Misplaced Modifiers, Or words in the wrong place “Life is a promise; fulfill it.”Mother Theresa
To begin with, can anyone define modifier? • A modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. • There are two types of modifiers in the English language. • Adverbs-describe verbs • Adjective-describe nouns
Some examples of modifiers in action. • The tall man with the suntan sat under the palm tree. • In this sentence we have two modifiers tall and with the suntan. • The sentence as it is written makes perfect sense;however consider the sentence on the next slide.
Example of misplaced modifier • The tall man sat under the palm tree with the suntan. • If you read this sentence quickly, it seems to make sense; but when you read it slowly, you might ask yourself, can a palm tree have a suntan? The answer is no, of course. • This is an example of a misplaced modifier. The modifier is in the wrong place and makes the sentence confusing. Remember the modifier should always come close to what it modifies.
Consider this example: • The lady with three legs bought a piano. • To correct follow these steps. • One, find the modifier. • Two, check if it makes sense where it is • Three, if it seems to be misplaced, find it’s true place.
Could you correct it? • Correction: • The lady bought a piano with three legs. • (The incorrect sentence made it seem as if the lady had three legs.)
I think you now have a better idea of what is a misplaced modifier. Let’s practice. Remember the three steps. • I saw a mouse going to our class meeting. • Flying around the room, I saw two mockingbirds. • Climbing a tree the other day, I saw a monkey at the zoo. • I bought a puppy for my brother with a cute little tail. • A cow is wanted by a farmer weighing about 1500 pounds.
Corrections: • Going to our class meeting, I saw a mouse. • I saw a mouse going to our class meeting. • I saw two mockingbirds flying around the room. Flying around the room, I saw two mockingbirds. • The other day I saw a monkey climbing a tree at the zoo. Climbing a tree the other day, I saw a monkey at the zoo. • I bought a puppy with a cute little tail for my brother. I bought a puppy for my brother with a cute little tail. • A cow weighing about 1500 pounds is wanted by a farmer. A cow is wanted by a farmer weighing about 1500 pounds.
More practice • I returned the kitty to my Mom which had been missing for a couple of days. • I relaxed on the mat wearing my Hawaiian shirt and shorts. • I replaced a tile on the floor that was loose. • I was bathing my dog while singing a beautiful melody. • Jerry stepped on the snake without any shoes on. • I bought the used television from a friend with a broken antennae.
Corrections: • I returned the kitty which had been missing for a couple of days to my Mom. • Wearing my Hawaiian shirt and shorts,I relaxed on the mat. • I replaced a tile that was loose on the floor. • While singing a beautiful melody, I was bathing my. • Without any shoes on, Jerry stepped on the snake. • I bought the used television with a broken antennae from a friend.
Assignment: • Carlos returned the hot dog to the Circle K that was rotten. • I love the donuts from HEB with the vanilla frosting. • My cousin told me how to get to her business in a telegram. • Alex visited the hospital, still worn out from all the work. • The woman by the pool with the bright T-shirt always drank water.