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  • Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. My name's Adam. Today's lesson is a little bit more

  • advanced. It's actually very useful for native English speakers as well, not only ESL learners.

  • Today we're talking about misplaced modifiers. Now, this is a very important grammar point,

  • plus it's also very, very important for those of you who need to do English writing. Okay?

  • This is a very common mistake that people will see in all kinds of writing. It could

  • be very, very embarrassing sometimes because... You'll understand in a minute why. But I'll

  • show you the different types and we'll figure out a way to fix it as much as we can.

  • So, first of all, what is a "modifier"? A modifier is anything in a sentence, it could

  • be an adjective or an adverb, a clause, a phrase, anything that modifies something else

  • in the sentence. What does "modify" mean? Means to change, change the meaning of, change

  • the idea of. Okay? So, for example: if you say: "A car", you have an idea of a car. You

  • say: "A red car", you have a different idea of the car probably. So "red" modifies "car".

  • Okay, so what we're looking at is misplaced modifiers. We have misplaced modifiers, dangling

  • modifiers, squinting modifiers. Don't worry about the technical words. Worry about what

  • is actually happening here. So I'm going to start with these examples, and we'll look

  • at a few others in a minute. So look at these two sentences:

  • "I call only my mother when I'm sick." "I only call my mother when I'm sick."

  • Now, this word: "only" is the modifier we're looking at. It is very, very often misplaced;

  • people don't realize that this word doesn't necessarily go where it should go half the

  • time. It's amazing how many people misplace it. So what does this sentence mean: "I call

  • only my mother when I'm sick"? It means: when I'm sick, I don't call my friends, I don't

  • call my girlfriend or boyfriend, I don't call my aunt or uncle; only my mother. I'm sick:

  • "Mom, come make me some soup, please." You have to be polite, of course.

  • "I only call my mother when I'm sick." It means: when I'm healthy, I don't call her.

  • I never speak to her, only when I'm sick do I call her. She gets very angry at me, she

  • thinks I'm using her. But according to this sentence, I am, because I only call her when

  • I'm sick. So you understand what this word does to the sentence. Okay? Very, very important

  • where you place it to know which word it's going to modify.

  • The secret about modifiers: place them close to the word you're trying to modify. But that

  • also doesn't always work. "People who whistle quickly become annoying."

  • Now, you're thinking: "This sentence looks okay." The problem is: what does it mean?

  • Is it: "People who whistle quickly, become annoying"? Or: "People who whistle, quickly

  • become annoying"? Which one do you mean? All people who whistle or just people who whistle

  • quickly? I don't think I should whistle, I'll probably blow the mic, but very fast whistling.

  • Right? So, this is called a squinting modifier; you're not sure which word the modifier is

  • going with. How can I fix this? You can probably cut it into two sentences. "I get quickly

  • annoyed by people who whistle." Or: "People who whistle become annoying quickly." Or just

  • change the location or again, just split it into two different sentences, that's another

  • solution. Here's another one, this is called more...

  • This is more of a dangling modifier: "I went to see a movie last night with my

  • friend, which was really boring." Okay, maybe you understand the sentence. I

  • don't. What was boring, the movie or the going out with the friend? This is called a dangling

  • modifier because I don't actually know what it is modifying. I'm not sure what this "which"

  • is, the situation or the movie. So again, to fix it, just bring it closer to the actual

  • thing. I'm going to assume you're talking about the movie. "I went to see a movie last

  • night which was really boring, with my friend." No, that's not a very good way to fix it either.

  • "I went to see a movie which was really boring last night with my friend." That's much better,

  • it's right next to the thing you're modifying. So you want to put this right here, so it

  • modifies the movie itself. Okay? So here're three different examples of misplaced modifiers.

  • Let's look at a few more. Okay, let's look at a few more examples, and

  • eventually, we'll get to some funny ones that you'll understand why it could be embarrassing.

  • First, let's look at these two: "The doctor had to cancel the appointment,

  • but the patient came anyway because he was sick."

  • Okay, makes sense, no problem. It doesn't make sense in terms of the context because

  • if the doctor cancelled the appointment, the patient shouldn't come. But...

  • "The doctor had to cancel the appointment because he was sick, but the patient came

  • anyway." Also okay. Now, technically, both of these

  • sentences are okay. The question is: which do you mean? So this is the modifier. Okay?

  • "Because he was sick". First of all, who was sick, the doctor or the patient? We can assume

  • the patient was sick, but we also want to know why the doctor cancelled the appointment.

  • Okay? So be very, very careful where you place your modifier to make sure that you get across

  • the meaning that you want to get across. Okay? I'm going to assume that this is the correct

  • sentence because I want to know why he cancelled an appointment when he has a patient coming.

  • Okay? So... Next:

  • "Covered in dirt" - this should be a capital, sorry it doesn't look like a capital - "Covered

  • in dirt, I didn't want to eat the apple." Now you're thinking: "Okay, great. No problem.

  • A dirty apple, you don't want to eat it." The only problem is that you're starting your

  • sentence with a participle. When you start a sentence with a participle, the subject

  • of the participle must be the same as the subject of the next clause. Right? So technically,

  • you are covered in dirt, not the apple. "Covered in dirt, I didn't want to eat the apple.",

  • "Oh, I'm so dirty, I don't want to eat this apple." Does that make sense? No, not really.

  • You can eat an apple even if you're dirty. Right? Maybe it'll clean you up a little bit

  • inside. How can I fix this? You can say: "I didn't want to eat the apple that was dirty.",

  • "I didn't want to eat the apple which was dirty." Depending on the situation. Right?

  • Or: "Covered in dirt, the apple didn't seem so appetizing anymore." Just make sure you

  • match your subjects. Okay. "She saw dark rain clouds on the way to the

  • park." So you think: "Oh, yeah, she's going to the

  • park and there're clouds." She's going to get a... Maybe a little bit bummed out. The

  • only problem is she's not on the way to the park, the clouds are on the way to the park

  • because that's the way you placed them. The clouds are going to the park. "Oh wow, have

  • a good time at the park, clouds." Doesn't really work. Right? So you would say: "On

  • the way to the park, she saw dark rain clouds." So I understand that it's she who is on the

  • way to the park. Now, remember: all you have to do is put the modifier next to the thing

  • you're trying to modify. She was on the way to the park, not the rain clouds.

  • I have to admit: I borrowed this last example. I made it up, but I borrowed the idea from

  • Groucho Marx. He said: "Once in the... Once, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How it got

  • into my pajamas, I have no idea." So that's a funny joke if you understand what he's talking

  • about. So let's look at this one: "Jeremy ran away from the bear in his underwear."

  • You're thinking: "Yeah, bear, I don't care. I'm wearing underwear, I'm still running."

  • Like you're camping, whatever, you come out of your tent in your underwear, there is a

  • bear, you're running. But no, what you said here or what I wrote here anyway is that the

  • bear is wearing the underwear, and Jeremy's running because the bear is wearing the underwear.

  • Maybe he thinks the bear has some strange intentions or something like that. So: "Jeremy

  • ran away from the bear while in his underwear." would make a bit more sense. But then: "While

  • in... While still in his underwear, Jeremy ran away from the bear." That would be the

  • best solution. Okay? So, again, lots of ways to use modifiers,

  • lots of different types of modifiers. Make sure you're putting them as close as possible

  • to the thing you're modifying. This way, you avoid misunderstandings and you avoid very

  • embarrassing sentences that could be. Okay? Again, this needs practice, it needs a little

  • bit of looking very carefully at what you've written. Go to www.engvid.com. There's a quiz

  • there, you can practice this a little bit more. Please check out my channel on YouTube

  • and subscribe to it. And I'll see you again very soon. Bye.

Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. My name's Adam. Today's lesson is a little bit more

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A2 初級

書き方 - 見当違いの修飾子 (Writing - Misplaced Modifiers)

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    ck に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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