I saw a problem similar to the following The company ran by : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# I saw a problem similar to the following The company ran by

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Manager
Joined: 03 Aug 2011
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Kudos [?]: 41 [0], given: 12

I saw a problem similar to the following The company ran by [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2012, 00:00
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I saw a problem similar to the following

The company ran by Bob and Tom, who is a father of four, closed during the recession.

the relative clause "who is a father of four" is ambiguous when read aloud and also incorrect as far as the answer choices because it's not clear whether it modifies Bob or Tom. But it's confusing since the SC correction guides all say as long as it touches the noun there it is correct, and therefore it must modify Tom?

then I thought of this example, which is a bit less ambiguous.

The company ran by Bob from Arkansas and Tom from California, who is a father of four, closed during the recession [am i using commas correctly here?]
If you have any questions
New!
Manager
Joined: 14 Dec 2011
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Schools: LBS '14 (A)
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Kudos [?]: 43 [1] , given: 13

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18 Jan 2012, 01:01
1
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The company ran by Bob and Tom, who is a father of four, closed during the recession.

Ok let's break this sentence into its parts:

a)The company closed during the recession.
b) The company was run by Bob and Tom - reduced to a past participle phrase in the original sentence
c) Tom is a father of four(wow! 4 kids and still runs a company)

a) + b) have been combined to: The company closed during the recession + The company was run by Bob and Tom = The company ran by Bob and Tom closed during the recession

Now add c) to the sentence derived above after making (c) a non-restrictive modifier: non-restrictive relative clause
remove Tom from C and make it: who
The company ran by Bob and Tom, who is a father of four, closed during the recession

Let me know if you have questions. I don't mind kudos
Manager
Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 241
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.38
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 41 [0], given: 12

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18 Jan 2012, 09:51
someone79 wrote:
The company ran by Bob and Tom, who is a father of four, closed during the recession.

Ok let's break this sentence into its parts:

a)The company closed during the recession.
b) The company was run by Bob and Tom - reduced to a past participle phrase in the original sentence
c) Tom is a father of four(wow! 4 kids and still runs a company)

a) + b) have been combined to: The company closed during the recession + The company was run by Bob and Tom = The company ran by Bob and Tom closed during the recession

Now add c) to the sentence derived above after making (c) a non-restrictive modifier: non-restrictive relative clause
remove Tom from C and make it: who
The company ran by Bob and Tom, who is a father of four, closed during the recession

Let me know if you have questions. I don't mind kudos

Hi Someone,

Thanks for the breakdown, but as far as a nearly identical OG problem is concerned, that non-essential modifier is incorrect since it's ambiguous whether it modifies Tom or Bob. But according to the modifier rules it seems perfectly fine. It does sound ambiguous though, but I've learned to suppress my instinct on many problems.

*Btw thanks for correcting my "ran" with "run" for the past participle of an irregular verb

so in summary, how do we deal with a compound noun that is followed by a noun modifier? which noun does it modify? does it modify both?
Manager
Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 241
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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Kudos [?]: 41 [0], given: 12

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20 Jan 2012, 16:03
Hi,

to summarize, this thread still has an open issue.

name of person + and + name of person, who + rest of relative clause ==> "who" modifies which person?, both?

similarly

i ate an apple and a grape, which is sweet. ==> "which" modifies grape? does it have to be "which are" for both apple and grape?
Manager
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Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 13

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27 Jan 2012, 03:05
Yes. You resolved the doubt you had.

There is no ambiguity in the modifier. Had it been modifying both, the verb would have been plural.
Manager
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27 Jan 2012, 03:10
Manager
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Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
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Kudos [?]: 41 [0], given: 12

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27 Jan 2012, 11:49
pinchharmonic wrote:
Hi,

to summarize, this thread still has an open issue.

name of person + and + name of person, who + rest of relative clause ==> "who" modifies which person?, both?

similarly

i ate an apple and a grape, which is sweet. ==> "which" modifies grape? does it have to be "which are" for both apple and grape?

oops nice catch. What I meant was can "which" modify apple and not grape? Sounds like there is a implied rule that it either modifies both or the touching?
Manager
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27 Jan 2012, 16:38
In my opinion if the verb is plural, then "which" modify both, but if the verb is singular, then only the "touching" subject is mentioned.
Manager
Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 241
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.38
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 41 [0], given: 12

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27 Jan 2012, 17:02
StrangeWind wrote:
In my opinion if the verb is plural, then "which" modify both, but if the verb is singular, then only the "touching" subject is mentioned.

i would have guessed the same, but an OG problem considered that incorrect.
Re: modifier touch rule   [#permalink] 27 Jan 2012, 17:02
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