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Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced Modifiers                                                     

Common Core Language Standard 1

Sometimes we just have to use “big words” to communicate exactly what we want to say. The grammatical term, modify, is one of those “big words” that we need to learn to be able to talk about language. Modify means a variety of things, including to describe, to talk about, to identify, to limit, to change, to add, and to restrict.

Today’s grammar and usage lesson is on misplaced modifiers. Remember that an adjective modifies a noun or pronoun and answers Which one? How many? or What kind? An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb and answers What degree? How? Where? or When?

Now let’s read the grammar and usage lesson and study the examples.

A misplaced modifier modifies something that the writer does not intend to modify because of its placement in the sentence. Place modifiers close to the words that they modify. Examples:  I drank only water; I only drank water. In these sentences only is the modifier. These sentences have two different meanings. The first means that I drank nothing but water. The second means that all I did with the water was to drink it.

Now circle or highlight what is right and revise what is wrong according to grammar and usage lesson.

Practice: I dusted always on Tuesdays. No one else did that chore.

Pennington Publishing's Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 Programs

Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 Programs

Let’s check the Practice Answers.

Grammar and Usage Practice Answers: I always dusted on Tuesdays. No one else did that chore.

Now let’s apply what we have learned. 

Writing Application: Write two of your own sentences: the first with a misplaced adjective modifier and the second with that adjective modifier placed properly within the sentence.

This writing opener is part of a comprehensive language conventions lesson from the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)  Grades 4‒8 programs. Complete descriptions, instructional scopes and sequences, introductory video, previews, and two-week test drives of the grade-level teacher guides and student workbooks are available here.

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Dangling Modifiers

Dangling Modifiers                                                       

Common Core Language Standard 1

Dangling modifiers provide quite a bit of humor for your English-language arts teachers. They are also favorite sources of humor for many cartoonists. Cartoonists find much of their humor in word play. The way they use language makes a joke or punchline funny or not. To understand the humor in a dangling modifier, you have to be able to recognize and explain one when you see it. Now, not every dangling modifier is laugh-out-loud funny, but each of them creates misunderstanding for the reader.

Today’s grammar and usage lesson is on dangling modifiers. Remember that an adjective modifies a noun or pronoun and answers Which one? How many? or What kind? An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb and answers What degree? How? Where? or When? A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that serves as an adjective or adverb to describe, limit, or add to another word, phrase, or clause.

Now let’s read the grammar and usage lesson and study the examples.

A dangling modifier is an adjective or adverb that does not have a clear connection to the word, phrase, or clause to which it refers. A dangling modifier usually takes the form of a present participle (“__ing”), a past participle (“__d,” “__t,” “__ed,” “__ en”), or an infinitive (to + the base form of a verb). To eliminate the dangling modifier, place the doer of the sentence as the subject of the independent clause or combine the phrase and independent clause. Example: Fired from your job, your car became your home. (Your car was not fired; you were.)

Now circle or highlight what is right and revise what is wrong according to grammar and usage lesson.

Practice: Having finished her homework, she turned on the television.

Pennington Publishing's Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 Programs

Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 Programs

Let’s check the Practice Answers.

Grammar and Usage Practice Answers:

Having finished her homework, she turned on the television.

or

She turned on the television show after finishing her homework.

Now let’s apply what we have learned. 

Writing Application: Write two of your own sentences: the first with a dangling modifier and the second with that modifier placed properly within the sentence.

This writing opener is part of a comprehensive language conventions lesson from the Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand)  Grades 4‒8 programs. Complete descriptions, instructional scopes and sequences, introductory video, previews, and two-week test drives of the grade-level teacher guides and student workbooks are available here.

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