What Are Modifiers?
Published byat August 17th, 2021 , Revised On August 24, 2023
In simple words, a modifier can be described as something that changes or alters something else in a sentence. A more specific definition for it would be “a modifier is a word that changes, clarifies, qualifies, or limits a particular word in a sentence to add details, clarification, importance, or explanation.
Examples of Modifiers
Modifiers can also be clauses or phases;
Dangling modifiers and misplaced modifiers represent the two most common modifier mistakes. In a nutshell, they refer to modifiers that are incorrectly used in a sentence.
What is a Dangling Modifier?
A dangling modifier takes place when the subject of the modifier isn’t stated in a sentence. Typically, a dangling modifier will include an introductory phrase followed by an incomplete phrase or clause without the envisioned subject.
Dangling Modifier Example
In the above example, the subject was missing from the introductory phrase; struggling with his injury, so it was misleading. You can fix a dangling modifier by revising the introductory phrase or by rewriting the subjective clause in the active voice.
What is a Misplaced Modifier?
When a modifier is placed too far away from the clause, phrase, or word is intended to modify or clarify, it is called a misplaced modifier. It is relatively easy to fix a misplaced modifier by moving it to the right position in a sentence.
Misplaced Modifier Example
In the above example, the misplaced modifier implied that the guest was expensive. However, moving the modifier to the correct place in the sentence suggested that it was the gift that was expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Modifiers are words that provide extra information about other words in a sentence. Adjectives modify nouns (e.g., “red apple”), adverbs modify verbs (e.g., “run quickly”), and phrases/clauses modify various elements (e.g., “in the morning,” “although tired”). They enhance descriptions and clarify meaning.