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Sentence Correction: Dangling Modifiers - Overview

Piled up in the sink, John began washing the dishes.

This sentence begins with a modifier: Piled up in the sink. We can tell it's a modifier as it appears at the beginning of the sentence, is separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma, and there is a verb in the 3rd form in it (Piled).

A modifier is a Stop Sign. If we encounter a modifier in a Sentence Correction question, this is what we should focus on. We have to make sure that the modifier is placed right next to the noun it describes.

This modifier clearly describes the dishes and not John. Since the modifier is not right next to the noun it describes, this answer choice is incorrect. 

This answer choice repeats the original Dangling Modifier mistake.

The sentence begins with the  modifier Piled up in the sink. We can tell it's a modifier as it appears at the beginning of the sentence, is separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma, and there is a verb in the 3rd form in it (Piled).

A modifier is a Stop Sign. If we encounter a modifier in a Sentence Correction question, this is what we should focus on. We have to make sure that the modifier is placed right next to the noun it describes.

This modifier clearly describes the dishes and not John. Since the modifier is not right next to the noun it describes, this answer choice is incorrect. 

Very good!

Almost. First of all, kudos for identifying and correcting the original Dangling Modifier mistake. Although this answer choice is grammatically correct, it changes the meaning of the original sentence. In the original sentence, John began to wash the dishes.

This answer choice repeats the original Dangling Modifier mistake.

The sentence begins with a modifier: Piled up in the sink. We can tell it's a modifier as it appears at the beginning of the sentence, is separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma, and there is a verb in the 3rd form in it (Piled).

A modifier is a Stop Sign. If we encounter a modifier in a Sentence Correction question, this is what we should focus on. We have to make sure that the modifier is placed right next to the noun it describes.

This modifier clearly describes the dishes and not John. Since the modifier is not right next to the noun it describes, this answer choice is incorrect. 

Piled up in the sink, John began washing the dishes
Piled up in the sink, John started washing the dishes
John began washing the dishes that piled up in the sink
Piled up in the sink, the dishes were washed by John
Piled up in the sink, John washed the dishes