Dangling Participles Exercise (412)

Edit the following sentences to correct any dangling participles.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: After wearing soft, custom-made orthotics for two weeks, his back pain disappeared.
Correct : After he wore soft, custom-made orthotics for two weeks, his back pain disappeared.

The implication in the original version is that the back pain wore orthotics; for clarity, the subject must be specified in the beginning of the sentence.

2.
Original: As a young woman, Diana Vreeland, the famed editor of "Harper’s Bazaar," thought Lauren Bacall was ideal for fashion modeling, and she appeared regularly in the magazine.
Correct : When Lauren Bacall was a young woman, Diana Vreeland, the famed editor of "Harper’s Bazaar," thought she was ideal for fashion modeling, and Bacall appeared regularly in the magazine.

The context may not be clear from this excerpt, but "young woman" refers to Lauren Bacall, not to Diana Vreeland, and the beginning of the sentence and the references to Bacall must be adjusted to make that obvious.

3.
Original: A key ally of Syria, Russia’s foreign ministry warned that unilateral air strikes would destabilize the region.
Correct : Russia, a key ally of Syria, warned that unilateral air strikes would destabilize the region.

Russia, not Russia’s foreign ministry, is one of Syria’s key allies, so simplify the subject and begin the sentence with it.

4.
Original: Even when reading a book or a newspaper, my attention was always automatically drawn toward these questions.
Correct : Even when I was reading a book or a newspaper, my attention was always automatically drawn toward these questions.

The writer’s attention does not read; the writer does. Refer to the subject with a personal pronoun at the outset.

5.
Original: After being sent through an X-ray machine, agriculture specialists with the federal agency noticed an anomaly and selected the package for further inspection.
Correct : After the package was sent through an X-ray machine, agriculture specialists with the federal agency noticed an anomaly and selected it for further inspection.

The original sentence creates the distractingly erroneous impression that the agricultural specialists were sent through an X-ray machine. At the head of the sentence, use the appropriate noun to describe what passed through the machine, and then use a pronoun for the second reference to the package.

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