Dangling Modifier

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What Is a Dangling Modifier? (with Examples)

A dangling modifier is a modifier that has nothing to modify. Remember, modifiers describe a word or make its meaning more specific. A dangling modifier is an error caused by failing to use the word that the modifier is meant to be describing.

Examples of Dangling Modifiers

Here is an example of a dangling modifier (shaded): In this example, the missing word is we. A correct version would be: Logically, the wrong example suggests the cat read the letter.

Here is another example of a dangling modifier (shaded): In this example, the missing word is David (as a standalone subject). A correct version would be: Logically, the wrong example suggests David's work ethic is meticulous and punctual.

Here is another example of a dangling modifier (shaded): In this example, the missing word is she. A correct version would be: Logically, the wrong example suggests the Eiffel Tower saw the Blackpool Tower.

A Dangling Modifier As a Misplaced Modifier

Sometimes, a modifier can dangle a bit. This happens when the word being modified is present but is not next to its modifier. Look at this example: This is still a dangling modifier, but it's not dangling fully because the thing being modified (the male walruses) is present. This is better known as a misplaced modifier.

This is a correct version:

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See Also

What are modifiers? What is a misplaced modifier? What is a squinting modifier? What is a limiting modifier? Glossary of grammatical terms