Posts tagged with: dangling modifiers

Hello
A native New Yorker, Gloria Naylor’s first novel won an American Book Award in 1983.
A. A native New Yorker, Gloria Naylor’s first novel
B. A native New Yorker, the first novel by Gloria Naylor
C. The first novel by native New Yorker Gloria Naylor
D. Gloria Naylor, a native New Yorker, wrote her first novel thus having
E. Gloria Naylor wrote her first novel and the native New Yorker

The answer here is C but then I don’t understand how the novel would win an award?
Thank you

Novels win awards, just like movies and other works of art do. You can also say that the author won an award, but it’s not wrong to say that the work itself won the award.

What you can’t say, of course, is that the novel is a native New Yorker, which is why A and B are dangling modifiers.

From January test 2015
Section 10 #10
(One of the most charming fishing villages on Galway Bay, Kinvara’s appeal) lies in its sheltered harbor and traditional seafaring atmosphere.
(A) the same
(B) One of the Galway Bay’s most charming fishing villages, the appeal of Kinvara
(C) The appeal of Kinvara, one of the most charming fishing villages on Galway Bay,

I could easily eliminate the answer choice D and E but what are the differences between choice A,B and C? The answer to this Q was C.

A and B are dangling modifiers. The modifying phrase, “one of the most charming fishing villages on Galway Bay,” needs to be followed immediately by the thing being modified, which is Kinvara. Note that Kinvara’s appeal is not Kinvara, any more than Mike’s computer is Mike. 🙂

Mindful of the growing popularity of backyard compost piles among home gardeners, (experts warn that adding meat, diary products, or cooking grease to compost will) attract vermin. (A) as it is (b) adding meat, diary products, or cooking to compost, this is what experts warn will (C) and with warnings from experts that adding meat, -X- (D)warning from experts concerning the addition of -x- (e) experts warning that adding meat,-X- would. Why A?

This is a dangling modifier. The beginning of the sentence describes a group of people who are mindful of a thing. After that first comma, that group of people must be named! Only a choice that begins with “experts,” therefore, is acceptable. Only two choices begin with “experts”—A and E. Because E isn’t a complete sentence (it doesn’t have a main verb with “warning” instead of “warn”), you know it’s A.

I get confused with all the grammar problems of “Dangling Modifier”

EX: With an average depth of about 12,000 feet, the extremes of darkness, high pressure, and cold that characterize the deep sea could not be tolerated by shallow-water animals.

I heard the problem of this sentence is dangling modifier but I can not understand,,

Have you read my post about dangling modifiers? That might help clarify things. Briefly, a dangling modifier occurs when a modifying phrase (in this case, “With an average depth of about 12,000 feet”) begins a sentence, and then is not followed immediately by the thing it’s modifying (in this case, “the deep sea”) then the modifier is said to be “dangling”—it doesn’t connect. You fix a dangling modifier by putting the thing that’s being modified right next to the modifier:

With an average depth of about 12,000 feet, the deep sea is characterized by extremes of darkness, high pressure, and cold that could not be tolerated by shallow-water animals.

With an average depth of about 12,000 feet, the extremes of darkness, high pressure, and cold that characterize the deep sea could not be tolerated by shallow-water animals.
I do not understand why this sentence is incorrect,,,

It’s a dangling modifier. What has an average depth of 12,000 feet? Not the extremes of darkness. The DEEP SEA has that average depth, so that’s what needs to come after the first comma.

Projecting an image of pain and brutality that had few parallels among advanced painting of the 20th century, Guernica was painted by Picasso in the aftermath of a World War II bombing.

Is there a dangling modifier here? Why or why not?

Not a dangling modifier. Guernica, the painting, can itself project an image of pain and brutality.

With the 1957 publication of his novel, Jose *Donoso’s contribution was enormous* to the development of the modern Latin American novel.

Why is the original wrong? It uses less words.

Why is E) Donoso made an enormous contribution a better answer?

Using fewer words should be a goal, but a secondary goal. You should only care about that if there are no other issues in the two choices you’re comparing. In this case, there is another issue: “Jose Donoso,” not “Jose Donoso’s contribution” should come after the comma. “Jose Donoso’s contribution” didn’t write the novel, “Jose Donoso” did.

While it’d be great if we were all consummate grammarians, you don’t need to be one to score very well on the SAT writing section. You just need to know how to spot the most commonly tested errors, and (on Sentence Improvement and Paragraph Improvement, anyway) fix them. I’ve made mention of Dangling Modifiers before in my general Sentence Improvement post, but I thought it’d be nice to devote an entire post to the little buggers since 1) they’re fairly common, 2) they’re easy to spot with a little practice, and 3) they’re easy to solve once you’ve spotted them (again, with a little practice).

Rather than try to describe exactly what a Dangling Modifier right this minute, let’s just have a look at one:

  1. Believing for the first time that she could win the race, Amy’s speed increased despite her utter exhaustion.
     

    1. Amy’s speed increased despite her utter exhaustion
    2. Amy found the strength to increase her speed despite her exhaustion
    3. Amy’s utter exhaustion did not stop her from speeding up
    4. her exhaustion could not stop Amy from running faster
    5. Amy increasing her speed despite being exhausted

So, first of all, what’s the modifier? A modifier sets the scene for the sentence by giving you some extra information about the subject of the sentence. In this case, it’s “Believing for the first time that she could win the race,” because it’s giving you background about Amy’s motivation for increasing her speed. A modifier often (but not always) has an -ing or an -ed word in it, and always ends with a comma. Commas are of fundamental importance in Sentence improvement for a number of reasons, one of which is that they signify modifiers. When you see a comma in a Sentence Completion question, check whether it follows a modifier.

How do you check? If the sentence fragment before the comma lends itself to a “who” or “what” question, the answer to which could be the subject of the sentence, it’s probably a modifier. In our specific case, we can ask “WHO believed for the first time that she could win the race?” the answer to which would be “Amy.”

Now here’s the awesome part: if you are able to identify a modifier before a comma, the subject must come right after the comma. If a modifier is not followed immediately by the subject, that’s a Dangling Modifier, and that’s BAD. So, who believed she could win the race? Amy. What needs to come after that comma? Amy. Not Amy’s speed, or Amy’s exhaustion. Just Amy. Cross off any choice that doesn’t begin with Amy. So you’re left choosing between (B) and (E). Note that (E) contains no main verb (and also contains the big suck: “being”), so the answer must be (B).

Here are a few more Dangling Modifier questions. Answers and explanations follow.

Don’t leave these hanging, bro.

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So, think you’ve got Dangling Modifiers all buttoned up now? The last piece of the puzzle is to be able to spot them in the wild; it’s too easy when you know each question in a drill is going to contain one. Try this 10 minute drill, which contains a few Dangling Modifiers, and a bunch of other Sentence Improvement questions. can you spot all the Dangling Modifiers?