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I have a technical question in grammar [#permalink]
03 Mar 2008, 23:45
Here is the sentence:
In 1813, the Sixth Coalition attacked Napoleon and the First French Empire in the Battle of Leipzig, the largest conflict in the Napoleonic Wars
The sentence above is perfectly correct and there is nothing that needs to be corrected. My question is regarding the prepositional phrase "in the Battle of Leipzig." In order to avoid any confusions in the future, how can we be certain that this phrase is modifying "attacked" and not the "First French Empire"? Cause the prepositional phrase and adjectival phrase modify the nouns that directly preceed it, whereas the adverbial phrase do not necessarily have to be placed right next to the verbs that it modifies. So this phrase could be either an adjectival phrase or an adverbial phrase. How can we determine which one it belongs to since it seems to fit really well for both of them? I struggled trying to figure this out when I came across this sentence in a sentence correction problem.
Note: When I say that this phrase can fit really well as an adjectival phrase, I mean structure-wise, not logically, but you see, these are the kind of things that will be running in your mind when you face such a question in SC. One may look at it as an adjectival phrase and then decides to eliminate it, not realizing that this is rather an adverbial phrase, which makes it perfectly correct. How can you differentiate such a puzzle? thanks