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To succeed in any endeavor, commitment is necessary.

Anything wrong with this phrase? A dangling modifier?

  • There is a Wikipedia entry on dangling modifiers which should explain everything to you: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangling_modifier – WS2 Nov 2 '14 at 18:39
  • A dangling modifier is not wrong. It is merely dangling. That's why it's not called the wrong modifier. – RegDwigнt Nov 2 '14 at 23:26
  • 'Walking down the road, the garden gnomes looked very comical.' is more problematic than 'To succeed in any endeavor, commitment is necessary.' Deletions are common 'For a person to succeed in any endeavor, commitment is necessary.' and quite acceptable if they don't lead to absurdities or confusion. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 3 '14 at 0:03
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Yeah, "to succeed in any endeavor" does kind of dangle there, not saying what you want it to say, or not modifying what you want it to modify. Better would be:

To succeed in any endeavor, you need to be committed to the endeavor.

Or,

Commitment is essential to the success of any endeavor.

Or,

Without commitment, you will not succeed in any endeavor.

Dangling modifiers can be quite humorous. For example,

Walking into the intersection, the car almost knocked me down.

Who's doing the walking? The car? No, what you want to say is

As I walked into the intersection, the car almost knocked me over.

In other words, I was doing the walking, not the car.

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