Grammar Quiz #24: Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Grammar Quiz #24: Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

A participial phrase is said to be “dangling” when the noun it is intended to modify is missing from the sentence. Similarly a modifier is said to be misplaced when it is separated from the word it modifies. Edit the following sentences to eliminate such errors.

1. Looking from my bedroom window, the horses frolicked in the meadow.

2. This bank accepts deposits from elementary school children of any size.

3. The professor made some astounding comments about politics rising from his desk.

4. The landlord told all the tenants he was raising their rent yesterday.

5. Oozing across the floor my mother gazed with dismay at the contents of the broken jars.

Answers and Explanations

In the sentence, “Coming out of the auditorium, a purse was lost,” the modifier is “Coming out of the auditorium,” but the word that follows it, “purse,” cannot be the intended noun. The sentence must be revised to provide a suitable noun for the modifier to refer to. For example, “Coming out the auditorium, Susan lost her purse.”

1.
Original: Looking from my bedroom window, the horses frolicked in the meadow.
Correct : Looking from my bedroom window, I watched the horses frolicking in the meadow.
2.
Original: This bank accepts deposits from elementary school children of any size.
Correct : This bank accepts deposits of any size from elementary school children.
3.
Original: The professor made some astounding comments about politics rising from his desk.
Correct : Rising from his desk, the professor made some astounding comments about politics.
4.
Original: The landlord told all the tenants he was raising their rent yesterday.
Correct : Yesterday the landlord told all the tenants he was raising their rent.
Alterna.: The landlord told all the tenants yesterday that he was raising their rent.
5.
Original: Oozing across the floor my mother gazed with dismay at the contents of the broken jars.
Correct : My mother gazed with dismay at the contents of the broken jars oozing across the floor.

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Original post: Grammar Quiz #24: Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

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