after this (dangling modifier)

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wizard8451

Senior Member
Mexico, Spanish
Which one of these is the best? And is the first example an example of a dangling modifier?

After this, a brief wave of ecstasy passed over my body before I stumbled over to Grandma’s big Oak tree, taking refuge in its shade.

After this, a brief wave of ecstasy passed over my body before I stumbled over to Grandma's big Oak tree, where I took refuge in its shade.

After this, a brief wave of ecstay passwed over my body before I stubled over to Grandma's big Oak tree and took refuge in its shade.
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Are you suggesting that beginning a sentence with "After this" puts a sentence in danger of having a dangling modifier? (I don't quite understand the relationship implied in your title.)

    I'm not aware that there is such a danger here. A subject is clearly stated ("I stumbled over the oak tree, taking refuge in its shade") in proximity to the modifier, so it seems clear to me who took refuge.

    Here is a classic example of a dangling modifier:

    "Being in a dilapidated condition, I was able to buy the house very cheap."

    Was "I" or the house in a delapidated condition? In your sentence I think it's a stretch to imagine that the wave of ecstasy took refuge under the tree. How about this though?

    "Taking refuge under a tree, a wave of ecstasy passed over my body."

    That is a dangling modifier. And this is my 2000th post :)

    (By the way, I don't think I have a particular preference between your examples.)
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    After this, a brief wave of ecstasy passed over my body before I stumbled over to Grandma’s big Oak tree, taking refuge in its shade.

    After this, a brief wave of ecstasy passed over my body before I stumbled over to Grandma's big Oak tree, where I took refuge in its shade.

    After this, a brief wave of ecstasy passed over my body before I stubled over to Grandma's big Oak tree and took refuge in its shade.
    I don't like any of these because of the confusing proximity of after and before. The sentence leaves me trying to puzzle out the possible sequences of events, not enjoying the meaning.
     
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