why sentence starts from adj. "Hard to detect..."??

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Senior Member

I am reading a book that says: "Hard to detect, the mind seizes whatever it wants."

Very strange grammar to me! If who please could explain in detail here why sentence starts from adj. "Hard to detect..." and its function, part of speech?

Thank you.
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    This looks like a dangling participle to me, Camlearner. "Hard to detect" doesn't seem to refer to "mind", but rather to something that the mind can perceive. This mistake is similar to the classic: Baked to a golden-brown crisp, most cooks will love this casserole. Of course, the cooks aren't baked, but the casserole is. The sentence should read: Baked to a golden-brown crisp, this casserole is loved by many cooks.

    So, you have found an error in the grammar of the sentence in your example.


    Senior Member
    English - Canadian
    That sentence is badly structured, and hard to understand without context. It's obviously referring to something in a neighbouring sentence that is difficult (for the human mind?) to detect.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree that it is likely that "hard to detect" refers to something in the preceding sentence. On the other hand, it could be saying that the mind itself is hard to detect.

    Please give us the sentence or two preceding this one and tell us what is being discussed. (See Context and Background.) Also, please name the source of any quotation.
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