Modifiers

In many sentences, the Modifiers might have been misplaced.

They should be placed properly so as the make the sentences correct ones.

As we have seen already, the Adjective and the Adverb are modifying the sentences.

So they are called so.

An Adjective is the word that gives some additional information about the noun.

An Adverb is the word that gives some additional information about the verb or an adjective or another adverb.

Both these adjective and adverb are called the modifiers.

An adjective need not be a single word, but can be phrase consisting of many words or can even be a full subordinate clause with its own subject and predicate.

Adjectival Modifiers:

The modifiers of adjective are called the Adjectival Modifiers.

Examples:

• A number of applications received for the jobs.
• Puny and silent, George generally goes unnoticed in any group.
• The stem in the part of the brain that connects the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord

Adverbial Modifiers:

The modifiers of adverbs are called the Adverbial Modifiers.

Examples:

• Do not walk that fast. I could not keep face with you.
• A Member of the Parliament should not vote in the house before he takes the oath of allegation to the Constitution.

These modifiers, in few sentences, might have been misplaced.

We have to set it right to see that the sentence goes right.

Example-1:

• Having apologized for the misbehavior, the teacher permitted the student to reenter the class room.

As per this sentence, it is only the teacher who misbehaved. Who apologized to whom?

Did the student apologized to the teacher or the teacher apologized to the student in the class?

But the author of this sentence indented to say that after the student, who misbehaved, apologized, And then the teacher permitted them to reenter the class room.

In this case, this given sentence should be corrected as.

• Having apologized for misbehavior, the student was permitted by the teacher to reenter the class room.

Note:

The participle should be used for the subject for which is intended.

Example-2:

• Attempting to smuggle Gold, the customs officials detained the passenger.

Who attempted to smuggle Gold?

The customs officials or the Passenger?

Certainly, it is only the passenger who might have attempted to smuggle Gold.

So this given sentence should be corrected as:

• Attempting to smuggle Gold, the passenger was detained by the customs officials.

Example-3:

• Walking along the edge of the lake, the fish suddenly jumped out and fell near me.

Who walked along the edge of the lake?

Is it the fish?

Certainly no

SO this sentence should be corrected as.

• Walking along the edge of the lake, I found that a fish suddenly jumped out and fell near me.

Example-4:

• Having paid the fine, the police-officer allowed the car-driver to go.

Who paid the fine?

The police-officer or the car-driver…

Certainly it only the car-driver…

This sentence should be corrected as:

• Having paid the fine, the car-driver was allowed by the police-officer to go.

Example-5:

Possessing fifteen legs, I have never seen such a creature in my life.

Who is possessing fifteen legs?

Is it I or the creature?

Certainly it is only the creature.

So the correct sentence is:

Possessing fifteen legs, this creature is never seen by me in my life.

Few more examples have been given here with the correct version for your kind attention.

1. Frail and weak, the heavy cart could not be drawn over the gradient by the bullock. (Incorrect)

Frail and weak, the bullock could not draw the heavy cart over the gradient. (Correct)


2. Banned in India, I could not bring the book ‘Satanic Verses’ into the country. (Incorrect)

Banned in India, The book ‘Satanic Verses’ could not be brought to the country by me. (Correct)


3. Delightfully cooked by his father, Clinton loves peas. (Incorrect)

Delightfully cooked by his father, the peas were loved by Clinton. (Correct)


4. Though faded because of rough use, she wore the red-sari for the function. (Incorrect)

Though faded because of rough use, the red-sari was worn by her for the function. (Correct)


5. Dug out from fifty feet below the ground, the archaeologist determined the age of the pottery as over thousand years. (Incorrect)

Dug out from fifty feet below the ground, the potter was determined by the archaeologist as a thousand-year old one. (Correct)


6. After paying for the books, the salesman gave me a calendar as a free compliment. (Incorrect)

After paying for the books, I was given a calendar by the salesman as a free compliment. (Correct)


7. Even after being dead for 150 yeas, many people still admire the music of Beethoven. (Incorrect)

Even after being dead for 150 yeas, still Beethoven was admired for his music by many people. (Correct)


8. After taking my seat in the plane, the air-hostess offered me chocolates. (Incorrect)

After taking my seat in the plane, I was offered chocolates by the air-hostess. (Correct)


9. By installing small electric pumps, farmers’ houses could be heated by warmth from cows’ milk, according to one agricultural engineer. (Incorrect)

By installing small electric pumps, farmers, according to one agricultural engineer, could use the warmth from cows’ milk to heat their houses. (Correct)


10. Coming late to the office for the third time in a week, the manager cut the peon’s salary for a day. (Incorrect)

Coming late to the office for the third time in a week, the peon had his salary for a day cut by the manager. (Correct)


Dangling Modifiers



A
Dangling Modifier is a close relative of misplaced modifier. In a sentence involving dangling modifier, the noun which the phrase really modifies will be missing, we ourselves have to supply an appropriate noun with reference to the context.

Example-1:

• Before shifting the hospitals from the present location, the public must be consulted.

In this sentence, it is not clear who is shifting the hospitals.

So the adjective ‘before shifting the hospitals’ is dangling without an appropriate noun for it.

The correct sentence is:

• Before shifting the hospitals from the present location, the officials should consult the public.

So is only the officials who will shift the hospitals therefore it is only they who should consult the public.

Example-2:

• Using the Doppler ultrasound device, fatal heartbeats can be detected by the twelfth week of pregnancy.

In this sentence also, it is not clear who is using the Doppler ultrasound device?

So the correct sentence is:

• Using the Doppler ultrasound device, the doctors can detect fatal heartbeats by the twelfth week of pregnancy.

A sentence without a misplaced modifier and a dangling modifier will always add beauty.

Advanced English Modifiers to HOME PAGE

Search