MODIFIER - eAge Tutor




modi_1Modifier can serve as an adjective, adverb, phrase, or clause in a sentence. The role of the modifier is to give full information and description of the sentence.



Sometimes modifiers can be an adjective or an adverb. Adjective is a part of speech that modifies nouns and pronouns and adverb is a part of speech that modifies verbs, adjective, and adverbs. Adverbs and adjectives should be used carefully.


• After he came home, he took food quick and went to bed.
• In the above sentence, the use of word quick is not correct. The correct use should be
• After he came home, he took food quickly and went to bed.



A Modifier can work best when placed next to the word it modifies. A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is placed at a different position and thus the word tends to modify the wrong thing. When they are not placed at the right place, the sentence becomes illogical and incorrect. The only way to correct misplaced modifier is to place the modifier at the right place.

The examples of misplaced modifiers are as follows:


• He drinks a hot glass of milk every day.

Here the adjective hot is placed at a wrong place. We can correct the mistake by placing the adjective before the noun it qualifies. Therefore, the correct sentence should be-

 He drinks a glass of hot milk every day.

Here the adjective hot qualifies the noun milk.


Sometimes, when an adverb is misplaced in a sentence, it tends to change the entire meaning of the sentence.
For example: We ate the cookies that our friends had gifted us quickly.

In order to create more meaningful sentence, we should place quickly near the word ate. We ate the cookies quickly that our friends had gifted us.


Adverbs such as nearly, only, merely, almost should be placed correctly in a sentence. If not placed correctly, then it can alter the meaning of a sentence. 
For example: I only gave Rs.100 to the poor boy.
Here, the correct sentence should be I gave only Rs. 100 to the poor boy.


when misplaced create a sentence that does not make any sense.
For example:  The woman sold her pearl necklace to her friend with pink and white decoration
The correct sentence should be : The woman sold her pearl necklace with pink and white decoration to her friend.


It may cause a sentence sound impractical and without any sense.
For example: Mom baked cake for little Johnny that was very delicious.
Correct sentence should be
- Mom baked cake that was very delicious for little Johnny.



Dangling Modifier is a clause or phrase that is not placed next to the word it modifies. Thus it makes the sentence sound illogical and awkward.  A dangling modifier cannot be moved to a different place to correct the sentence. Mostly, the dangling modifiers are found in the beginning of a sentence.

For example: When six years old, my sister enrolled in yoga classes.

This sentence means my sister enrolled in yoga classes when she was six years old.


Sometimes a modifier is placed in between two words and thus we are not able to find which word the modifier modifies. So it is called two way or squinting modifier as it becomes difficult to judge or find out which word actually does the modifier modifies.

For example:
  The lecturer said on Tuesday he would show the papers.

Did the lecturer say this on Tuesday or did he say that he would show the papers on Tuesday?

Correct sentence 1: The lecturer said that he would show the papers on Tuesday.

Correct sentence 2: On Tuesday the lecturer said he would show the papers.

We can correct squinting modifiers by placing the modifier next to the word it modifies.

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