Modifiers: What are they and how do they help me?

When your sentences are feeling down or your statements are falling flat, you should add some modifiers!

Don’t just let your thought be: The hinge creaked.

Add some life to your sentence with modifiers and say,

The rusty hinges proclaimed their unhappiness as they creaked loudly.

See how that sentence almost jumps right out of the page? Probably not. At this point you probably already use modifiers without even thinking about them, but lets properly define them just to be sure we all understand. Modifiers are just:

  • adjectives,
  • adverbs,
  • adverb clauses,
  • infinitive phrases,
  • participle phrases,
  • prepositional phrases,
  • absolute phrases, and
  • adjective clauses.

Basically, they are anything that adds detail to your sentence. The above added to a pizzasentence correctly will make your descriptions lush and interesting.

The keyword there was correctly. If added incorrectly, your sentence might become confusing, or not make sense at all. Take this for example:

To ensure mistakes are not made in your sentence structure, make sure you are using your modifiers in the right place.

To fix the above example with the molten cheese disaster, all you need to do is see what you are applying the modifier to. You are not covered in cheese, the pizza is; so be sure to put the modifier next to the pizza and not you.

Pretty straightforward, right?

You can add modifiers in pretty easily. No need to re-write boring paragraphs, just add some modifier spice, and BAM! your paragraph is 10 times more interesting than before!

If you are not sure if a sentence needs one or not, just think “Is this boring?” or even “it’s not quite boring but just lacking detail.”If so, put some modifiers in.


Modifiers are not just good for papers and writing assignments, they are also useful to spot common grammatical issues like a hot cup of coffee. Now I’m sure we all know that it’s the coffee and not the cup that’s hot, but it’s still bad grammar.

They can also improve your storytelling, for social occasions. Nobody wants to hear about that time you ran away from a dog, but that time you sprinted away from a rabid dog, vaulting over fences in your attempts to escape. Well, that might garner a lot more attention!

You might not recognize them, but modifiers are everywhere, your hidden friends who make that book you have to read bearable, or that scientific journal you have to read completely unbearable. Maybe next time you’re reading something, keep an eye out for modifiers. Or maybe if you are bored enough to be looking for modifiers in a text, they really didn’t do a great job on them.

Just remember, commas can save lives…

But the real heroes are modifiers.

Making your writing interesting since forever.

Works Cited

“Problems with Modifiers.” Grammarly Handbook | Problems with Modifiers Grammar Rules. Grammarly Inc, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Simmons, Robin L. “The Modifier.” Grammar Bytes! :: The Modifier. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Sonali. “Using Pictorial Representations To Teach Rules Of Grammar, Punctuation, And Word Usage.” Busy Teacher. N.p., 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Wasko, Brian. “Crazy English Memes.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.


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