Archive for: ‘March 2011’

Misplaced Modifiers

March 3, 2011 Posted by admin

A very embarrassing grammar mistake is misplaced modifiers. Proper placement of modifiers is very important when explaining specific information to the reader. When a modifier is misplaced, it can be very difficult for the reader to figure out exactly what is going on or will find your sentence to have an entirely different meaning than previously intended.

Examples of misplaced modifiers can either not make sense at all, or sound funny. “The girl walked the dog in a short skirt.” This sentence accidentally describes the girl who happens to be walking a dog which is wearing a short skirt when in fact she is wearing the skirt, not the dog. The correct way to say this is; “The girl in the short skirt walked the dog.”

Dangling modifiers are examples of misplaced modifiers, however with dangling modifiers it concerns a subject where it is not necessary. For example; “Upon missing school, Daniel needed a doctor’s note.” This can be corrected through removing the unnecessary subject, in this case “Daniel” and correcting word placement. The correct sentence would be “Upon missing school, a doctors note was needed.”

Dangling and misplaced modifiers are very commonly accepted in day-to-day speech. Despite this they have no place in writing at all and everybody should be aware of this very common grammatical mistake.