Dangling Participles Exercise (718)

For each sentence pair, pick the one that clarifies who or what is being referred to.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Despised by architecture critics and likely to be a controversial choice for this list, I’ve come to accept the fountain as part of San Francisco.
Correct : Architecture critics despised the fountain, and it’s likely to be another controversial choice for this list, but I’ve come to accept it as part of the San Francisco.

The writer erroneously organizes the incorrect sentence to state that architectural critics despise him and that he’s likely to be a controversial choice for the list that follows in the article. To clarify the statement, the fountain should be mentioned at the head of the sentence.

2.
Original: Although unlikely to again seek elected office, friends and aides say Smith has previously discussed starting a foundation.
Correct : Although he is unlikely to again seek elected office, friends and aides say Smith has previously discussed starting a foundation.

The absence of a noun or pronoun at the head of the introductory phrase creates the incorrect implication that friends and aides of Smith are unlikely to again seek elected office. Better yet, use the proper name before the pronoun: "Although Smith is unlikely to again seek elected office, friends and aides say he has previously discussed starting a foundation."

3.
Original: A month after being elected to the Senate in 1972, Jones’s wife and baby daughter died when their car collided with a tractor-trailer.
Correct : A month after he was elected to the Senate in 1972, Jones’s wife and baby daughter died when their car collided with a tractor-trailer.

The incorrect sentence suggests that Jones’s wife and baby daughter were elected to the Senate; an explicit reference to Jones near the head of the sentence disposes of that ambiguity. Better yet, use the proper name first, followed by the pronoun: "A month after Jones was elected to the Senate in 1972, his wife and baby daughter died when their car collided with a tractor-trailer."

4.
Original: Before being trampled by a crowd of autograph seekers, a security guard pulled the pop star to safety.
Correct : Before the pop star could be trampled by a crowd of autograph seekers, a security guard pulled her to safety.

"Pop star" should be inserted into the introductory phrase to make it clear that that person, not the security guard, was nearly trampled.

5.
Original: Designed with numerous expansive open spaces, the question was how to provide the necessary seismic bracing without compromising the visual presence of these unique architectural features.
Correct : Because the building was designed with numerous expansive open spaces, the question was how to provide the necessary seismic bracing without compromising the visual presence of these unique architectural features.

The sentence should begin with an explicit reference to what will receive nonintrusive seismic bracing.

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