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

wanting to get home before dinner,jack hurried to paint the bedroom. Isn't this is a run-on sentence? comma should be removed.two indepenpendent clause can not connect with comma. NOTE: wanting is a gerund phrase & gerund funtions as a noun..... please correct me,if i am wrong?


THANKS IN ADVACE
gmat-admin's picture

You're correct to say that two INDEPENDENT clauses must be separated by either a semicolon or a COMMA + CONJUNCTION.
However, "Wanting to get home before dinner" is not an independent clause, because it does not contain a subject.

"Wanting to get home before dinner" is a participial phrase modifying JACK.

Does that help?

got it sir

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why C is incorrect and A is correct,

Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.


A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.

B. Over the course of the eighteenth century a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery.

C. With charcoal's being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.

D. The replacement of charcoal with coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.

E. Charcoal being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, and several improvements in blowing machinery, which tripled the average output of ironwork over the course of the eighteenth century.

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/over-the-course-of-the-eighteenth-century-the...

(C) With charcoal's BEING REPLACED by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.
The REPLACEMENT already took place in the 18th century.
BEING REPLACED suggests that the replacement continues to occur.
No good.

(A) Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery AND because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.
We are told that output tripled. We are also told that there are two reasons for this:
- as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery
- because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.

Let's examine the sentence construction when we include ONLY one reason. We get:
"...output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery" GREAT.
"...output of ironwork tripled because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore." GREAT.

With answer choice A, we are merely adding AND between both reasons.

Answer: A

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Thank you so much.

Good one,

Hi Brent,

Why C is the correct choice,

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.


(A) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of

(B) prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by

(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by

(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of

(E) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by


its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities."

tha part after the comma is a clause that must have a subject and a verb? If yes, then choice C "acoustic energy" has no verb. When then it is still a correct answer choice?
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/sound-can-travel-through-water-for-enormous-d...

TOUGH!!
A and B) the participial phrase beginning with PREVENTED FROM must touch the noun it is modifying.
In these two sentences, the phrase incorrectly modifies DISTANCE.

D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated AS A RESULT OF of boundaries ....
The boundaries dissipate energy. That is, they actually perform the act of DISSIPATING.
Here's a similar example: Joe was prevented from singing BY his music teacher." Here the teacher performed the act of PREVENTING.
The construction of answer choice D goes something like this: Joe was prevented from singing AS A RESULT OF his music teacher
Makes no sense.

E) WHAT is preventing ITS acoustic energy from dissipating?
It's implied here that SOUND is is preventing ITS acoustic energy from dissipating.
But, ITS also refers to SOUND.
So, the SOUND is preventing the SOUND'S energy from dissipating.
no good.

(C) Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
The part after the comma isn't a clause.
Here's a similar construction: Joe enjoys running marathons, his legs conditioned by his weekly runs.

Cheers,
Brent

Indeed a tough one,

Thank you for your time. I understand what you mean.

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