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Does "That" have to be next to the noun it modifies?

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Does "That" have to be next to the noun it modifies?  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2019, 16:37
Inside a prep book the following sentence is WRONG on the grounds that "that" modifies the closest noun "home".

John F. Kennedy, one of the most social U.S. presidents, held many parties in his family home that featured elaborate meals of local fish and lobster, famous guest and late nights.

Essentially the book says this is wrong because "that" modifies home; logically the home didn't feature meals, fish, guest etc., the parties did, not homes.

However, in the same book, the following sentence is CORRECT with the reasoning that "that" is not restrictive and clearly modifies parties.

John held parties for his kids that featured clowns, numerous exotic animals, and lots of food.

Can't we use the same logic that kids can't feature clowns, animals foods etc. How is it that in this example it clearly modifies parties, but in the above that doesn't clearly modify parties and rather can modify home.



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Re: Does "That" have to be next to the noun it modifies?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2019, 03:15
jasonfodor wrote:
Inside a prep book the following sentence is WRONG on the grounds that "that" modifies the closest noun "home".

John F. Kennedy, one of the most social U.S. presidents, held many parties in his family home that featured elaborate meals of local fish and lobster, famous guest and late nights.

Essentially the book says this is wrong because "that" modifies home; logically the home didn't feature meals, fish, guest etc., the parties did, not homes.

There actually are numerous officially correct examples where that does not modify the nearest noun.

Quote:
However, in the same book, the following sentence is CORRECT with the reasoning that "that" is not restrictive and clearly modifies parties.

I am assuming you mean restrictive, since that is a restrictive pronoun.

Quote:
John held parties for his kids that featured clowns, numerous exotic animals, and lots of food.

Can't we use the same logic that kids can't feature clowns, animals foods etc. How is it that in this example it clearly modifies parties, but in the above that doesn't clearly modify parties and rather can modify home.

that can only modify non-persons. So, that cannot modify kids.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses usage of "that", its application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Sentence Correction Nirvana available on Amazon.in and Flipkart

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Re: Does "That" have to be next to the noun it modifies?   [#permalink] 17 Oct 2019, 03:15
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Does "That" have to be next to the noun it modifies?

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