A modifier is a sentence element — a word or a phrase — that provides details. Three types of modifiers exist: those that qualify by answering the question of how or under what conditions something occurs, those that set conditions or explain circumstances by answering the question of who, what, when, where, and why, and those that provide reasons or conclusions.
Modifiers can also be classified into these categories:
1. Initial dependent clause: “Even though I was tired, I went for a walk.”
2. Initial infinitive phrase: “To calm down, I went for a walk.”
3. Initial adverb: “Immediately, I went for a walk.”
4. Initial participial phrase: “Trying to distract myself, I went for a walk.”
5. Mid-sentence appositive: “I, in an effort to calm down, went for a walk.”
6. Mid-sentence participial phrase: “I, trying to distract myself, went for a walk.”
7. Terminal present participial phrase: “I went for a walk, hoping to distract myself.”
8. Terminal past participial phrase: “I went for a walk, soothed by the breeze.”
9. Terminal resumptive phrase: “I went for a walk — a walk that did me good.”
10. Terminal summative phrase: “I went for a walk, an activity that calmed me down and distracted me from my troubles.”
And, for a bonus, employ a combination of phrases: “Even though I was tired, I, in an effort to distract myself, went for a walk, soothed by the breeze.”
Thanks to this variety of ways to modify a sentence, writers need not be concerned about producing pedestrian prose.