dangling modifier

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n2009

Senior Member
Arabic
While a student at college, my mother met my father.

When I was only a child, my father taught me how to play soccer.

- In dangling modifiers, the subject of the main clause must be the same as the understood subject of the introductory phrase.
- I can't apply the rule to these two examples, but I am sure they are right grammatically. Can you help me? thanks.
 
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  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    They are fine.
    In the first, the subject of the main clause is the person who was a student at college.
    That's OK.

    In the second, there is no dangling anything.
    The first clause has an explicit subject - "I".

    If you had omitted the subject there would have been dangling something :)
    When only a child, my father taught me how to play soccer.
    Oh dear - who was a child?
     

    n2009

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Sorry, I am a little bit confused. Dangling modifier means misplaced modifier (wrong state that should be corrected), is that right?
    These two examples are from an exercise, where I should identify if the sentence is correct or if there is a dangling modifier error:
    1- While a student at college (introductory clause, subject: student at college), my mother met my father (main clause, subject: why is it college student?). This is a correct sentence.
    2- When only a child, my father taught me how to play soccer. Wrong sentence
    And this is the answer that was given in the error key:
    When I was only a child (introductory clause, subject: I), my father taught me how to play soccer (main clause, subject: my father? object: me?)

    Do you say: grammatically (adv) right (adj.) or right grammatically? Can you point grammar mistakes in my post?
    Thanks
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Do you say: grammatically (adv) right:tick: (adj.) or right grammatically? :thumbsup: (you can use this for emphasis, if you stress 'grammatically', but the first one is correct, you can also use 'correct' and it's fine)

    Can you point out any grammar mistakes in my post?

    Thanks
    n2009, you ask questions after your examples, are they actual questions you want us to answer or part of what is written in your book?
     

    n2009

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    I wrote my queries and my understanding between brackets (), so you can clarify them or point out if they are right or wrong. In second and first example, I can’t see how the subject of the main clause is the same as the understood subject of the introductory phrase.
    Thanks
     
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    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The reason I wasn't sure, was because, well, that's what written at the beginning, it can't be any another subject..

    While (she was) a student, my mother met my father
    .
    Here 'student' is the subject, as it's referring to the 'mother', but we don't know who is being referred to until after the comma, then we connect the idea that the mother was the student and when she was at college, the student (which was her) met the father.

    When I was only a child (introductory clause, subject: I), my father taught me how to play soccer (main clause, subject: my father? object: me?)
    I'm not really good with complex grammar rules, and many things that are used in English are considered wrong, many thinks millions and millions of English speakers don't know are wrong, so I don't know if it is wrong or not but it sounds fine. The subject of the verb 'to teach' is 'my father', but it's directed back at you with "MY father", "taught ME", it's still very obvious the person being referred to is I.

    I hope this helped.
     
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