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# Noun modifier exception Touch rule

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Noun modifier exception Touch rule [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2012, 23:26
Hi:

I have a question about Noun Modifier - Exception Touch Rule, discussed in Manhattan 4th Edition.

Question 19_OG 13:
A pioneer Journalist, Nellie Bly's exploits included circling the globe faster than Jules Verne's fictional Phileas Fogg.

A. A pioneer journalist, Nellie Bly's exploits included
B. The exploits of Nellie Bly, a pioneer journalist, included
c. Nellie Bly was a pioneer journalist including in her exploits the
D. Included in the pioneer journalist Nellie Bly's exploits are
E. The pioneer journalist's exploits of Nellie Bly included

Answer of the question is B.

I do not understand: According to Manhattan GMAT 4th edition, Advanced session on Pronouns and Modifier, the modifier must modify the whole noun phrase (the exploits of Nellie Bly). But it seems that the phrase "A pioneer journalist" modifies for Nellie Bly only.

Another similar question: Q111_OG 12:

The correct answer is:

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D.69, during the reign of Vespasian, and was competed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseuum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games and spectacles.

In this sentence, the phrase "which was officially known...." modifies the whole "construction of Roman Colosseum.

So I see some discrepancies in here. Please explain me what does the modifier modify in this situation: N1 of N2, modifier

Thank you
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Re: Noun modifier exception Touch rule [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2013, 11:49
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It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in
size, North America's Lake Superior.

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, Covering

This thread tests the use of noun modifier, especially the relative pronoun touch rule. The question is what does the pronoun ‘’ refer to: actually there are four eligible candidates in the text namely – 1. Sea 2. Caspian 3. Lake and 4. Earth. It is crystal clear that which can not refer to earth because it doesn’t give much sense to say that it covers more than four times of its nearest rival. But according to the intended meaning of the text, it is the Caspian which covers more than four times of the surface of its nearest rival. Can the pronoun ‘which’ jump over the earth, the lake and then modify the Caspian? It is too weird to think that a modifier has such a free reign in a sentence to choose its partner at will. Therefore A and B have no legal reason to ignore earth and hence should be rejected as incongruous.
It is here the adverbial modifier (verb+ing) comes in handily for being able to modify a suitable referent anywhere in the previous clause. C is there the right choice under such circumstances.

D‘s sentence construction is ungrammatical. The first part is a complex sentence with a dependent sub-clause and a completed IC. The second part is again an IC but just conjugated by a comma. This is actually a run-on
In E: What is being called a sea? It is the Caspian; therefore Caspian should immediately follow the introducing modifier namely, - despite being called-. Therefore let’s drop it. Add to this muddle, the use of the un-GMATworthy ‘being’ , if you wish
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Re: Noun modifier exception Touch rule [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2012, 00:35
Campanella wrote:
Hi:

I have a question about Noun Modifier - Exception Touch Rule, discussed in Manhattan 4th Edition.

Question 19_OG 13:
A pioneer Journalist, Nellie Bly's exploits included circling the globe faster than Jules Verne's fictional Phileas Fogg.

A. A pioneer journalist, Nellie Bly's exploits included
B. The exploits of Nellie Bly, a pioneer journalist, included
c. Nellie Bly was a pioneer journalist including in her exploits the
D. Included in the pioneer journalist Nellie Bly's exploits are
E. The pioneer journalist's exploits of Nellie Bly included

Answer of the question is B.

I do not understand: According to Manhattan GMAT 4th edition, Advanced session on Pronouns and Modifier, the modifier must modify the whole noun phrase (the exploits of Nellie Bly). But it seems that the phrase "A pioneer journalist" modifies for Nellie Bly only.

Another similar question: Q111_OG 12:

The correct answer is:

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D.69, during the reign of Vespasian, and was competed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseuum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games and spectacles.

In this sentence, the phrase "which was officially known...." modifies the whole "construction of Roman Colosseum.

So I see some discrepancies in here. Please explain me what does the modifier modify in this situation: N1 of N2, modifier

Thank you

In the first question, B is just the best of the lot. It can be arrived at by POE. The phrase " a pioneer journalist" is also short and unessential to the sentence and hance can be used to correctly modify Nelly Bly.

In the second question, Roman Colliseum or infact Colliseum is correctly being modified by the modifier. Just combination of more than one word does not make it necessarily a phrase. Colliseum is the word being modified and roman is just an adjective describing colliseum.
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Re: Noun modifier exception Touch rule [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2013, 23:39
I want to take this chance to say some point I already said but do not get full comment/explanation

"which clause" can modify slightly far noun. you can find an article on this by e gmat.

noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868-20.html

but in og questions this case is considered an error. the following, question 48, og 13 show this

It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is
actually the largest lake on Earthf whichcovers more
than four times the surface area of its closest rival in
size, North America's Lake Superior.
(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is
actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the
landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth,
which covers
(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is
actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest
lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on
Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

what I want to say that "which clause" modifying far noun is considered acceptable sometimes and unacceptable other times. from this I conclude that "which clause" modifying far noun is consider INFERIOR. This mean if we have better choice, we consider it wrong.

is my thinking correct?
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Re: Noun modifier exception Touch rule [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2013, 07:27
The way I would appraoch it is

A pioneer Journalist, Nellie Bly's exploits included circling the globe faster than Jules Verne's fictional Phileas Fogg.

A. A pioneer journalist, Nellie Bly's exploits included
Modifier error. pioneer journalist should modify Nelly Bly. Here the statement says Nellie Bly's exploits is pioneer journalist.

B. The exploits of Nellie Bly, a pioneer journalist, included
CORRECT answer. The suject here is 'exploits' and verb is 'included'. pioneer journalist modifies Nelly Bly.

c. Nellie Bly was a pioneer journalist including in her exploits the
Here -ing modifier including modifies journalist which is non-sensical.

D. Included in the pioneer journalist Nellie Bly's exploits are
this is a inverted structure. circling the globe faster than Jules Verne's fictional Phileas Fogg is included in pioneer journalist Nellie Bly's exploits. Incorrect verb usage.

E. The pioneer journalist's exploits of Nellie Bly included
Rhetorical construction. Hre it non sensically states that pioneer journalist and Nellie Bly are separate people.
Re: Noun modifier exception Touch rule   [#permalink] 04 Mar 2013, 07:27
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# Noun modifier exception Touch rule

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