Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Participles Exercise (227)

Each of the following sentences contains a participle phrase or other modifier. Decide if the sentence contains a dangling participle, a misplaced modifier, or is correct.

  • Mother was delighted when Charlie brought back the car with a triumphant smile.

  • Attached to the dog’s collar, the veterinarian added another tag.

  • Shaking violently, the washing machine rattled the cleaning products on the shelf above Adam’s head.

  • Sneezing from the high pollen count, the school field trip to the woods was a noisy event.

  • Lying on the beach towel in the sun, the rippling water reached as far as my toes.

Answers and Explanations

1. Mother was delighted when Charlie brought back the car with a triumphant smile.

Correct: misplaced modifier
"with a triumphant smile" refers to the noun "Charlie" and should be closer to it.
EDITED: Mother was delighted when Charlie, with a triumphant smile, brought back the car.

2. Attached to the dog’s collar, the veterinarian added another tag.

Correct: misplaced modifier
"Attached to the dog’s collar" refers to unnamed tags.
EDITED: The veterinarian attached another tag to the dog’s collar.

3. Shaking violently, the washing machine rattled the cleaning products on the shelf above Adam’s head.

Correct: no error
"Shaking violently" properly applies to "the washing machine."

4. Sneezing from the high pollen count, the school field trip to the woods was a noisy event.

Correct: dangling participle
"Sneezing from the high pollen count" refers to some unnamed agent.
EDITED: Sneezing from the high pollen count, students with allergies made the field trip to the woods a noisy event.

5. Lying on the beach towel in the sun, the rippling water reached as far as my toes.

Correct: dangling participle
"Lying on the beach towel" refers to the speaker.
EDITED: Lying on the beach towel in the sun, I felt the rippling water touch my toes.

Related Articles

Subscribe to our articles and exercises