Lesson: Modifiers - Part I

Comment on Modifiers - Part I

neatly and nicely explained. (phrase :)). Very helpful.

In case of the verb modifier example, isn't the first representation below better than the second?

Martha served to the children sandwiches filled with cheese.

Martha served sandwiches filled with cheese to the children.
gmat-admin's picture

Perhaps. The key point is that both sentences prevent ambiguity.

I like your vedio courses. It is really good. I appreciated!!
Thanks,
Genet
gmat-admin's picture

Thanks Genet!

Jack hurried to paint the bedroom wanting to get home before dinner...In this sentence "to paint the bedroom" is infinitive phrase which can function as noun,adjective or adverb.How can I be so sure if it is working as an adverb and modifying the verb hurried? while reading this sentence I asked the question...who returned to paint the bedroom and answer was jack..which makes it a noun modifier.where am I going wrong? shouldn't we ask question starting with who in case of infinitive phrases?
gmat-admin's picture

If you ask the question "who?" when referring to an infinitive phrase, then you already presupposing that the infinitive phrase is modifying a noun (a human noun to be more precise).

Instead, try asking: What is "to paint the bedroom" modifying? Is it telling us more about Jack, or is telling us more about the hurrying?

It's tells us more about the hurrying, so it's playing the role of an adverb.

Thanks

Hello Brent in the example of Jack wanting to get home..... is it important to have a comma after Jack as in Jack, wanting to get home before dinner... or is it ok not to have a comma as long as the modifier is closed to the noun its modifying ?
gmat-admin's picture

Yes, we need the comma in "Jack, wanting to get home before dinner, hurried to paint the bedroom." We need the commas because "wanting to get home before dinner" is providing additional (somewhat parenthetical) information.
Also, without the commas, it's much harder to read the sentence.

"to paint the bedroom" is an infinitive phrase. How can is modify the verb "hurried"?
gmat-admin's picture

An infinitive phrase can function as a noun, adjective or verb.

For more, see
https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1156 (infinitive phrases starts at 8:40 in the video)

Is the below sentence correct as well?

Bob and Doug talked noisily throughout the entire movie.
gmat-admin's picture

That sentence is correct.

The adverb "noisily" correctly modifies the verb "talked"

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent! Is there any trick to double check if a prepositional phrase is modifying a noun or a verb? For instance "Throughout the entire movie, Jack talked noisily", somehow my brain wants to make a connection between "Throughout the entire movie" and "Jack"... !
gmat-admin's picture

Good question!

Let's drop all modifiers and start with "Jack talked"

Let's first deal with the modifier NOISILY.
Does this modify JACK or TALKED?
This one is straightforward; it provides more information about the TALKING.

Now onto "Throughout the entire movie"
Does this modify JACK or TALKED?

We can't really say that it modifies JACK, because in order to demonstrate that it modifies JACK, we have to bring up the word TALKED.
That is, if I asked you, "Tell me more about Jack," you wouldn't just respond with "throughout the entire movie." You'd need to mention the verb TALKED in order to provide a reasonable response.

However, if I asked "Tell me more about the talking," you could respond with "the talking lasted throughout the entire movie." Notice that we don't need to mention Jack at all.

Since the verb TALKED is instrumental in explaining the role the modifier ("Throughout the entire movie"), it must be the word that is getting modified.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Please refer Q : https://gmatclub.com/forum/unearthed-in-china-fossils-of-feathered-dinosaurs-offer-the-most-dram-104114.html

I am confused between A & D. Could you please explain why is D incorrect?

Thanks & Regards,
Abhirup
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/unearthed-in-china-fossils-of-feathered-dinos...

ORIGINAL SENTENCE: Unearthed in China, fossils of feathered dinosaurs offer the most dramatic evidence yet discovered of the close evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds.

D) have offered the most dramatic evidence of the close evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds that have yet been discovered

In the original sentence, we have the line "the most dramatic evidence yet discovered"
So, out of all the EVIDENCE discovered so far, this NEW EVIDENCE is the most dramatic.
Looks good.

In D, it is unclear what "that have yet been discovered" refers to.
In fact, since this part is placed so close to "dinosaurs and birds," it sounds like the dinosaurs and birds have not yet been discovered.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Lets assume a modified version of answer choice D) have offered the most dramatic evidence of the close evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds that HAS yet been discovered

In this case the answer choice looks correct to me because I know that a relative clause may jump before the prepositional phrases to modify the noun EVIDENCE. The basis of such a conclusion is that "of the close evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds" is a vital noun modifier that modifies EVIDENCE. "HAS" agrees with singular EVIDENCE and hence we may conclude that the relative clause isn't modifying dinosaurs and birds. However, in the original answer option "HAVE" is used. "HAVE" agrees with plural "dinosaurs & birds" rather than "evidence". Hence in that case we may conclude that the relative clause is indeed not modifying EVIDENCE.

Is the above understanding correct?

Thanks & Regards,
Abhirup
gmat-admin's picture

Yes, your understanding is correct. Also, your modified version of answer choice D would be correct.

Cheers,
Brent

Thanks Brent!!

Hi Brent,

Please refer this correct sentence : A study by the Ocean Wildlife Campaign urged states to undertake a number of remedies to reverse a decline in the shark population, including establishing size limits for shark catches, closing state waters for shark fishing during pupping season, and requiring commercial fishers to have federal shark permits.

In sentences such as these can the verb-ing modifier(including) modify any noun/noun phrase in the preceding clause? I was under the impression that comma + verb-ing modifier after a clause could either modify the SUBJECT of the preceding clause or give additional information regarding the consequence of the action in preceding clause. But in the above sentence it actually modifies "a number of remedies", which is not the SUBJECT of the clause. I am confused. Please help.

Thanks & Regards,
Abhirup
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-study-by-the-ocean-wildlife-campaign-urged-...

Hi Abhirup,

The comma + verb-ing modifier need not modify the subject of the clause before it; it can modify any noun.

For example, "Joe loves eating a variety of fish, including salmon, tuna and cod.

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

I have a question about this GMAT SC question https://gmatclub.com/forum/outlining-his-strategy-for-nursing-the-troubled-conglomerate-back-to-145189.html

D)executive announced plans Wednesday to cut the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months

I have an issue with the infinitive phrase "to cut...". I can't understand why it is acceptable when it is separated from the noun it modifies(plans).

And what role does this infinitive phrase plays in the sentence? Is it like an adjective for "plans".

I eliminated this answer because the touch roule is not met.

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/outlining-his-strategy-for-nursing-the-troubl...

D) Outlining his strategy for nursing the troubled conglomerate back to health, the chief executive announced plans Wednesday to cut the company's huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months

This is one of those cases in which the other 4 answer choices are so flawed, we can quickly eliminate them. This, however, doesn't mean the remaining answer choice is perfect.

Notice that closing the gap creates some ambiguity: ...the chief executive announced Wednesday plans to cut.....
This sounds like Wednesday modifies plans.

In some cases on the GMAT, the best answer is the least bad answer.

I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Brent

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