ACT English : Dangling Modifier Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

Example Question #1681 : Gmat Verbal

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Making the final turn, the finish line loomed for both of the dueling cars.

Possible Answers:

Making the final turn to the finish line loomed for both of the dueling cars.

Making the final turn, the finish line loomed for both of the dueling cars.

Making the final turn, the dueling cars looming for the finish line.

The finish line loomed for both of the dueling cars making the final turn.

The dueling cars making the final turn loomed the finish line.

Correct answer:

The finish line loomed for both of the dueling cars making the final turn.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in such a way that it makes the finish line appear to be the one "making the final turn," instead of "the dueling cars." The sentence has to be rearranged to make this distinction clear, and still keep the sentence's intended meaning. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "The finish line loomed for both of the dueling cars making the final turn."

Example Question #41 : Correcting Modifier Placement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Coming over the hill, the rainbow became visible to the hikers.

Possible Answers:

Coming over the hill, the rainbow became visible for the hikers.

Coming over the hill, the rainbow becoming visible to the hikers.

The rainbow became visible to the hikers as they were coming over the hill.

Coming over the hill, the rainbow became visible to the hikers.

The rainbow became visible to the hikers as it came over the hill.

Correct answer:

The rainbow became visible to the hikers as they were coming over the hill.

Explanation:

The sentence is constructed in such a way as to make it seem that "the rainbow," rather than "the hikers," came over the hill. The sentence needs to be rearranged to clarify its meaning. The only answer choice that accomplishes this is "The rainbow became visible to the hikers as they were coming over the hill."

Example Question #42 : Correcting Modifier Placement Errors

Making a little more money, the new car was more affordable for the young woman.

Possible Answers:

Making a little more money, the new car was more affordable for the young woman.

The new car was more affordable for the young woman who was making a little more money.

Making a little more money, the young woman was more affordable for the new car.

The new car was more affordable as the young woman who was making a little more money.

Making a little more money for the new car, was more affordable for the young woman.

Correct answer:

The new car was more affordable for the young woman who was making a little more money.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in such a way as to make it appear the car was "making a little more money." The sentence needs to be rearranged to show that the "young woman" was the one "making a little more money." The only answer choice that does this and becomes gramatically correct is "The new car was more affordable for the young woman who was making a little more money."

Example Question #43 : Correcting Modifier Placement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Spreading through the night, the city was destroyed by the massive fire.

Possible Answers:

the city was destroyed by the massive fire.

the massive fire destroyed the city.

the city destroyed by the massive fire.

 the city was destroyed in the massive fire.

the massive fire was destroyed in the city.

Correct answer:

the massive fire destroyed the city.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in a confusing way, making it read as though the city was "spreading" instead of the "massive fire." The sentence should be clarified to show that it was the fire that was "spreading," which will also allow a passive construction to change to an active construction. The answer choice that does this and is sensibly arranged is "the massive fire destroyed the city."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Dangling Modifier Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Turning around in the crowded store, the counter was run into by the harried man.

Possible Answers:

the counter ran into by the harried man.

the counter was run into by the harried man.

the harried man was run into by the counter.

the counter run into the harried man.

the harried man ran into the counter.

Correct answer:

the harried man ran into the counter.

Explanation:

As it is written, the sentence is quite confusing, reading as though the counter was "Turning around." The underlined portion of the sentence can be rewritten to show both that the "harried man" is turning and get rid of the passive voice construction of the sentence. The only answer choice to properly achieve both of these goals is "the harried man ran into the counter."

Example Question #45 : Correcting Modifier Placement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

While they were making the climb, higher rocks would continually fall on the mountaineers.

Possible Answers:

Higher rocks would continually fall on the mountaineers while they were making the climb.

While they were making the climb, higher rocks continually fall on the mountaineers.

While they were making the climb so higher rocks would continually fall on the mountaineers. 

While they were making the climb, higher rocks would continually fall on the mountaineers.

While they were making the climb, mountaineers continually fall with higher rocks on them.

Correct answer:

Higher rocks would continually fall on the mountaineers while they were making the climb.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in a way that makes the "higher rocks" seem to be the ones that are "making the climb." The sentence needs to be restructured and rearranged to show the "mountaineers" are the ones "making the climb." The answer choice that best straightens out this issue is "Higher rocks would continually fall on the mountaineers while they were making the climb."

Example Question #291 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Moving into a new neighborhood, the neighbors were suspicious of the odd family.

Possible Answers:

Moving into a new neighborhood, the odd family being suspicious of new neighbors.

The neighbors were suspicious of the odd family moving into a new neighborhood.

Moving into new neighborhood for neighbors were suspicious of the odd family. 

Moving into a new neighborhood, the neighbors were suspicious of the odd family.

The neighbors were suspicious of the odd family, new neighborhood moving.

Correct answer:

The neighbors were suspicious of the odd family moving into a new neighborhood.

Explanation:

The way the sentence is written, it appears that the neighbors were "moving into a new neighborhood" as a large mass. In fact, the sentence could be improved by emphasizing that the "odd family" was doing the moving. The answer choice that best clears up this confusion is "The neighbors were suspicious of the odd family moving into a new neighborhood."

Example Question #291 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Walking into a new room, the full display of jewels was seen by the tour group.

Possible Answers:

the tour group saw the full display of jewels.

the tour group was seen by the full display of jewels.

the full display of jewels was seen by the tour group.

the full display of jewels saw by the tour group.

the full display of jewels was seen for the tour group.

Correct answer:

the tour group saw the full display of jewels.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in such a way to make it seem as though the "full display of jewels" was doing the "walking" instead of "the tour group." The sentence should be restructured to clarify this confusion, which can also get rid of the passive voice construction. The answer choice that best clarifies the meaning of the sentence is "the tour group saw the full display of jewels."

Example Question #293 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Only taking classes at night, the degree came slowly to the young woman.

Possible Answers:

Only taking classes at night, the degree came slowly to the young woman.

Only taking classes at night, the degree came slow to the young woman.

The degree came slowly to the young woman; only taking classes at night.

Only taking classes at night, the degree coming slowly to the young woman.

The degree came slowly to the young woman who was only taking classes at night.

Correct answer:

The degree came slowly to the young woman who was only taking classes at night.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in a way that makes it appear that the "degree" was "taking classes at night," rather than the "young woman." The sentence must be rearranged and restructured to properly indicate who or what is doing the action of the sentence. The answer choice that best clarifies the sentence is "The degree came slowly to the young woman who was only taking classes at night."

Example Question #294 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Coming into his own, the beard was grown by the teenager to make himself look older.

Possible Answers:

Coming into his own, the teenager grew the beard to make himself look older.

Coming into his own, the beard was grown by the teenager to make himself look older.

Coming into his own, the beard growing by the teenager to make himself look older.

Coming into his own, the beard grew the teenager to make himself look older.

The beard was grown by the teenager to make himself look older coming into his own.

Correct answer:

Coming into his own, the teenager grew the beard to make himself look older.

Explanation:

The sentence is written in such a way to make the sentence read as though "the beard" was "coming into his own." The sentence needs to be rearranged and restructured to show it was the teenager was "coming into his own." The correct answer choice, which also eliminates the passive voice construction, is "Coming into his own, the teenager grew the beard to make himself look older."

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