by Craig Shrives
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What Is a Misplaced Modifier? (with Examples)
A misplaced modifier is a word (or group of words) that does not liên kết clearly đồ sộ what it is intended đồ sộ modify. A misplaced modifier makes the meaning of a sentence ambiguous or wrong.
Table of Contents
- Examples of Misplaced Modifiers
- Real-Life Examples of Misplaced Modifiers
- Misplaced Modifiers in Jokes
- Why Misplaced Modifiers Are Important
- Beware tác giả Blindness!
- Printable Test
Examples of Misplaced Modifiers
In these examples, the misplaced modifiers are shaded:
Real-Life Examples of Misplaced Modifiers
Misplaced Modifiers in Jokes
Probably the most famous example of a misplaced modifier turns out not đồ sộ be a misplaced modifier at all.
- One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know. (Writer and comedian Groucho Marx) (This is not a misplaced modifier because the elephant was actually in his pyjamas.)
Here is a great example of a misplaced modifier from the film Hot Fuzz:
- "He was a hero at his last police station. He once shot a robber with a Kalashnikov."
- "Great, where did he get that?"
Why Misplaced Modifiers Are Important
A misplaced modifier makes your sentence ambiguous or wrong. You can avoid a misplaced modifier by placing your modifier next đồ sộ whatever it's modifying (or putting some distance between the modifier and whatever it's not meant đồ sộ be modifying).
Let's fix the examples above. In the corrected examples, the modifiers are shaded and the words being modified are bold.
Beware tác giả Blindness!
It is sometimes difficult for writers đồ sộ spot their own misplaced modifiers because they know what they meant đồ sộ say, and they vì thế not see the ambiguity. This is called author blindness. Look at these two examples. They are both correct, but they have very different meanings.
- He lost nearly $5,000 in Las Vegas. (This means he lost just under $5,000.)
- He nearly lost $5,000 in Las Vegas. (Here, we don't know how much he lost. He might have lost nothing at all.)
You must make your meaning clear by putting your modifier next đồ sộ whatever is being modified.
- Put your modifier next đồ sộ whatever it's modifying and far from whatever it feasibly could be modifying.
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