Really Easy Grammer – No. 35: Don’t Let Your Participle Dangle

Posted by hgsba on May 12, 2018

In the event the rules of English syntax are carved anywhere, they’re carved only in spread. A lot of the rules are arbitrary at best and sometimes even silly. And it’s really possible that you can violate many of them and still be considered a good writer. But should you? Like everything else, the rules come into and go out of fashion. Shakespeare might use double problems, but we’re not expected to. An educated person in the 17th Hundred years could say ain’t, however, not now. So, where does indeed that leave us? Grammarly Discount

Now i’m a writer-for-hire, so Now i’m likely to know the guidelines and follow them. Nevertheless I don’t, always. Ought to I? Let’s take a look at an example of a standard rule of writing. In this case, I’m referring to modifiers and the things they modify. (I’ll use some technical names, but don’t worry about them. They aren’t important when you’re writing, because you will recognize one when you see it. ) The modifier can be one word like happy, or it can be words in a phrase, like over the hill or sitting on top of the world. The first example is an adverbial, the next one is a prepositional phrase, and the third the first is a participial phrase. The secret we’re considering is: May separate a modifier from the thing it changes. That’s easy if the modifier is a sole word, green, and the thing it modifies is parrot. You wouldn’t write, “I did find a parrot sitting in a tree green. ” It can pretty clear that if you wish someone to know that the parrot’s green, you put the modifier next to the parrot. You could even write, “I saw a parrot organic after a tree waiting, ” and the audience would still know the parrot’s green. It’s just somewhat more poetic. Wherever we more often enter into trouble is when the modifier is a term rather than a single phrase. For example, the key phrase “under a palm tree” is the modifier in the sentence “I was under a palm forest and watched a bird. ” In the phrase “Today, standing under a palm tree, I viewed a beautiful parrot, very well the modifier is “standing near a palm shrub. ” In both good examples, the phrases are showing us (modifying) who experienced been standing under the palm tree. And it can clear which i was the one because the modifiers are right next to the thing being modified.

Right now comes the fun. Groucho Marx said, “Once I actually shot an elephant using my pajamas. ” That was either a very unlikely location to you should find an elephant, or it was obviously a dangling modifier. When the modifier gets misplaced in an instance like this, it can confuse the meaning. That’s the reason for the rule. This applies at any time a transformer gets located so that it seems to alter an interest other than the intended one. If I actually wrote, “I once viewed a parrot wearing just my old rain cover, ” I’d say that I’ll never learn how that parrot got into my rain coat. Anyway, that isn’t what I wished to say. Oh, sure, I could always use the lame, old reason, “But you knew what I meant. ” Probably so, but since a writer, it’s my responsibility to make it properly clear what I imply. It’s not the reader’s job to work it away.

In the New You are able to Times, in May 2004, there was a photo of a duck with her brood walking along a road. Next to the style was the description: A mallard that nested for weeks outside the Treasury Department in California led her day-old ducklings yesterday through Rock Creek Park. Agriculture Department creatures experts escorted the new family to its new home in a four-vehicle motorcade. In this circumstance, the phrase “in a four-vehicle motorcade” is certainly intended to modify “experts escorted. ” Unfortunately, it seems to describe the ducks’ new home. Apart from any grammatical concern, that’s simply sloppy writing.

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