More on Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced modifierMy last post from Violet’s Vibes had examples of misplaced modifiers. Here a few more from Bonnie Trenga’s book, The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier, a Writers Digest Book. She explains that  since a modifier usually describes the nearest noun, when it ends up next to the wrong word, it becomes misplaced. Here are some examples from her book:

“After robbing the bank, a plane took the thief to the Bahamas.”  So the plane robbed a bank?

Corrected: “After robbing the bank, the thief flew to the Bahamas.”

“As a law-abiding citizen, red lights never get run when I’m around.” Red lights are law-abiding citizens?

Corrected:  “As a law-abiding citizen, I never run red lights.”

“The stranger in the ugly coat I honked at turned out to be my traffic court judge, so I later regretted being rude.” She honked at the ugly coat?

Corrected: “I honked at a stranger in an ugly coat, but I later regretted being rude because he turned out to be my traffic court judge.”

If you find some misplaced modifiers in your writing, send them in to the comments. Examples are fun.


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For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

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