LC 1.1 Place modifiers properly and use the active

ELA Initiative Lesson
Time to Review
 Let’s start with active versus passive
voice and then move on to modifiers.
 A verb’s voice indicates whether the
subject performs or receives the action.
Voice affects meaning and tone in a
Here’s the simple rule…
 In most cases, use active voice in your writing.
 Why? Because active voice sentences are stronger,
clearer , and less wordy than sentences written in
passive voice.
 In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is
straightforward: the subject is a be-er or do-er and the
verb moves the sentence along.
 Let’s review.
Active Voice
 The subject performs the action.
Examples: The teacher taught a lesson.
My dad answered the cell phone.
Teddy performed on the stage.
Emma sang and moon walked on Saturday.
I reviewed a 7th grade ELA Standard.
These are all written with the subject doing something.
The subject is the “doer.”
Passive Voice
 The subject receives the action.
 Example: The lesson is being taught by the teacher.
The cell phone was answered by dad.
Performing on stage was done by Teddy.
Singing and moon walking was done by Emma.
7th grade ELA Standards are being reviewed by
the teacher.
Notice in the passive voice you generally see more than
one verb or verb phrase.
Active or passive?
 Lisa was driven to school by Elaine. Passive
 The dolphins were seen by the fisherman. Passive
 Barry walked his dog after school. Active
 While watching MTV, Gloria saw her favorite band
perform. Active
 What does modify mean? What is a modifier?
 Definition…Modifiers are words that change or limit
the meanings of other words.
 Simple modifiers…only, just, barely, and nearly have a
bad habit of slipping into the wrong place in a
 Adjectives and adverbs are two forms of modifiers.
 Modifiers are like teenagers: they fall in love with
whoever they’re closest to. As a writer, you must make
sure they’re next to something they ought to modify.
 Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns by telling:
which one, what kind, how many, or how much.
 Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs
by telling: where, when, how, or to what extent.
Confusion: He barely kicked that ball twenty yards.
Repair work: He kicked that ball barely twenty yards.
 Modifiers should be placed as close as possible to the
words they modify. Sometimes a modifier is placed so
far from the word it modifies that the intended
meaning of the sentence is unclear or incorrect.
 Bad example… Swinging wildly through the trees, the
children were delighted by the monkeys.
 Good example…The children were delighted by the
monkeys swinging wildly through the trees.
 Prepositional and participial phrases are also modifiers
and can be misplaced in a sentence.
 Example…The dog ran after the ball with the red collar.
 The prepositional phrase with a red collar is
misplaced. The phrase should be modifying dog rather
than ball. The sentence should read…The dog with the
red collar ran after the ball.
 Example… The woman wearing the collar owns the
 The participial phrase wearing the collar is misplaced.
 The phrase should be modifying dog rather than
woman, so the sentence should read…The woman
owns the dog wearing the red collar.
Your turn
 Use the Guided Practice document for whole group

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