Topic 1: How to identify a dangling modifier
- What is a modifier? A modifier can be a word (mostly adjectives or adverbs), a phrase, or a clause that provides extra information about a part (usually nouns or verbs) in a sentence.
The cat with the black ears is stuck on the tree.
- What is a dangling modifier? It is a modifier that is placed in the sentence in a way that it is not clear which subject it modifies or lack thereof.
The boy is trying to get in the building, with a backpack. (Here, it is not clear whether the boy is using the backpack to get into the building or is he just wearing one.)
The cat is stuck on a tree with black ears. (Here, placing the modifier “with black ears” besides the “tree” and not the “cat” makes it confusing as to what it modifies.)
Such mistakes can make your sentences unintentionally awkward and often a little bit funny.