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Law School Writing Center

Dangling Participles

Ensure every modifier clearly connects to the proper referent.

(1) What do DANGLING PARTICIPLES look like?

Looking out the window, my neighbor’s cat ran across the street.

(2) Why are DANGLING PARTICIPLES problematic?

Without providing proper referent for modifier (participle), writer forces reader to apply participle to incorrect referent, creating an unintended meaning.

(3) How to fix DANGLING PARTICIPLES?

Looking out the window, I saw my neighbor’s cat run across the street. [Comma must be followed immediately by label referring to person doing the looking.]