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Sentence Correction: Dangling Modifiers - Overview

Responding to the dramatic affair, the minister of finance has prepared a speech warning the public that unless their ways are changed, dire consequences would soon befall them.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect as it incorrectly uses the Future-Past (would befall) in the result part of a Conditional 1 sentence. We identify the sentence as a Conditional 1 sentence by the use of unless + the Present in the condition part (unless... are). Accordingly, the result part of the conditional sentence should be in the Future or Present tense.

What helps identify this question as a Conditionals question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

If / Unless

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect as it incorrectly uses the Past Perfect (had befallen) in the result part of a Conditional 1 sentence. We identify the sentence as a Conditional 1 sentence by the use of unless + the Present in the condition part (unless... are). Accordingly, the result part of the conditional sentence should be in the Future or Present tense.

What helps identify this question as a Conditionals question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

If / Unless

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect as it incorrectly uses the Past (fell) in the result part of a Conditional 1 sentence. We identify the sentence as a Conditional 1 sentence by the use of unlessthe Present in the condition part (unless... are). Accordingly, the result part of the conditional sentence should be in the Future or Present tense.

What helps identify this question as a Conditionals question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

If / Unless

Although this answer choice corrects the original Conditionals error by using the Future tense in the result of a Conditional 1 sentence, it creates a Dangling Modifier. The sentence begins with a modifier: Responding to the dramatic affair. A modifier should be placed right next to the noun it describes. The only noun that this modifier can logically modify is minister. The noun minister, however, is quite far from the modifier that describes it. Therefore, it seems like the speech is responding to the dramatic affair.

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.

Fantastic!

This answer choice corrects the original Conditionals error by using the Future tense in the result of a Conditional 1 sentence.

the minister of finance has prepared a speech warning the public that unless their ways are changed, dire consequences would soon befall
a speech has been prepared by the minister of finance warning the public that unless their ways are changed, dire consequences will soon befall
the minister of finance has prepared a speech warning the public that unless their ways are changed, dire consequences will soon befall
the minister of finance has prepared a speech warning the public that unless their ways are changed, dire consequences had soon befallen
the minister of finance has prepared a speech warning the public that unless their ways are changed, dire consequences soon fell upon