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SAT

Unit 11: Lesson 3

Writing: Grammar

Writing: Modifier placement — Example

Watch Sal work through a harder modifier placement question from the SAT Writing and Language Test.

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  • blobby green style avatar for user LuboDrinka
    again why sentence start with verb?
    A smile was on the Mieko Nagaoka, when he completing the 1500 m freestyle swim at age 100.
    Mieko Nagaoka wore a smile, when he completing the 1500 m freestyle swim at age 100.
    Happiness was evident on Mieko Nagaoka, when he completing the 1500 m freestyle swim at age 100.
    I don't understand, why is in English grammar subject-matter at the end of the sentence?
    (1 vote)
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    • starky sapling style avatar for user Colin
      Well, it makes the sentence have more excitement. To say that, "A smile was on the Mieko Nagaoka, when she completing the 1500 m freestyle swim at age 100." its a bit dull. You know that Mieko did something good, so, you wont really be surprises that she did something amazing. Same thing with the other two. It makes SEANCE what you wrote, but its dull. Now adding the part: "Mieko Nagaoka wore a smile," at the end of the sentences, makes the reader think. "Who did this? Who was 100 years old? What was her expression when she completed the 1500-meter swim?" Then, after that comma, it gives you those answers: "Nieko Nagaoka wore a smile."
      Hope this helps both of you. :)
      (9 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Japroz Saini
    thanks, this really cleared my doubts on modifier placement.
    (3 votes)
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  • aqualine seed style avatar for user hanesh kumar
    whats a dangling modifier?
    (1 vote)
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    • hopper cool style avatar for user Muhammad Asghar
      A dangling modifier is an ambiguous or misleading construction of the following type:

      “Walking down the street, the neighbors’ gardens looked beautiful.”

      We don’t know who’s walking down the street, but it certainly isn’t the gardens. These are usually a careless mistake but are sometimes done deliberately, for humorous effect.
      (4 votes)
  • duskpin tree style avatar for user luis.calzada123
    After the description and the comma, the person's name should come after? Does this work for other sentences? I'm little confused on this.
    (1 vote)
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  • primosaur seed style avatar for user Yoonkitty
    What does this mean?
    (1 vote)
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  • female robot amelia style avatar for user pinksis
    this video was good though couldn't it have been either the last or second to last?
    (1 vote)
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  • aqualine seed style avatar for user lulloa
    At in the video, why was options c and d taken out? Was it because it was to descriptive when talking about the smile on Mieko's face?
    (0 votes)
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  • aqualine seedling style avatar for user A.mujeeb& ramatallahi  uthman Afolarin
    Option C and D seems to be the same answer but why did you choose C not D
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Having become the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim at age 100, a smile was worn by Mieko Nagaoka. So the way it's written right now, it makes it seem like a smile, a smile was the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim at age 100, which doesn't make much sense. Let's just think about what's going on here. When you read this, when someone is reading, when someone's reading, I'll do this in a different color, when someone is reading this part, I'll underline in red, having become the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim at age 100, and then there's a comma, your brain is expecting that the first thing you read is what was being described, the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim. But then you see a smile, so it looks like they're talking that the smile was the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim, but we, of course, know that they were not talking about a smile, we're talking about Mieko Nagaoka. So this second part right over here, I want it to start with Mieko Nagaoka was wearing a smile, maybe. So I definitely wanna change it. I definitely wanna change it. So let's see, having become the first person to do all this stuff, happiness was evident. Well, no, now it seems like happiness was the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim, so I don't like that choice. Having become the first person to do all this stuff, Mieko Nagaoka wore a smile. Yup, that feels good 'cause the first thing you see, that was what was intended to be the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim at age 100. So I'm liking this one. And then this last choice, it still has a smile, the way it's written it makes it seem like a smile was the first person to complete the 1500-meter freestyle swim, so I don't like this one either. So I feel very good about this choice.