A dangling modifier is a type of misplaced modifier that modifies a word or phrase that is not clearly stated in a sentence.

What is a Dangling Modifier?

A dangling modifier is a type of misplaced modifier. A dangling modifier is incorrectly positioned because it doesn’t connect it to anything in the sentence. The word or words a dangling modifier describes have been omitted from the sentence.

Hello, My name is Fidel Andrada. Dangling modifiers make the meaning of a sentence not easy to understand because it assumes the omitted part of the sentence is “a given;” that is, you’re assumed to already know the deleted part of the sentence. This may be accepted in normal conversation, but not in writing.

As you can see from the following…


Redskins Top Dallas to their 3rd Straight Super Bowl

I took Maureen to her first authentic Tex-Mex food at La Tolteca, a restaurant and sports bar near downtown Burke, Virginia where pictures of Dallas Cowboys hung on the wall in a gallery of other desperadoes.

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A sports bar near downtown Burke, Virginia

“It’s interesting,” Maureen said of the corn tortillas that were stuffed with orange cheese and chopped onion and covered with a delicate brown chili gravy.
“You can’t get this in Boston,” I said, “In Boston, you’ll get a swill of cottage cheese inside a pita bread with tomato sauce on top, or something worse.”

“Wait,” she said, “Is this chicken-fried steak?”

“No, it’s enchiladas…


Unconscious bias is an inborn part of the ways people think.

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Dr. Patricia G. Devine

In 2015, University of Wisconsin Professor, Patricia G. Devine, wanted to find out if there was anything we could do to lessen the impact of unconscious bias. Specifically, she looked at whether unconscious bias could be mitigated when it came to hiring in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Her own school’s STEM department only hired women at about a thirty-two percent rate. Even though about forty percent of stem doctorates are awarded to women.


The answer that requires the fewest assumptions — is generally the correct one.

All the way back in the 12th century, the Franciscan friar William of Ockham gave the world a rule: “Plurality must never be posited without necessity.” Put more simply, the simplest answer — that is, the answer that requires the fewest assumptions — is generally the correct one.

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In the 800-plus years since Friar William laid down his maxim, logicians have turned it into a rule: Occam’s Razor.

Hello, my name is Fidel Andrada. Occam’s razor simply states that of any given set of explanations for an event occurring, the simplest one is most likely the correct one.


Have you ever been accused of being ambiguous? It means you’re being unclear or inexact.

Hello, My name is Fidel Andrada. Ambiguity is a funny thing.

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Sometimes, people do it on purpose. Other times, they don’t know they’re doing it. Sometimes, people enjoy a little ambiguity because it feels like you’re solving a puzzle. Other times, they find it annoying and want you to just “come out with it.”

In speech and writing, however, ambiguity can be a useful tool. In your speech, you might want to use ambiguity to make your audience consider things for themselves. In a creative…


Syllogism is a form of deductive reasoning where you arrive at a specific conclusion by examining two other premises or ideas.

Hello, my name is Fidel Andrada. Syllogism derives from the Greek word syllogismos, meaning conclusion or inference.

Some syllogisms contain three components:

  • Major Premise
  • Minor Premise
  • Conclusion
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The three components of syllogism

A false analogy is a type of informal fallacy. It states that since Item A and Item B both have Quality X in common, they must also have Quality Y in common. For example, say Joan and Mary both drive pickup trucks. Since Joan is a teacher, Mary must also be a teacher. This is flawed reasoning!

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A false analogy is a type of informal fallacy.

Hello, my name is Fidel Andrada, as we explore the false analogy examples below, you’ll see they’re often presented in the form of a simile or metaphor.

The Watchmaker Argument

A pocket watch is complex, and it’s clear that it must have been designed intelligently by…


Exploring the meaning of base word vs. root word will help you understand what these are and how to use them

The English language is made up of many closely related words. In fact, it’s possible to build new words from existing words by adding affixes to the beginning and/or end of a base word or root. Base words and roots are slightly different. Exploring the meaning of base word vs. root word will help you understand what these are and how to use them, which will help you improve your vocabulary skills.

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Basic Parts of a Word

Many words in the English language have been borrowed from other languages. The origins are usually Latin or Greek. A word can have three parts to it: a…


These personalities work together to create human behavior.

The id, ego, and superego are names for the three parts of the human personality which are part of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic personality theory.

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Sigmun Freud

According to Freud, these three parts combine to create the complex behavior of human beings.

Hello, my name is Fidel Andrada. Let’s look at several examples of id, ego, and superego.


This little curlicue has been fiercely debated by grammarians for centuries

The Oxford comma has the distinction of being one of the most hotly debated elements of the English language. Also referred to as the serial comma, this little curlicue has been fiercely defended — or shrugged off — by grammarians for centuries.

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The most hotly debated elements of the English language

Do you really need to use the Oxford comma? The short answer appears to be yes, with many opportunities for rebuttals and debates.

Hello, my name is Fidel Andrada. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is the Oxford Comma?

The Oxford comma is, you guessed it, a comma that’s placed in a series of three or more items. It’s used in both “and”…

Fidel Andrada

Teaching Writing, Grammar, Literature, and the SAT One Page at a time…

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