As it is clear from the name a modifier is a word or phrase that qualifies (modifies) or describes a word, phrase or clause.
Types of Modifiers are:
Adjectives: Words which modify nouns and pronouns.
  • The stay in the red house across the street. In this red is the adjective modifying the house.
Adverbs: They modify verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
  • This is a very good book. The boy ran quickly. In this, very and quickly are adverbs.
Modifier phrases: There are certain phrases which modify an action or the doer of action.
  • Looking at the clock, he noticed that he was late.
Common Errors in use of Modifiers:
  1. Misplaced Modifier
  2. Dangling Modifier
Misplaced Modifier:
As the name suggests, a misplaced modifier is a modifier that is not placed correctly. If the modifier is not placed next to the item it modifies, the sentence is not able to convey the correct meaning and sometimes even ends up being unintentionally funny.
For Example:
She wore the hat on her head, which she bought yesterday. Did she buy the head yesterday? No, she bought the hat yesterday.
The correct sentence will be:
  • She tried the hat which she bought yesterday, on her head.
Dangling Modifier:
Dangling means hanging or unattached. In dangling modifier the item which is modified is not attached to the modifier and is left hanging.
For Example:
Waiting for the train a brick fell on my foot. Was the brick waiting for the train? We need to add the subject here.
The correct sentence will be:
  • While I was waiting for the train, a brick fell on my foot.
Thus, one has to take care of these mistakes while dealing with modifiers.
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