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Modifier problems.

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Modifier problems. [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2013, 04:10
Hi Guys,

Please help me understand the solutions provided in MGMAT problem set question nos 14 and 15 of chapter 6-modifiers.

Q. 14. Last night our air conditioner broke, which caused great consternation.
Q. 15. The patient's rare disease was treated using novel techniques developed at the medical schools.

Sol. 14. Last night our air conditioner broke, causing great consternation.

Great! no issue, as we cannot use 'which' to modify the event of 'breaking down of air conditioner'. Hence, the modifier was changed to modify the verb by using participle 'causing'.
But in the next question, MGMAT defied the previously applied logic by saying that the sentence is wrong! It says 'using novel techniques' is a case of dangling modifiers, as the sentence contains no noun that is properly modified by 'using novel techniques'. Why cannot we apply the criteria of Q14 and say that the clause 'using novel techniques' is a verb modifier and it is modifying the event of treatment of the patient.

will be thankful for any reply.
Cheers!
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Re: Modifier problems. [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2013, 18:37
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What noun is "using novel techniques" modifying? Is there a noun its modifying? If it's an adverbial modifier... what is it referring to? There is no 'event of the treatment' in this sentence.
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Re: Modifier problems. [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2013, 07:57
brianlange77 wrote:
What noun is "using novel techniques" modifying? Is there a noun its modifying? If it's an adverbial modifier... what is it referring to? There is no 'event of the treatment' in this sentence.


Why it cannot modify the verb "treated" ? Between the following two sentences, what is the underlying principle which makes one sentence correct and the other one wrong? Kindly elaborate.

Last night our air conditioner broke, causing great consternation.
The patient's rare disease was treated, using novel techniques.

Thanks!
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Re: Modifier problems. [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2013, 04:46
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Because it doesn't ... the phrase is 'using novel techniques' -- in that construct, it needs to be modifying the person who is doing the 'using.' That person is not there in this sentence.
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Re: Modifier problems.   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2013, 04:46
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