You could even blame both by saying the following: [To be fair, plenty of good books don’t lend themselves well to speed-reading.]. “Topped with roses, Mireille admired the finished wedding cake.”. Published on January 17, 2020 by Amy Luo. If there are multiple nouns that could be modified, it makes sense to put the modifer close to the one it’s describing. And then there are squinting modifiers that occur when a modifier is placed between two things it could modify so that it’s unclear which thing it’s modifying. The most common are almost, hardly, just, merely, nearly, and only. 3 Responses to “10 Misplaced Modifier Examples” Jacquelyn Lynn on March 05, 2019 12:49 pm. This is another great example of a misplaced modifier. It may be true that this student almost failed every exam. 3. But the second one means they almost left — but didn’t. Would you rather read a sentence with modifiers that says “Hoping to win friends and influence people, the award-winning new celebrity handed out shiny red Porsches at the exciting awards show” or “The celebrity handed out Porsches.” Either way, they’re sure to add more detail, something your readers will love. For example, Walking through the woods in autumn, leaves began falling from the trees. Running quickly improves your health. The car clearly wasn’t bereft of company, since Elaine was still there to feel the cold and emptiness in it. With the second, the book itself is to blame. If they don’t, a misplaced modifier occurs. We can correct this sentence by moving the proper subject next to the modifier. A limiting modifier is one that expresses some sort of limit. They are incorrect and the reason is explained after the given example. Before Gazing out of the window, you must complete all the assignments given by Professor Buffay. The sentence should be rewritten so the modifier actually modifies Mary. Correction: People who rarely laugh are sad. The first sentence means almost everyone did leave. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. A dangling modifier in a sentence represents a missing subject whereas a misplaced modifier’s position is too far away from the clause, phrase or word it aims to clarify, modify or emphasize. If you’re the author, you probably do. Correction: Pastor Johnson gave me only $5 to clean all his sidewalks. In the corrected version, it sounds like she failed most of her exams and only passed a few. It didn’t take long for reading the book to give me a headache. The best, most enjoyable writing is clear, simple, and elegant. In either version, the outcomes are drastically different. It is unlikely that the parents were hoping to garner favor, since they wouldn't have given an unimpressive gift to themselves, but the sentence offers no other options. A misplaced modifier is improperly positioned in relation to the word, phrase or clause it is supposed to describe. “Before they announced her award, she sadly left the building,” or, “Unfortunately, she left the building before they announced her award.”, Reading the book at a fast pace gave me a headache, or. A modifier should be placed next to the word it describes. How about a massive list of adjective words? Technically, there’s nothing wrong with this sentence. She served sandwiches to the children on paper plates. Great information — I’m sharing it. Misplaced modifiers are modifiers that modify something you didn't intend them to modify. Fortunately, we have ways of dealing with both misplaced modifiers. Just putting the modifier “almost” right before the verb (left) rather than the noun (everyone) keeps everyone from leaving. Once you read our 11 examples of dangling and misplaced modifiers, you will. Once you know how to spot a misplaced modifier, it’s a cinch to put it where it belongs — as long as you know exactly what you’re trying to say. More for David. The right noun is in there, but its modifier is off flirting with another. They paint our prose and add starlight to our stanzas. How Many Words Should Be In A Chapter Of A Book? Or, is it people who rarely laugh become sad? Don’t let the range of examples confuse you. Remember these misplaced modifier examples when you’re writing your book. In fact, the problem is always the same: some descriptive words are in the wrong place. Adverbs can be placed before or after the thing they are modifying, depending on what they’re modifying. However, it’s important for modifiers to stick close to the word or words they’re modifying. Example with correctly placed modifier: 1. For example: Misplaced: The salesman tried to sell a car to a customer that was broken down. Example Now it is the watch that is gold. The offices were not “robbed by the Atlanta police.” It is, however, likely someone else reported the robberies to the police. The second sentence means David is the only one who wants dessert — no one else does. When you have a single adjective or adverb, misplaced modifiers rarely occur since they would immediately sound incorrect. Confusion of Misplaced Modifiers. Correction: He bought a horse called Prince for his sister. The only mention is of her inspiration, which is a separate subject matter. Note how the placement of the modifier creates different possible meanings: Note how different placement of the word only creates a difference in meaning between these two sentences. There are several kinds of misplaced modifiers: 1. Remember that modifiers usually accompany the thing they’re modifying or stand as close to it as possible. Both may be correct. The most common are almost, hardly, just, merely, nearly, and only. 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