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Misplaced Modifiers

 

A modifier is a phrase or a clause that describes something. A misplaced modifier, therefore, is one that describes the wrong item in a sentence, often creating an illogical statement.

 

 

• As a general rule, a modifier should be placed as close as possible to what it modifies.

 

Example:

Following are some useful tips for protecting your person and property from the FBI.

 

As written, the sentence implies that the FBI is a threat to your person and property. To correct the sentence put the modifier from the FBI next to the word it modifies, tips:

Following are some useful tips from the FBI for protecting your person and property.

 

 

• When a phrase begins a sentence, make sure that it modifies the subject of the sentence.

 

Example:

Coming around the corner, a few moments passed before I could recognize my old home.

 

As worded, the sentence implies that the moments were coming around the corner. The sentence can be corrected as follows:

As I came around the corner, a few moments passed before I could recognize my old home.

or

Coming around the corner, I paused a few moments before I could recognize my old home.





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