modifiers 1


Modifiers: words, phrases, or clauses that add detail, specificity, or description to an element in a sentence. Modifiers can be removed without effecting the grammar of the sentence. They must be placed as close as possible to the words that they modify.  


We are familiar with one word modifiers because we use adjectives and adverbs.


Phrases and clauses can be used to modify elements in a sentence in the same way, acting the way adjectives and adverbs do.




three common kinds of modifying phrases:

  1. participle phrases - verbs (or verb phrases) acting as adjectives, often using the -ing or -ed form of a verb
    1. I looked down at my shoes, sensing the professor's sharp eyes on me.  
    2. As I walked down the street, I saw a cat, huddled in the corner of a cardboard box. 
  2. appositive phrases - renames or identifies a noun right beside it  
    1. My best friend, a class clown of the highest order, sits beside me in chemistry lab. 
    2. I've never liked emojis, a form of hieroglyphic digital writing. 
    3. Barack Obama, the President of the United States, is ending his second term. 
  3. non-restrictive relative clause - adds additional information introduced with words which, who, whose, whom  
    1. I've never like my chemistry teacher, who constantly spits when she talks.  
    2. Danny Trejo, whose acting skills are as rough as his appearance, seems like a sweet man on talk shows.
    3. This class, which satisfies a college requirement, is also pretty awesome.  


More examples- but what kind?: 



Common Errors:


Misplaced Modifiers - a modifier should always be beside (or as close as possible) to the part of the sentence that it is modifying. A modifier that is too distant from the part it is modifying will create a grammatical error (a misplaced modifier) even if its intended meaning is still clear.


Dangling Modifier - a dangling modifier error occurs when the part of the sentence that a modifier is modifying is unclear or absent.