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If as a modifier? I am looking for some clarification on

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If as a modifier? I am looking for some clarification on [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2010, 12:01
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If as a modifier?

I am looking for some clarification on when "if" acts as a modifier? Does anyone have any material on this.

I believe it is correct to say that "if" does not act as a modifier in "if-then" constructions. I also know that subordinators modifiy verbs and that "if" may be a subordinator.

The following sentence caught me off guard. The OG -VR2 indicates that "if" incorrectly modifies "one reason" in the following text:

If used repeatedly in the same place, one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

Any help or guidance is appreciated.
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Re: If as a modifier? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2010, 14:19
izaidi wrote:
If as a modifier?

I am looking for some clarification on when "if" acts as a modifier? Does anyone have any material on this.

I believe it is correct to say that "if" does not act as a modifier in "if-then" constructions. I also know that subordinators modifiy verbs and that "if" may be a subordinator.

The following sentence caught me off guard. The OG -VR2 indicates that "if" incorrectly modifies "one reason" in the following text:

If used repeatedly in the same place, one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

Any help or guidance is appreciated.



This a typical trap with an intro/modifier phrase. I think OG was referring to the entire phrase. As you probably know the structure is:

Modifier phrase + [,] + [Subject] + [Verb]
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Re: If as a modifier? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2010, 16:52
Thanks for your reply bb--I am aware of the trap. However I was not aware that "If" can act as a noun modifier (OG explicitly says that "if" is modifying "one reason").
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Re: If as a modifier? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2010, 22:05
I got a good answer for MGMAT Forum ... maybe it will help someone ...

A sentence with this structure,
"IF adjective1, (THEN) subject linking verb adjective2."
can be glossed as,
"IF subject linking verb adjective1, (THEN) subject linking verb adjective2."
The subject and linking verb in the IF part are understood to be the very same as the subject and linking verb in the THEN part.

For instance the sentence,
"If unearned, rewards can undermine a child's respect for effort." can be glossed as,
"If (rewards are) unearned, rewards can undermine a child's respect for effort."

And the sentence,
"If used repeatedly..., one reason ... is suggested by ...."
can be glossed as,
"If one reason is used repeatedly...,one reason ... is suggested by ...."

But that's gibberish. You need to make "pesticides" the subject, since it is they which are used repeatedly.

Notice, by the way, that I simplified things a bit here by calling all noun modifiers adjectives. Of course "used repeatedly..." is a participial phrase.
Re: If as a modifier?   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2010, 22:05
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If as a modifier? I am looking for some clarification on

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