Misplaced and dangling modifiers

Words, phrases, and clauses that describe or modify nouns and pronouns
need to be properly placed within the sentence. This placement should
clearly indicate which word is being described.

A misplaced modifier is a word or group of words intended to describe a
noun or pronoun, but is placed incorrectly within the sentence.
Speaking to the state officials, the microphone held the reporter.
(In this sentence, the underlined modifier, Speaking to the state officials,
a participial phrase, is misplaced. The reporter, not the microphone,
was speaking to the state officials. Thus, the sentence could read, ‘‘The
reporter speaking to the state officials held the microphone.’’)
Other misplaced modifier examples include these. See if you can correct
each one.

In the microwave, the man cooked the popcorn.
Unhappy, the match was forfeited by the tennis player.
A dangling modifier is a word or group of words intended to describe a
noun or pronoun, but, according to the sentence’s wording, has nothing to

To get to the airport, the tram needs to be taken.
(In this sentence, the underlined modifier, To get to the airport, describes
nothing. The corrected version should read, ‘‘To get to the airport,
you need to take the tram.’’ Now the modifier has someone to

Other dangling modifier examples include these. See if you can correct
each one.

To solve this challenging puzzling, patience is needed.
Walking along the Thames River, the flowers looked beautiful.

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    Examine the work of the great photographers at the local library

    Ansel Adams and Eugene Smith produced dissimilar images using similar skills and techniques. Their portfolios are accessible and educational. Adams focused on landscapes while Smith was a photojournalist, but their collections contain commercial quality images, which are inspirational and instructive.
    Check out the work of photographers currently producing commercial quality images. Adams and Smith produced their work years ago, but the most recent great photography is available at libraries and museums. Successful photographers showcase their best images on their websites and market their work to the public.
    Narrow the focus of your research to the work of photographers who share your interest in subject matter.

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