I know that "that" is a essential modifier. I have a question :
Sentence: I know a lot of people in white shirt who go to office. Is this okay as per GMAT ? Basically, who..... is an adjective clause that modifies "people". However, there is a prepositional phrase between "people" and "adjective clause". Is this OKAY ?
Secondly, in this sentence :
I ate a cherry lying on the table that was sweeter than apple. Similarly, in this sentence, I have a prepositional phrase between the noun and "that..." I am not sure whether this is okay w.r.t. GMAT.
Any expert thoughts please?
The rule is a relative pronoun modifies the adjacent noun. That said there are a few cases where it may seem confusing
For ex - I touched a box of pens, which was on the table
Here the modifier is modifying the box and not the pens
Consider another example
I touched a box of pens, which were blue
Here the modifier is describing the type pens i.e modifying pens.
In a question if you are faced with such a challenge, identify the verb type in the modifier (singular or plural) and see which noun it can modify i.e the object of the preposition or the noun preceding the preposition.
I know a lot of people in white shirt who go to office.
This example quoted is incorrect, because here modifier "who go to office" is modifying shirt. The modifier has to modify people, to do that place a comma next to white shirt I know a lot of people in white shirt, who go to office.
As far as this sentence is concerned
I ate a cherry lying on the table that was sweeter than apple
I believe this is correct because "lying on the table" is a participal modifier modifying the cherry.
Ex - Lincoln striding like a lion entered the senate house.
Here striding like a lion is a modifier of Lincoln, applying the same analogy. The sentence quoted above is correct.