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# NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER

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NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2012, 15:09
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NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER

As discussed in our previous article named “Noun + Noun Modifiers: The most “versatile” modifiers” (modification-by-noun-noun-modifiers-137292.html#p1112971), these modifiers can modify the preceding noun, a noun in the middle of the sentence, or the entire preceding clause. They share a commonality with Verb-ing modifiers preceded by a comma in that both these modifiers modify the preceding clause. They also act like Verb-ed modifiers when they modify the preceding noun.

Despite these similarities, Noun + Noun Modifiers remain distinct from Verb-ing and Verb-ed modifiers in their function and structure both. Let’s delve into these dissimilarities between Noun + Noun Modifiers and other modifiers.
So now we know that there are two modifiers that can refer to entire preceding clause:
1. Noun + Noun Modifiers
2. Verb-ing modifiers preceded by a comma.

Even though these modifiers perform similar job of modifying the preceding clause, they are quite different in the way they perform their jobs.
The difference between these two kinds of modifiers is that when the verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma modifies the preceding clause, it presents either additional information or the result of the preceding clause by associating itself with the subject and the verb of the preceding clause. The verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma has to modify the subject and the verb together.

However, the noun + noun modifier has no such restriction. It can simply modify just about any aspect of the preceding clause, without being restricted to modify the subject and the verb. A noun + noun modifier can zoom into any entity in the preceding clause to modify it.
Another thing to notice here is that, when noun + noun modifier modifies the entire preceding clause, then it can present any kind of additional information about the preceding clause. This information can be the result, the reason, the HOW aspect, just about any information about the modified clause.

OFFICIAL EXAMPLE: GMAT Prep

So let’s first understand the meaning of the sentence. The sentence says that one automobile manufacturer has announced plans to increase the average fuel efficiency of its SUVs by 25% over the next five years. This increase will amount to roughly five miles per gallon and will represent the first significant change in the fuel efficiency of any class of passenger vehicle in almost 20 years.

Now the way this sentence uses the verb-ing modifiers “amounting” and “resulting”, both preceded by comma, these modifiers seems to present the result of the preceding clause “One automobile manufacturer has announced plans…”. Here, both the modifiers are referring to the subject and the verb of the preceding main clause. Logically, this does not make sense because announcement of plans cannot amount to five miles per gallon. The act of mere announcement cannot even represent first significant change. Hence, the use of verb-ing modifiers is incorrect in this sentence.

Now let’s analyze the sentence with correct answer choice D:

In this sentence, verb-ing modifiers “amounting…” and “representing…” have replaced with noun + noun modifiers “an increase that would amount to…” and “(an increase) that would represent…”. Here,

an increase = noun
“that would amount…” and “that would represent…” = noun modifiers (relative pronoun clauses)

By converting the verb-ing modifiers into noun + noun modifier, we are able to rectify the modification error easily because now, unlike the verb-ing modifiers, the noun + noun modifier need not modify the subject and the verb of the preceding clause. It can easily zoon into “increase” to present more information about this aspect of the preceding clause. This is the beauty of such modifiers.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Last edited by egmat on 22 Dec 2015, 09:15, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2012, 15:33
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Kudos to Shraddha & e-gmat team.
This stuffs are very useful and informative. These things are totally based on meaning of the sentence.
Nice keep it up!!!
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2012, 05:18
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Nice work again, e-Gmat rocks!!

One question regarding the topic, as Verb-ing after comma can represent either additional information or result.
In the above sentence I am still confused why we should not think 'amounting' and 'representing' as additional information instead of result?
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2012, 07:37
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Hi there,

One manufacturer has announced plans to increase the average fuel efficiency of its sport utility vehicles by 25 percent over the next five years, amounting to roughly five miles per gallon, and representing the first significant change in the fuel efficiency of any class of passenger vehicle in almost two decades.

In this sentence, “amounting…” and “representing…” present the result of the preceding clause and not additional information because the action denoted by the two verb-ing modifiers present the aftermath of the logical referent of these modifiers. This logical referent is “increase the average fuel efficiency of its sport utility vehicles by 25 percent over the next five years”.

Also notice that these effects will be felt after the plan has been executed. Till now the automobile manufacturer has only made announcements. Also notice that due to the execution of this plan, the SUVs will start giving the mileage of five miles per gallon and will show the first significant change in the fuel efficiency of any class of passenger vehicle in almost two decades. These events will happen only after the plan is executed. The execution of the plan will lead to these events presented by the verb-ing modifiers. Hence, we say that “amounting…” and “representing…” present the result pf the preceding clause.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2012, 04:06

As previous posted I have also doubt regarding Verb-ing working as result.
When Verb-ing is showing the result of previous clause should it also modify the the subject of the previous clause...or if the it is modifying the clause then it should modify the subject.

Is the below sentence correct:

One manufacturer took steps to increase the average fuel efficiency of its sport utility vehicles by 25 percent over the next five years, resulting roughly five miles per gallon gain.

One manufacturer has announced plans to increase the average fuel efficiency of its sport utility vehicles by 25 percent over the next five years, amounting to roughly five miles per gallon, and representing the first significant change in the fuel efficiency of any class of passenger vehicle in almost two decades
Also i believe that as it is planned not yet done can we say in the above statement V1-ing is the result. I believe it is just modifying the previous clause.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2012, 10:07
Great. Thank you e gmat experts.

I think NOUN+NOUN MOFIFIER can mofify
1. a verb in the preceding clause as in the above example.
or
2. the total preceding clause ( I like her, a thing most persons know)

the takeaway is that NOUN+NOUN MODIFIER dose not need to associate with the subject and main verb of the preceding clause. Verb-ing dose need.

I think there are only 2 cases in which NOUN+NOUN MODIFIER WORKS. Is there any 3rd case ?

pls, comment. Thank you.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2012, 08:56
Your statement "The difference between these (verb-ing/verb-ed and noun+noun modifiers) is that when the verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma modifies the preceding clause, it presents either additional information or the result of the preceding clause by associating itself with the subject and the verb of the preceding clause. The verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma has to modify the subject and the verb together" - This contradicts what Manhattan GMAT's SC book page 91 says. MGMAT'S SC says that "ing is the most flexible form and can be used to modify the entire preceding clause as long as the entire preceding clause can act as the subject. Use "ing" form when you want to express the result of the preceding clause""
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2012, 08:52
Hi @vsprakash2003,

Please go through the following articles to learn the usage of "verb-ing" modifiers:
usage-of-verb-ing-modifiers-135220.html
verb-ing-modifiers-part-2-in-our-first-article-on-verb-ing-135567.html

The "verb-ing" modifier preceded by a comma always modifies the preceding clause. The Manhattan GMAT's SC book also says that this modifier modify the entire preceding clause. What the mean by the entire preceding clause can act as teh subject is that the modifier associates with the entire clause (subject and verb) and not just the subject. The verb-ing modifier denotes an action. This ction must make sense with the preceding clause. This is my interpretation of the content.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2012, 09:02
Hi

Not sure if this is the right place to pose my query, but here goes. I have a query regarding prepositional phrase used as modifiers:

Do prepositional phrase modifiers modify the closest noun or the whole clause???

Consider below eg.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or
delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.
Source: OG 12 Q.No. 78
(This is a incorrect choice)

The reason cited in OG says that the modifier "in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy" modifies "perpetrators" which is illogical.

I thought that the modifier was modifying the whole clause.

Am I missing something over here? Do prepositional phrase modifiers modify the closest noun or the whole clause???

Will be thankful if you can give eg.

Thanks,
Soumen
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2012, 11:43
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Hi Soumen,

Prepositional phrases are very versatile modifiers. They modify nouns as well verbs. The modification of prepositional phrases depends upon the context of the sentence and hence their placement in the sentence.

Now let’s take the OG sentence to understand the modification of the prepositional phrase.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

The sentence says that sometimes to save their clients, defense attorneys argue that their client committed the crime because of reaction of some food. If it is proved that the perpetrator is allergic to some food and he had ingested that before committing the crime, then the perpetrators are not held responsible for their misconduct.

The prepositional phrase “in attributing criminal… behavior” modifies the subject of the following clause “the perpetrators”. Why so? Because the prepositional phrase says “in attributing…”. This word “attributing…” denotes an action that needs to be done by someone. Hence, here we are dealing with a prepositional phrase that needs a does, a noun entity. So it modifies perpetrators. And this modification does not make sense because the perpetrators do not attribute the criminal behavior to some food allergy.

Let’s take another official sentence here:

The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

Prepositional phrase “in two letters”, the way it is placed in this sentence, modifies “the great eruption of Vesuvius”. But logically it should modify the verb “wrote the only eyewitness account”. Change in the placement of this modifier makes this incorrect sentence correct.

In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

The opening modifier now correctly modifies the following clause.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2012, 12:20

Could not have hoped for a better explanation..
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2013, 17:57
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Hello eGmat,
Thanks for this great article. Even though I knew before about comma verb+ing modifiers and noun + noun modifiers separately, i learnt how those concepts can be tested together in one question.

I have a doubt about 'One automobile manufacturer .. two decades' example, In the article you mention that -

By converting the verb-ing modifiers into noun + noun modifier, we are able to rectify the modification error easily because now, unlike the verb-ing modifiers, the noun + noun modifier need not modify the subject and the verb of the preceding clause. It can easily zoom into “increase” to present more information about this aspect of the preceding clause.

Does this mean that this noun + noun modifier modify the noun 'increase' in the preceding clause or the entire idea of the clause?
I think it modifies entire clause because 'increase' is not used as a noun in the preceding clause. It is used as an infinitive 'to increase'
Is my understanding correct?
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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21 May 2013, 14:32
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Hello egmat thanks again for such a beautiful article.
But I am getting confused after this in one OG problem
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.
A. Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering

E. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

Why A is not correct ?? if you can help with that (Magosh you tube solution says "outnumbering incorrectly modify 1886 with which i don't agree)
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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21 May 2013, 20:54
egmat wrote:
the verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma modifies the preceding clause, it presents either additional information or the result of the preceding clause by associating itself with the subject and the verb of the preceding clause.

ok. If that's the case, was wondering how you mention the following:

egmat wrote:
Now the way this sentence uses the verb-ing modifiers “amounting” and “resulting”, both preceded by comma, these modifiers seems to present the result of the preceding clause “One automobile manufacturer has announced plans…”. Here, both the modifiers are referring to the subject and the verb of the preceding main clause. Logically, this does not make sense because announcement of plans cannot amount to five miles per gallon.

Your diagram says that "amounting" and "representing" modify "announced plans"; but should they actually not modify "one manufacturer", since it is the "subject".
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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21 May 2013, 23:06
@sarcastic: Please check the response here

emily-dickinsons-letters-to-susan-huntington-dickinson-were-10142-100.html

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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2013, 11:01
Thanks a lot for simplifying this topic yet again!!
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2013, 07:03
egmat wrote:
@sarcastic: Please check the response here

emily-dickinsons-letters-to-susan-huntington-dickinson-were-10142-100.html

Hi I have some doubts regarding this question. Outnumbering is wrong but isn't this modifier presenting a result?
And in the example you gave The film, shot in a small town of Guthernberg, exceeded the expectations of the producers, doesn't exceeded modify the closest noun i.e Guthernberg? So how does this make sense? Guthernberg isn't responsible for exceeding the expectations of the producers, rather the film is responsible.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2014, 07:21
egmat wrote:
Hi Soumen,

Prepositional phrases are very versatile modifiers. They modify nouns as well verbs. The modification of prepositional phrases depends upon the context of the sentence and hence their placement in the sentence.

Now let’s take the OG sentence to understand the modification of the prepositional phrase.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

The sentence says that sometimes to save their clients, defense attorneys argue that their client committed the crime because of reaction of some food. If it is proved that the perpetrator is allergic to some food and he had ingested that before committing the crime, then the perpetrators are not held responsible for their misconduct.

The prepositional phrase “in attributing criminal… behavior” modifies the subject of the following clause “the perpetrators”. Why so? Because the prepositional phrase says “in attributing…”. This word “attributing…” denotes an action that needs to be done by someone. Hence, here we are dealing with a prepositional phrase that needs a does, a noun entity. So it modifies perpetrators. And this modification does not make sense because the perpetrators do not attribute the criminal behavior to some food allergy.

Let’s take another official sentence here:

The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

Prepositional phrase “in two letters”, the way it is placed in this sentence, modifies “the great eruption of Vesuvius”. But logically it should modify the verb “wrote the only eyewitness account”. Change in the placement of this modifier makes this incorrect sentence correct.

In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

The opening modifier now correctly modifies the following clause.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Could you please clarify what sort of sentence structure it is - the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions ?

I think, the underlined part is in passive voice. Right ? But what role 'in effect' has here ?

Look forward to hear your thoughts on this...
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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20 May 2014, 04:19
bagdbmba wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi Soumen,

Prepositional phrases are very versatile modifiers. They modify nouns as well verbs. The modification of prepositional phrases depends upon the context of the sentence and hence their placement in the sentence.

Now let’s take the OG sentence to understand the modification of the prepositional phrase.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

The sentence says that sometimes to save their clients, defense attorneys argue that their client committed the crime because of reaction of some food. If it is proved that the perpetrator is allergic to some food and he had ingested that before committing the crime, then the perpetrators are not held responsible for their misconduct.

The prepositional phrase “in attributing criminal… behavior” modifies the subject of the following clause “the perpetrators”. Why so? Because the prepositional phrase says “in attributing…”. This word “attributing…” denotes an action that needs to be done by someone. Hence, here we are dealing with a prepositional phrase that needs a does, a noun entity. So it modifies perpetrators. And this modification does not make sense because the perpetrators do not attribute the criminal behavior to some food allergy.

Let’s take another official sentence here:

The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

Prepositional phrase “in two letters”, the way it is placed in this sentence, modifies “the great eruption of Vesuvius”. But logically it should modify the verb “wrote the only eyewitness account”. Change in the placement of this modifier makes this incorrect sentence correct.

In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

The opening modifier now correctly modifies the following clause.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Could you please clarify what sort of sentence structure it is - the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions ?

I think, the underlined part is in passive voice. Right ? But what role 'in effect' has here ?

Look forward to hear your thoughts on this...

Hi eGMAT,
Could you please provide an update on this ? It's pretty long pending!

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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER [#permalink]

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20 May 2014, 06:56
bagdbmba wrote:
Could you please clarify what sort of sentence structure it is - the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions ?

I think, the underlined part is in passive voice. Right ? But what role 'in effect' has here ?

Look forward to hear your thoughts on this...

Hi @bagdbmba,

You're right: "the perpetrators are told" is in the passive voice, since they aren't doing the telling - they're told by someone else.

"In effect" is a prepositional modifier; i.e., a modifier that begins with a preposition. Here, it functions as an adverb, telling us more about the action "told". So, the meaning here is that in saying that the perpetrator's misbehavior is the result of an allergic reaction, one is practically telling the perpetrators that they aren't to blame for their misbehavior.

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Meghna
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS. VERB-ING MODIFIER   [#permalink] 20 May 2014, 06:56

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