Historical Writing Project

Good and Bad Writing -- Exercises in Evaluating Writing Samples

Grammar -- Dangling Modifiers

The Purdue University website defines a dangling modifier as:
A word or phrase that modifies a word not clearly stated in the sentence. A modifier describes, clarifies, or gives more detail about a concept.

An example of what not to do:
Changing the horses every ten miles, Washington's carriages seemed to run better.

Consider this:
Changing the horses every ten miles, Washington found the carriages seemed to run better.

Another example:
To get more sunlight, the building used large windows.

Better example:
To get more sunlight, the builders put large windows in the building.