I found it sometimes hard to determine which part a : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# I found it sometimes hard to determine which part a

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Joined: 03 Jul 2010
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I found it sometimes hard to determine which part a [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 19:54
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

11% (02:40) correct 89% (00:44) wrong based on 9 sessions

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I found it sometimes hard to determine which part a participle (present participle and past participle) is trying to modify. And this is a problem that culminates my confusion:

A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.
(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.
(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

I agree that Choice-A, by putting "depending on..." at the end part, causes ambiguity in deciding which part to modify.

However, Choice-B looks perfectly well in structure, both particples ("after passing", "depending...") are placed at the beginning of sentence, clearly linking to the subject of the sentence ("a star").

Anyone can enlighten me about the misuse of modifier in such case?

Also, the confusion of participle doesn't stop here. Since there's no way to distinguish adverbial participle from adjective participle, I am constantly confused by the role of participle in a sentence, is it trying to modify the verb, or the noun. And in either case, which rule should we follow to decide whether it's modifying the closest target, or a remote target?
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Re: The correct use of participle as modifier [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2010, 21:46
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Re: The correct use of participle as modifier   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2010, 21:46
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