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  1. #1
    dagr8est Guest

    Default Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    My parents keep saying that the following sentence is incorrect because there is a mistake with the dangling modifer but I think it's correct.

    "Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield."

    Could someone tell me if it's right or wrong, and why? Thanks in advance!

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    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by dagr8est
    My parents keep saying that the following sentence is incorrect because there is a mistake with the dangling modifer but I think it's correct.

    "Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield."

    Could someone tell me if it's right or wrong, and why? Thanks in advance!

    You could show them this version. Ask them if they still think there's a dangling modifier.

    "Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefield."

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    If you said 'fearing' then it might be a dangling modifier.

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    Post Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by dagr8est
    My parents keep saying that the following sentence is incorrect because there is a mistake with the dangling modifer but I think it's correct.

    "Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield."

    Could someone tell me if it's right or wrong, and why? Thanks in advance!
    In my opinion, the quoted sentence is grammatically wrong. The above sentence is a kind of participle clause,. According to the rule of the participle clause, if no subject appears before "feared", it means that those who are feared are "the machine gun"!!, the subject of the main clause.
    However, in this sentence, those who are feared are not the machine gun but are likely to be every soldier. In addition you need to change the past tense into a present tense in consideration of the context.
    So you may change the sentence as follows:
    "Feared for its rapid fire, every soldier on the battle field is intimidated by the machin gun."
    But if you want to put an emphasis on the machine gun, you may change the sentence as follows:
    "Fearing every soldier on the battle field for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidates them."

    This sentence, however, struck me as awkward because of the use of the words, fear and intimidate, with almost the same meaning.
    Last edited by critic72; 27-Apr-2005 at 19:43.

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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by dagr8est
    My parents keep saying that the following sentence is incorrect because there is a mistake with the dangling modifer but I think it's correct.

    "Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield."

    Could someone tell me if it's right or wrong, and why? Thanks in advance!
    Well, its structure is fine, but the meaning it expresses is a bit awkward. Consider the missing bits,

    (It being) feared for its rapid fire (by soldiers), the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield.

    "feared for its rapid fire" is a passive structure used to modify "machine gun". There's no dangling going on. The real culprit is meaning. It's a cause and effect concept, so try adding "because", like this,

    Because the machine gun is feared for its rapid fire, it intimidated every soldier on the battlefield.

    All the best,

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    Post Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    You could show them this version. Ask them if they still think there's a dangling modifier.

    "Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefield."
    I'd like to revise my opinion on this. However, I'm still thinking that this sentence is grammatically wrong because there is a dangling modifier in the sentence.

    To begin with, my opinion is that since "fear" is not a trasitive but an intransitive verb in this case, it should be changed to "fearing". However, even after the correction, the sentence is not correct because it contains a dangling modifier "fearing for its rapid fire"; the subject of the main clause 'the machine gun' is not those who fear for its rapid fire.

    Then, who fears for its rapid fire? Of course, they are the soldiers on the battle field. The soldiers fear for the gunfire. Now we need to change the subject of the main clause from the machine gun to every soldier by altering the voice.
    The final sentence we get is as follows:

    Fearing for its rapid fire, every soldier on the battlefield was intimidated by the machine gun.

    Unfortunately, this sentence, although grammatically correct, does not make sense. The use of words with a similar meaning(fear and intimidate), and inappropriate location of the demonstrative determiner(its) makes this sentence unintelligible.

    However, there is an easy way to get things right. Change the original sentence as follows:

    Every soldier on the battlefield was intimidated because of(or by?) the rapid fire of the machine gun.

    Because of its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield.

    I believe that this is what the original sentence really means.
    Last edited by critic72; 28-Apr-2005 at 20:26.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    I think an alternative interpretation is that 'feared' is an adjective, and that the machine gun is generally feared and intimidates every soldier, in which case there's no dangling modifier.

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    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by critic72
    I'd like to revise my opinion on this. However, I'm still thinking that this sentence is grammatically wrong because there is a dangling modifier in the sentence.

    To begin with, my opinion is that since "fear" is not a trasitive but an intransitive verb in this case, it should be changed to "fearing". However, even after the correction, the sentence is not correct because it contains a dangling modifier "fearing for its rapid fire"; the subject of the main clause 'the machine gun' is not those who fear for its rapid fire.

    Then, who fears for its rapid fire? Of course, they are the soldiers on the battle field. The soldiers fear for the gunfire. Now we need to change the subject of the main clause from the machine gun to every soldier by altering the voice.
    The final sentence we get is as follows:

    Fearing for its rapid fire, every soldier on the battlefield was intimidated by the machine gun.

    Unfortunately, this sentence, although grammatically correct, does not make sense. The use of words with a similar meaning(fear and intimidate), and inappropriate location of the demonstrative determiner(its) makes this sentence unintelligible.

    However, there is an easy way to get things right. Change the original sentence as follows:

    Every soldier on the battlefield was intimidated because of(or by?) the rapid fire of the machine gun.

    Because of its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield.

    I believe that this is what the original sentence really means.

    Not being knowledgeable of machine gun use, I would only ask if it really makes sense to put "intimidate" in the past. Does it?

    Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefield. - It is feared for it's rapid fire. - Because it is feared,

    Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidated every soldier on the battlefield. - It is no longer feared for it's rapid fire. - Because it was feared,

    Feared for its rapid fire - feared by everyone - After reading the entire sentence, it's plain to see that "every soldier fears the machine gun", and is therefore intimidated by it. The machine intimidates; therefore, the soldiers fear it.

    the machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefiield. - "every soldier" is part of "everyone" - the battlefield - all battlefields
    Last edited by Steven D; 30-Apr-2005 at 03:30.

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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think an alternative interpretation is that 'feared' is an adjective, and that the machine gun is generally feared and intimidates every soldier, in which case there's no dangling modifier.

    I think "feared" is a passive form. We can understand that it is feared by everyone. It is particulary feared by soldiers on the battlefield. Soldiers are part of everyone. Everyone fears the machine gun. Soldiers on the battlefield fear the machine gun.

    I can see where someone might have a problem associating "feared by everyone" with "every soldier on the battlefield", but it's not really a problem. To me the sentence makes sense.

    Feared for its rapid fire, the machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefield.

    Feared for its rapid fire, - Who fears it? Everyone fears it.

    the machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefield. - Soldiers are everyone. The machine gun intimidates every soldier on the battlefield.

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    Default Re: Need Help With Dangling Modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    If you said 'fearing' then it might be a dangling modifier.

    It would depend on what one really means to say. Know what I mean?

    Fearing its rapid fire, the machine intimidates every soldier on the battlefield.

    The machine gun is currently fearing its own rapid fire. Therefore, it intimidates every soldier on the battlefield.

    Of course, one wouldn't really mean to say that - - or would one? You never know............ mm........





    twisted - now used in place of quotations

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