How to Fix Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

If you want to improve your English reading and writing skills, you must learn the grammar. Many sentences and phrases which we use in our daily routine are grammatically incorrect. Dangling and misplaced modifiers are considered as one of the most common errors which we make in our language.

Modifiers provide help to add substance in your views and ideas. However, it is not easy to use the modifiers in some of the compositions and you must learn some basic principles to avoid making grammatical mistakes in your speech and writing.


  • 1

    First of all, you have to create an understanding of the dangling and misplaced modifiers. When a modifier dangles at the start of the sentence and makes it illogical by disconnecting it with the second part of the sentence, it is known as ‘dangling modifier’. On the other hand, a ‘misplaced modifier’ is a modifier which has lost its correct position in the sentence. Resultantly, the basic purpose of the sentence is hindered.

  • 2

    Mostly, words with ‘-ing’ indicates the presence of a dandling modifier or a participle. For instance, “When writing, punctuations help you to clarify your views”. If you read the sentence carefully, you will notice that it is saying ‘punctuations can write’. However, it doesn’t convey what you intend to say. On the other hand if you write “When you are writing, punctuations help you to clarify your views”, it will convey the meaning properly which is correct. You can also use another way to write the sentence correctly. For instance, you can write “When writing, you can use punctuations to help you clarify your views”.

  • 3

    It is extremely important for you to beware of the passive verbs as they can lead to the dangling modifiers. The passive verbs include the past participle form of verb along with ‘to be’ e.g. ‘were bought’ or ‘was kidnapped’. For instance, if you write or say “Blaring violently, the pumpkins were thrown by the girls”, it doesn’t portray the right meaning as there is a clash between ‘blaring violently’ and ‘were thrown’. You can easily correct it by replacing passive verb to active verb in the sentence i.e. “Blaring violently, the girls threw the pumpkins”.

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