Grammar Quiz #6: Dangling Modifiers

By Mark Nichol

Each of the following sentences includes a dangling modifier, a phrase that provides additional information but, because of its erroneous placement, confuses readers about what it is modifying; revise the sentences as necessary:

1. To understand the subject more thoroughly, the book was read and reread.

2. Not his favorite subject, he participated in class and completed his projects.

3. Always eager to participate in classroom discussions, I’m confident that her abilities will develop exponentially next year and beyond.

4. Being the chairman of the Hall of Fame, one of the great thrills for me was to see him inducted into the initial Hall of Fame class.

5. Perhaps the most combative member of Congress, Cruz’s withering criticisms of Washington have made him a champion for the conservative base.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: To understand the subject more thoroughly, the book was read and reread.
Correct : They read and reread the book to understand the subject more thoroughly.

This revision correctly identifies the readers, not the book, as the sentence’s subject.

2.
Original: Not his favorite subject, he participated in class and completed his projects.
Correct : Though the class was not his favorite one, he participated in class and completed his projects.

The original sentence erroneously equates he, rather than “the class,” with “not his favorite subject.”

3.
Original: Always eager to participate in classroom discussions, I’m confident that her abilities will develop exponentially next year and beyond.
Correct : She’s always eager to participate in classroom discussions, and I’m confident that her abilities will develop exponentially next year and beyond.

The original sentence incorrectly casts I as the subject.

4.
Original: Being the chairman of the Hall of Fame, one of the great thrills for me was to see him inducted into the initial Hall of Fame class.
Correct : For me, the chairman of the Hall of Fame, one of the great thrills was to see him inducted into the initial Hall of Fame class.

“One of the great thrills” is misidentified as the chairman.

5.
Original: Perhaps the most combative member of Congress, Cruz’s withering criticisms of Washington have made him a champion for the conservative base.
Correct : Cruz is perhaps the most combative member of Congress, and his withering criticisms of Washington have made him a champion for the conservative base.

Cruz, not his withering criticisms, is the proper subject of this sentence.

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1 Response to “Grammar Quiz #6: Dangling Modifiers”

  • María Angélica

    I think its a very good exercise for learn how reorganize sentences and practice.

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