded. 

The sentence says that no homework is graded.  The intended meaning is that some homework is graded, some is not.

Crashing to the floor, Max saw the mirror fall. 

Max did not crash to the ground, the mirror did.


Source: Kathleen Hanley

Avoiding and Repairing Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers

Source: Kathleen Hanley