Dangling Participles Exercise (437)

Revise each sentence so that the subject of the sentence is unambiguously performing the action described.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: While cleaning the house, a bird flew into the window and startled me.
Correct : While I was cleaning the house, a bird flew into the window and startled me.

The insertion of a subject into the introductory phrase clarifies that it was not the bird that was cleaning the house.

2.
Original: Despite intervening, the couple continued to argue in front of me.
Correct : Despite my intervention, the couple continued to argue in front of me.

The original sentence implies that the couple intervened in their own argument. The inclusion of a pronoun in the introductory phrase and changing "intervening" to a noun corrects the error.

3.
Original: Given inadequate time and resources to complete the project by the deadline, it is no surprise that our resulting product was poorly designed.
Correct : Considering that we were not given adequate time and resources to complete the project by the deadline, no one should be surprised that our resulting product was poorly designed.

When the main clause of a sentence begins with an expletive ("it is," "there are," and so on), revise the sentence so that the actors are actively acting.

4.
Original: Having seen such violence firsthand, her reaction was not surprising.
Correct : Because she had seen such violence firsthand, her reaction was not surprising.

This revision eliminates the implication that her reaction, not the person herself, had witnessed a particular type of violence.

5.
Original: Rolling down the street, my eyes focused on a strange sight.
Correct : As I rolled down the street, my eyes focused on a strange sight.

The humorously erroneous implication here is that the eyes, not the person who possesses them, are rolling down the street; simply introduce a subject into the introductory phrase to eliminate the distracting error.

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