Every part of the sentence should be so placed that its relation to the rest of the sentence is clear and unmistakable. Modifiers should be placed as close as possible to the words they modify. In shifting the position o placement of modifiers, meaning may change, as in the example given in the previous post.

Things to remember:

1. One-word modifiers are used as adjectives and are placed before the nouns they modify.
eg.        Mr. Rogers is the first speaker in the occasion yesterday.
Dick met Arvin walking at the hospital’s corridor.
After eating lunch, Christine slept for two hours.

2. One-word adverb modifiers particularly those of time, place and manner can be placed anywhere in the sentence. They may be placed at the beginning, in the middle or end of the sentence as the meaning allows.

Sometimes, we have to be reminded to say “thank you.”
We sometimes have to be reminded to say “thank you.”
We have to be reminded to say “thank you” sometimes.

thank you

a) Adverbs of frequency such as already, ever, never, seldom, occasionally, frequently, still, and always are generally placed before     the verb or between auxiliary and main verb. However if the main verb is a form of the verb be (is, are, was, were) the adverb comes after the verb.

eg.         Our neighbor frequently travels. (before the verb)
Roger has already been to Canada. (between the auxiliary and the main verb)
Rey is never late to meeting called by the General Manager. (after the verb be)

b) Adverbs of degree and intensity such as quite, too, very and extremely are placed before the adjectives or adverbs they modify.

eg.         Edward is extremely interested in the project.
He will be very willing to contribute to it.

3. A phrase or elliptical clause modifier is said to dangle when it does not modify the word which is common sense tells it should, or when it modifies no word in the sentence.

eg.             At thee years, the father taught his son how to draw.
Should be: At three years, the son was taught by his father how to draw.
or             When the son was four year old, the father taught him how to draw.

Categories: Learn English

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