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Chapter 10. Dazed and Confused: Common U... > Dangling Modifiers: Counterintellige... - Pg. 97

Dazed and Confused: Common Usage Dilemmas 97 You Could Look It Up A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that describes something that has been left out of the sentence. A >clause is a group of words with its own subject and verb. See Chapter 12 for a detailed description of clauses. Dangling modifiers confuse your readers and obscure your meaning. These errors don't jump out at you like a spelling blooper or a shark attack; rather, they sneak up on you like April 15 or middle age. And they can be just as deadly. Help Is on the Way Because the basic problem with a dangling modifier is a lack of connection, you must provide a noun or pronoun to which the dangling construction can be attached. There are two basic ways to do this: 1. Rewrite the modifier as a subordinate clause. Dangling:Confirming our conversation, the shipment will be ordered on Monday. (According to this sentence, the shipment--not the speaker--confirmed theconversation.) 2. Correct:As I stated in the memo, the shipment will be ordered on Monday. Rewrite the main clause so the subject or object can be modified by the now-dangling phrase. Dangling:Confirming our conversation, the shipment will be ordered on Monday. Correct:Confirming our conversation, I have arranged for the shipment to be ordered on Monday. Man the Battle Stations Time to play, so let's have some fun. Correct each of these dangling constructions by rewriting the modifier as a subordinate clause or rewriting the main clause so the subject or object can be modified by the now-dangling phrase. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Do not sit in the chair without being fully assembled. ____________________________________________________________________ Locked in a vault for 50 years, the owner of the coins decided to sell them. ____________________________________________________________________ Important facts might be revealed when leaving. ____________________________________________________________________ Making startling new discoveries in science, the Renaissance was a time of rebirth. ____________________________________________________________________ While driving down the highway, a bad collision was seen. ____________________________________________________________________ While eating dinner, a fly slipped into her soup. ____________________________________________________________________ The tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh commanded attention coming into the exhibit. ____________________________________________________________________ Sailing up the river, the Statue of Liberty was seen.