Dangling Participles Exercise (360)

Edit the following sentences to correct any dangling participles.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Writing every day for an hour in the morning, the novel began to grow.
Correct : Writing every day for an hour in the morning, the author saw the novel begin to grow.

A person doing the activity must be specified.

2.
Original: Cleaning the garage, there were things she couldn’t decide to throw away.
Correct : Cleaning the garage, she found there were things she couldn’t decide to throw away.

A phrase containing an expletive, or filler such as "there" in "there were" is not the subject of the sentence. An actor must be specified at the head of the main clause.

3.
Original: Careening through the tunnel, my mouth dropped open at the sight of a huge 18-wheeler coming toward me.
Correct : I stared open-mouthed at the sight of a huge 18-wheeler careening through the tunnel toward me.

It’s the truck that is careening through the tunnel. Any revision that makes that clear is correct.

4.
Original: The sun on the water was glorious, yachting along the Mediterranean shore.
Correct : The sun on the water was glorious as we yachted along the Mediterranean shore.

Beginning a sentence with the main clause does not change the fact that an -ing descriptor must refer to a noun. As there is no noun in the first sentence that yachting is attached to, the verbal yachting has been changed to a verb.

5.
Original: Dreading the ordeal, the woman with the toothache entered the dentist’s office.
Correct : Dreading the ordeal, the woman with the toothache entered the dentist’s office.

This sentence was originally correct. Dreading modifies "the woman with the toothache."

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