Dangling Modifiers

Hello, Write Owls. Welcome to Day 22 of Grammar 110. Today we’re talking about dangling and misplaced modifiers.

Dangling and misplaced modifiers are when modifiers aren’t associated with the thing they are modifying in the sentence.

Examples:

Incorrect: I looked more closely at the artifact putting on my glasses. (This makes it seem like the artifact is putting on my glasses.)

Correct: Putting on my glasses, I looked more closely at the artifact. (There are typically multiple ways to fix dangling modifiers.)

Incorrect: She went hiking in the woods wearing sturdy boots. (The woods aren’t wearing the boots.)

Correct: She went hiking in the woods while wearing sturdy boots.

Incorrect: When ten years old, my parents got divorced. (The parents aren’t ten.)

Correct: When I was ten years old, my parents got divorced.

It’s easy to accidentally put your modifier in the wrong place or to forget to include the word it’s modifying. Make sure to check your work for this sneaky mistake. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them either as a reply or in my Q&A on Saturday.

For practice, correct the following dangling modifiers. If you want me to check your answers, leave them in the comments.

1. Driving the car, the pouring rain made it hard for her to see.

2. Crying hysterically, the book’s ending was sad.

3. Walking home from the library, it started raining.

4. A popular vacation destination, people flock to Florida.

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