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Sentence Correction: Dangling Modifiers - Overview

Not having the technical background, many people do not succeed in correcting computer malfunctions even after making sense and reading instructions

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The verb making sense requires a preposition in order to logically connect to instructions. Many people do not succeed in making sense of the instructions. If we do not add the preposition of, the sentence becomes illogical as it seems that the people are making sense.

What helps us identify this question as a Split Construction question and identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A split construction: Verb A + and/or + Verb B + object

Although this answer choice corrects the original Split Construction error by inserting the preposition of, it creates a Dangling Modifier. The original sentence begins with a modifier: Not having the technical background. A modifier should be placed right next to the noun it describes. The only noun that this modifier can logically modify is people. However, what immediately follows the modifier is computer malfunctions and computer malfunctions cannot have backgrounds.

What helps us identify this question as a Dangling Modifier question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A modifier, characterized by all of the following:
1. Verb+ing or Verb in 3rd form
2. Separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma
3. Appears at the very beginning of the sentence

Whenever you see this Stop Sign, focus on the modifier: check whether the noun right after the modifier is indeed the noun that the modifier describes. If it isn't - you've found your mistake.

Well done!

This answer choice corrects the original mistake by adding the required preposition of after the verb making sense.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Split Construction error by inserting the preposition of, it creates a Dangling Modifier. The original sentence begins with a modifier: Not having the technical background. A modifier should be placed right next to the noun it describes. The only noun that this modifier can logically modify is people. However, what immediately follows the modifier is computer malfunctions and computer malfunctions cannot have backgrounds.

What helps us identify this question as a Dangling Modifier question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A modifier, characterized by all of the following:
1. Verb+ing or Verb in 3rd form
2. Separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma
3. Appears at the very beginning of the sentence

Whenever you see this Stop Sign, focus on the modifier: check whether the noun right after the modifier is indeed the noun that the modifier describes. If it isn't - you've found your mistake.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Split Construction error by inserting the preposition of, it creates redundancy by using both succeed and successfully since they mean the same thing.

many people do not succeed in correcting computer malfunctions even after making sense and reading instructions
many people do not succeed in correcting computer malfunctions even after they have read and made sense of the instructions
computer malfunctions are not corrected successfully by many people, even after reading and making sense of the instructions
computer malfunctions are not successfully corrected by many people, even after they have read and made sense of the instructions
many people do not succeed in correcting computer malfunctions successfully even after they have read and made sense of the instructions