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Adv modifier confusion , any help plz ?

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Adv modifier confusion , any help plz ?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2017, 09:06
Dear Magoosh tutors , hope you can help me in this confusion or refer me to some study materials .. I m bit confused in the following use of adv modifiers such as

1)I saw the man cleaning utensils.
2)I killed my enemy learning war tactics everyday.

Is nt it a rule that adv modifiers generally modifies the preceding clause or noun+verb or noun .. so in case of sub+verb+obj+ adv modifier , how to distinguish between obj modification and sub-modification such as in 1) and 2). Or is it more meaning and context based like in 1) and 2) . Please help or point to some study material.
Thanks in advance .:)





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Re: Adv modifier confusion , any help plz ? [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2017, 04:47
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Re: Adv modifier confusion , any help plz ? [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2017, 09:15
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ramukaka wrote:
Dear Magoosh tutors , hope you can help me in this confusion or refer me to some study materials .. I m bit confused in the following use of adv modifiers such as

1)I saw the man cleaning utensils.
2)I killed my enemy learning war tactics everyday.

Is nt it a rule that adv modifiers generally modifies the preceding clause or noun+verb or noun .. so in case of sub+verb+obj+ adv modifier , how to distinguish between obj modification and sub-modification such as in 1) and 2). Or is it more meaning and context based like in 1) and 2) . Please help or point to some study material.
Thanks in advance .:)

Dear ramukaka,

This is Mike McGarry, the GMAT expert at Magoosh. I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, my friend, let's be clear on terminology.
adjectival phrases & clauses = noun modifiers
adverbial phrases & clauses = verb modifiers

Adjectival phrases and clauses, also known as noun modifiers, follow the Modifier Touch Rule. There are some regular exceptions to that pattern, but generally it's not hard to figure out which noun a noun modifier targets.

When you said the very unclear phrase "adv modifiers," I assume you meant adverbial phrases & clauses, also known as verb modifiers. A verb modifier NEVER modifies a single noun. A verb modifier modifies the action of a verb, which in essence is often the same as modifying the entire clause. If there's only one verb or one clause, there is no question about the target of the verb modifier.

This is your first sentence.
1) I saw the man cleaning utensils.
Here, the phrase "cleaning utensils" is a noun modifier. It touches the noun "man," so it unambiguously modifies that noun. If we wanted to modify the subject, we would have to move the noun modifier so that it was touching the subject.
1a) Cleaning utensils, I saw the man.
Both of those are correct, and both are examples of noun modifiers obeying the Modifier Touch Rule. There is no verb modifier in either version of this sentence.

This is your second sentence.
2) I killed my enemy learning war tactics everyday.
This is a very poorly written sentence, awkward, unclear, and illogical. I think what the author was trying to say was
2a) I killed my enemy by learning war tactics everyday.
This is still far from ideal, but at least the meaning is clear now. The entire phrase "by learning war tactics everyday" is an adverbial phrase, a verb modifier, modifying the main verb "killed."

If you created these two sentence, I highly recommend that you do NOT create your own example sentence when you have questions. Instead, search through the official guide or another high quality source, and find example sentences there.

I would say that Magoosh has very good lessons on all of this. I would also recommend the MGMAT book on Sentence Correction as an excellent print source.

Finally, I will recommend this blog:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Adv modifier confusion , any help plz ?   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2017, 09:15
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