قانون ساده ای که در مورد توصیف کننده ها صادق است این است که توصیف کننده ها می بایست نزدیک ترین عبارت به اسم و یا عبارت مورد وصف خود باشند. در زبان انگلیسی، صفت، اسم را توصیف میکند و قید، صفت و فعل را توصیف میکند.
He is a really hardworking student.
در جمله فوق، کلمه "دانش آموز" که از لحاظ دستور زبان، اسم محسوب میشود، با صفت "سخت کوش" توصیف شده و صفت "سخت کوش" با قید "واقعا".
She is a lazybones. She hardly works.
It’s a difficult question. You can’t understand it easily.
در جمله های فوق نیز، فعل "کارکردن" با قید "بندرت" و فعل "فهمیدن" با قید "به آسانی" توصیف شده است و همانطور که ملاحظه میکنید، عبارات توصیف کننده، بلافاصله پیش و یا پس از کلمات مورد وصف واقع می شوند.
یکی از ساختارهای مورد آزمون اس ای تی در بخش نگارش و دستور زبان، مبحث توصیف کننده ها و مکان صحیح آنها در ارتباط با عبارت مورد وصف مربوطه شان می باشد.
Incorrect: The dealer sold the car to the buyer with leather seats.
Correct: The dealer sold the car with leather seats to the buyer.
Incorrect: The three bankers talked quietly in the corner smoking pipes.
Correct: The three bankers smoking pipes talked quietly in the corner.
Incorrect: We saw a fence behind the house made of barbed wire.
Correct: We saw a fence made of barbed wire behind the house.
Incorrect: After reading the original study, the article remained unconvincing.
Correct: After reading the original study, I found the article unconvincing.
Incorrect: Relieved of your responsibilities at your job, your home should be a place to relax.
Correct: Relieved of your responsibilities at your job, you should be able to relax at home.
Incorrect: The experiment was a failure, not having studied the lab manual carefully.
Correct: They failed the experiment, not having studied the lab manual carefully.
Incorrect: Hoping to garner favor, my parents were sadly unimpressed with the gift.
Correct: Hoping to garner favor, my new boyfriend brought my parents a gift that sadly unimpressed them.
Misplaced modifiers seem quite natural particularly when the main clause has preparatory it or there as a subject.
Being French, it’s surprising that she’s such a terrible cook.
Having so little time, there was not much that I could do.
Misplaced modifiers are also normal in some fixed expressions referring to speaker’s attitude.
Generally speaking, men can run faster than women.
Broadly speaking, dogs are more faithful than cats.
Considering everything, it wasn’t a bad holiday.
Taking everything into consideration, they ought to get another chance.
An SAT Example for Misplaced Modifiers:
Within a month, I found myself feeling isolated despite having frequent email and instant messaging contact with my colleagues. Having become frustrated trying to solve difficult problems, no colleagues were nearby to share ideas.
- No Change
- colleagues were important for sharing ideas.
- ideas couldn’t be shared with colleagues.
- I missed having colleagues nearby to consult.
Answer: Choice D
Who has become frustrated trying to solve problems? Colleagues or I? It must be “I”.
We should further note the previous sentence that “I” felt isolated and frustrated.
Therefore, answer choice (D) can truly revise the sentence and obviate the dangling modifier issue.
Another Example of Misplaced Modifiers:
Dotted with pin-sized knobs, another visitor noticed my fascination with a tiny writing test and its drawers.
A) NO CHANGE
B) Another visitor, dotted with pin-sized knobs, noticed my fascination with a tiny writing desk and its drawers.
C) Another visitor dotted with pin-sized knobs noticed my fascination with a tiny writing desk and its drawers.
D) Another visitor noticed my fascination with a tiny writing desk and its drawers, dotted with pin-sized knobs.