字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント 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.