The UVic Writer's Guide

Dangling or Misplaced Modifier (Dgl)

A dangling modifier has been placed in a sentence where it has nothing to modify:

Flying into Victoria, the trees looked lovely.

This sentence suggests that the trees are flying. The sentence must be reworked so that the person doing the flying is mentioned.

A misplaced modifier has been placed next to the wrong word:

He attacked the dragon with a sword.

The sentence suggests that it's the the dragon that has the sword. While the meaning is often clear in context, the sentence would benefit from rewriting

He drew his sword and attacked the dragon.

For more, see the discussion on dangling modifiers in the section on sentences.

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Copyright, Department of English The University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated Sept. 24, 1995