ACT English : Misplaced or Interrupting Modifier Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

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Example Question #51 : Misplaced Or Interrupting Modifier Errors

Maybe your thinking of getting a dog; but you are not sure how it will affect your budget. Don’t worry! It’s possible to enjoy the companionship with a dog without spending too much of your precious dollars.

First, you will want to make a list of all the necessary items needed before you bring Fluffy home. Compare costs at different pet stores, grocery stores and big box stores. You will need to buy food, a leash, and purchase toys for your dog.

When it comes to the many dog food choices, you don’t want to just buy the cheaper option. You will want to do some research to see what is healthiest for your dog! One of the best ways to save money on dog food is to buy it in bulk.

Don’t forget to plan for some other big expenses, the vet consultation, wellness exam, and any treatments your dog needs. When you bring your pet to the vet, they may need shots, which can vary for price. Call different clinics in the area and ask how much they charge for the standard immunizations? You might find that there is a lot of differences between offices.

The key to sticking to your budget is planning everything out! With good preparation and organization, a dog will not cost you more money than you planned for.

Choose the answer that best corrects the bolded and underlined portion of the passage. If the bolded and underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

You will find that, with good planning and preparation, a dog will not cost you more than you planned for. 

With good preparation and organization, a dog, you will find, will not cost you more money than you planned for.

With good preparation and organization, you will find that a dog does not cost you more money than you planned for.

You will find that a dog, with good preparation and organization, will not cost you more than you planned for.

Correct answer:

With good preparation and organization, you will find that a dog does not cost you more money than you planned for.

Explanation:

This question asks you to correct a misplaced modifier error. The modifying phrase "With good preparation and organization" describes the subject "you," not the dog. With the original placement, it inaccurately conveys that the dog will be doing the preparation. This modifying phrase should be placed as close as possible to the noun it modifies. 

Example Question #52 : Misplaced Or Interrupting Modifier Errors

[1] Some people are excited, some people are just annoyed. [2] Being called to jury duty can inspire a range of different emotions. [3] Unsure how long the trial will take, a call to jury duty can be stressful for people who can’t afford to miss work or school.

Some people will be making attempts to get out of jury duty. However, most will still need to serve. Fortunately, many cases are settled before going to trial and is not uncommon for trials to just last only one day. Either way, once you have served on a jury, you won’t have to do it again for a while!

Choose the answer that best corrects the bolded and underlined portion of the passage. If the bolded and underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

Unsure how long the trial will take, a call to jury duty, for people who can't afford to miss work or school, can be stressful.

People who find a call to jury duty stressful, who can't afford to miss work or school, are unsure how long the trial will take.

When called to jury duty, people, who can't afford to miss work or school, are not sure how long the trial will take.

NO CHANGE

Unsure how long the trial will take, people who can't afford to miss work or school can find a call to jury duty stressful.

Correct answer:

Unsure how long the trial will take, people who can't afford to miss work or school can find a call to jury duty stressful.

Explanation:

This question asks you to fix a modifier error. The modifying phrase, "Unsure how long the trial will take," should be placed as close as possible to the phrase it modifies, "people." In the original text, the misplaced modifier wrongly suggests that the "call" itself is unsure of the length of the trial. The best answer, "Unsure how long the trial will take, people who can't afford to miss work or school can find a call to jury duty stressful," relocates the modifier to make the sentence more clear without changing its meaning. 

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