GMAT Sentence Correction - Modifiers
Updated: Apr 8
Modifiers should be positioned close to the nouns, pronouns or phrases they modify.
Two main types of modifiers are:
A sentence containing a dangling modifier usually has a phrase that describes the subject but does not name the specific noun.
This phrase mostly appears at the beginning of a sentence, but it can appear later on as well.
Irrespective of its position, the phrase is followed by a comma.
Whenever a sentence contains a descriptive introductory phrase, the noun or pronoun it modifies must be placed immediately after the comma. If that noun or pronoun does not appear the modifier is dangling.
Keep a close watch for possessive versions of the subject immediately after the introductory phrase.
If any possessive noun is placed immediately after an introductory phrase - it will be incorrect.
EXCEPTION: It is acceptable when we begin the main clause with an adjective or phrase modifying the subject - such modifiers are considered part of the complete subject.
Generally do not involve any introductory phrases.
Occur later in sentences - separated from the words/ phrases they are intended to modify.
Generally very short.
They can be Adjectives/ Adverbs/ Phrases/ Gerunds
GERUNDS: A passive construction is typically required to correct the error - One of the few places where PASSIVE IS OK.
Also watch out for phrases beginning with which & that. The pronouns must always refer to the noun that appears immediately before them.