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Chapter 6. Sentence Sense > Sorry Sentences - Pg. 66

Sentence Sense 66 Lost in Space For clarity, always place any describing words (modifiers) as close as possible to the words they describe. If the modifier is placed too far from the noun or pronoun it describes, the sentence won't communicate your meaning clearly. Mis-placed modifiers can also create humor, which is not a good thing when you're trying to be serious. Word Watch A misplaced modifier is an adverb, adjective, phrase, or clause placed too far from the word it describes. Misplaced modifier: The two sisters were reunited after 18 years at the checkout counter. Write Angles Depending on the effect you wish to achieve, you can place the subordinating conjunction in the beginning or the middle of a sentence. The sentence says that the two sisters spent 18 years at the checkout counter, not that they were apart for 18 years. Corrected: Misplaced modifier: After 18 years, the two sisters were reunited at the checkout counter. Any time four New Yorkers get into a cab together, a bank robbery has just taken place without arguing. The sentence says that the New Yorkers robbed a bank without arguing, not that they're not arguing in the cab. Corrected: Misplaced modifier: Any time four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place. Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time. The sentence says that the only thing that hamsters can do is blink one eye. Although not wildly talented animals, hamsters have been known to have a few other tricks up their furry little sleeves.