buy levitra

Polls

What is most useful to you? You may select more than one answer.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Arts & Letters Daily

QuickBooks

Dangling Modifiers

Dangling Modifiers: Phrases and Clauses

Notes

A modifier is said to be dangling when the intended word to be modified is not in the sentence. The dangling modifier drifts in the sentence because it has no word to modify. Three of the frequently occurring kinds of dangling modifiers are verbal phrases, prepositional phrases and elliptical clauses.

Do one of the following to correct a dangling modifier:

  • change the subject of the main clause, creating a subject that can then serve as the word to be modified OR
  • add words that transform the dangling modifier into a subordinate clause.

Dangling Verbal Phrases
Examples: Dangling: Paid in four equal installments, John felt the grant would last all year. (The verb phrase ‘paid in four equal installments’ has no word it can modify.)
Revised: Because the grant was paid in four equal installments, John felt it would last all year. (The verb phrase is now a subordinate clause.)

Dangling: To make her report more accurate, all references were rechecked. (The verbal phrase has no word it can logically modify.)
Revised: To make her report more accurate, Karen rechecked all references. (The subject of the main clause was changed from ‘references’ to ‘Karen’, a word the verbal phrase can modify.)

Dangling Prepositional Phrases
Example: Dangling: On the shelf for only a few days, its sales surprised everyone. (The prepositional phrase ‘on the shelf’ has no word it can modify.)
Revised: Because the book had been on the shelf for only as few days, its sales surprised everyone. (The prepositional phrase has been changed to a subordinate clause.)

Dangling Elliptical Clauses
Elliptical clauses are subordinate clauses in which part or all of the subject or predicate is missing.
Example: Dangling: Though a highly stressful field, I find great personal reward in teaching. (The elliptical clause ‘Though a highly stressful field’ cannot logically modify the subject of the main clause.)
Revised: Though it is a highly stressful field, I find great personal reward in teaching. (The elliptical clause has been expanded into a complete subordinate clause.)

Assignment

Underline the dangling modifiers.

Select the correct solution for each dangling modifier.

1. Unemployment creates tension in families when wondering from where the next pay check will come.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

2. To finish the book, thirty pages needed to be read.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

3. Students who have poor study habits frequently received poor test scores.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

4. The lecture was effectively presented using diagrams and photographs.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

5. Using credit cards, the payments can be spread over time.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

6. Taking certain pain relievers, many claims of improved health have been made.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

7. To design clothing today, unique ideas are needed.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

8. Using radiation therapy to treat disease, doctors will improve medical care.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

9. Vitamin C has been recognized as an important vitamin when taken as a supplement.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

10. After writing the exam last Friday, all the courses requirements had been met.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

11. Hiking along the mountain trail a wallet was picked up.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

12. By using a piece of thin wire, I kept the lens of my glasses in place.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

13. After attending an all night negotiating meeting, a settlement was not reached.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

14. TV talk shows can have a very important influence when voting for senators.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

15. Removing the traffic lights, traffic will flow smoother through the new suburb.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

16. After an hour into the marathon race, a deep pain was felt.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

17. In the race for the first time, a sense of surprise was felt.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

18. By increasing the price, beluga caviar was made readily available.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

19. Using this medication with older patients, many improvements have been observed in their health.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

20. Delaying the release of the book, the publisher suffered a serious loss in sales.

Correcting dangling modifiers Check Solution
Replace verbal phrase with a clause
Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause
Add a subject to the subordinate clause
Add a predicate to the subordinate clause

Answer Key

Dangling Modifiers

1. Unemployment creates tension in families when wondering from where the next pay check will come.

Answer – wondering from where the next pay check will come  – Replace verbal phrase with a subordinate clause

2. To finish the book, thirty pages needed to be read.

Answer –  thirty pages needed to be read – Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

3. Students who have poor study habits frequently received poor test scores.

Answer –    Correct sentence

4. The lecture was effectively presented using diagrams and photographs.

Answer –  The lecture was effectively presented – Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

5. Using credit cards, the payments can be spread over time.

Answer –     the payments can be spread over time – Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

6. Taking certain pain relievers,  many claims of improved health have been made

Answer – many claims of improved health have been made – Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

7. To design clothing today, unique ideas are needed.

Answer –     unique ideas are needed – Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

8. Using radiation therapy to treat disease, doctors will improve medical care.

Answer –  Correct answer

9. Vitamin C has been recognized as an important vitamin when taken as a supplement.

Answer –    when taken as a supplement – Add a subject to the subordinate clause

10. After writing the exam last Friday, all the courses requirements had been met.

Answer – all the courses requirements had been met – Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

11. Hiking along the mountain trail a wallet was picked up.

Answer – a wallet was picked up – Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

12. By using a piece of thin wire, I kept the lens of my glasses in place.

Answer –    Correct sentence

13. After attending an all night negotiating meeting, a settlement was not reached.

Answer – a settlement was not reached – Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

14. TV talk shows can have a very important influence when voting for senators.

Answer –    when voting for senators – Add a subject to the subordinate clause

15. Removing the traffic lights, traffic will flow smoother through the new suburb.

Answer – Removing the traffic lights – Replace verbal phrase with a subordinate clause

16. After an hour into the marathon race, a deep pain was felt.

Answer –     a deep pain was felt – Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

17. In the race for the first time, a sense of surprise was felt.

Answer –  a sense of surprise was felt – Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

18. By increasing the price, beluga caviar was made readily available.

Answer – beluga caviar was made readily available – Prepositional phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

19. Using this medication with older patients, many improvements have been observed in their health.

Answer –    many improvements have been observed in their health – Verbal phrase needs a subject in the main clause to modify

20. Delaying the release of the book, the publisher suffered a serious loss in sales.

Answer –     Correct sentence