A misplaced modifier is a participial phrase or other modifier that comes before the subject, but does not refer to the subject.
Look at this sentence:
- Driving down the road, a herd of sheep suddenly crossed the road in front of Liza’s car. (INCORRECT)
This sentence is incorrect because it seems to say that a herd of sheep — rather than Liza — was driving down the road. The participial phrase is misplaced. The sentence could be corrected as shown:
- As Liza was driving down the road, a herd of sheep suddenly crossed the road in front of her. (CORRECT)
This sentence now correctly has Liza in the driver’s seat instead of the sheep.
So, with that being said, the following sentence structures in the table down below are often misplaced.
|Present Participle||Walking along the beach, the ship was spotted by the men.||Walking along the beach, the men spotted the ship|
|Past Participle||Based on this study, the scientist could make several|
|Based on this study, several conclusions could be made|
by the scientist.
|Appositive||A resort city in Arkansas, the population of Hot Springs|
is about 35,000.
|A resort city in Arkansas, Hot Springs has a |
population of about 35,000.
|While peeling onions, his eyes began to water.||While he was peeling onions, his eyes began to water.|
|Adjective Phrases||Warm and mild, everyone enjoys the climate of the |
|Everyone enjoys the warm, mild climate of the Virgin|
|Expressions with like|
|Like most cities, parking is a problem in San Francisco.||Like most cities, San Francisco has a parking problem.|
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