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# Noun + Noun Modifiers: The most "versatile" modifier

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BSchool Forum Moderator
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2012, 03:12
This is a solid article e-GMAT.I must say indeed a critical one...at least to me..

It'll be really great if you can come up with some 700+ level qs. related to this as you've done in case of 'Parallelism' article.

Thanks a lot and please keep helping the community by posting more of these.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2012, 14:08
Hi Debayan,

If you check on this thread itself, on first page, I've posted OGV2#100.
Solve this question, and then I will piyt my analysis if you need one.

Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2012, 07:25
egmat wrote:
Hi Folks,

Try this official question (OG Verbal 2#100) to aee if you have understood the concept discussed in the article well.

Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks
B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking
C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks
E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

Thanks.

Please let me know whether I got it right.. OA :E
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2012, 15:12
Hi debayan,
Yes, you chose the correct answer. However, I would love to see a little detailed analysis of how you reach to the correct answer. Good job nonetheless.

Here is my analysis of the question:

Meaning

• According to some scientists, 65 million years ago, an asteroid, bigger than Mount Everest, slammed into North America.
• This caused extinction of all the plants and animals.
• So, logically it is the extinction of living entities that marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.
• But the way this sentence is written, it seems that this event of a gigantic asteroid slamming into North America marks the end of this particular geological era. This is not logical.

Error Analysis

• “which” clause is modifying the event of an asteroid slamming the North America. Being a noun modifier, “which” clause can only modify a noun. Modifier error.
• Verb-ing modifier “causing plant and animal extinctions” is neither worded nor placed correctly to suggest that slamming of the asteroid led to the extinction of plants and animals. Modifier error.
• As discussed in the meaning analysis, it is not clear from the sentence that extinction marks the end of the Cretaceous Period. Meaning error.

PoE

A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking: Incorrect. Same “which” clause error in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark: Incorrect. There is no main verb after comma + and, leading to fragment.

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks: Incorrect. “which” refers to plural “extinctions” that needs plural verb ‘mark’. Singular verb “marks” is incorrect.

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark: Correct..

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 04:06
egmat wrote:
Hi debayan,
Yes, you chose the correct answer. However, I would love to see a little detailed analysis of how you reach to the correct answer. Good job nonetheless.

Here is my analysis of the question:

Meaning

• According to some scientists, 65 million years ago, an asteroid, bigger than Mount Everest, slammed into North America.
• This caused extinction of all the plants and animals.
• So, logically it is the extinction of living entities that marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.
• But the way this sentence is written, it seems that this event of a gigantic asteroid slamming into North America marks the end of this particular geological era. This is not logical.

Error Analysis

• “which” clause is modifying the event of an asteroid slamming the North America. Being a noun modifier, “which” clause can only modify a noun. Modifier error.
• Verb-ing modifier “causing plant and animal extinctions” is neither worded nor placed correctly to suggest that slamming of the asteroid led to the extinction of plants and animals. Modifier error.
• As discussed in the meaning analysis, it is not clear from the sentence that extinction marks the end of the Cretaceous Period. Meaning error.

PoE

A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking: Incorrect. Same “which” clause error in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark: Incorrect. There is no main verb after comma + and, leading to fragment.

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks: Incorrect. “which” refers to plural “extinctions” that needs plural verb ‘mark’. Singular verb “marks” is incorrect.

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark: Correct..

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Thanks Shardhha for providing such an excellent analysis as usual..

Here goes mine :
1.'which' is referring to NA but NA is not responsible for 'plant and animal extinctions'.It's the event--a big asteroid slamming NA,is responsible for plant and animal extinctions.
2.It's the plant and animal extinctions that mark the the end of the geologic era..So as per SVA,plural subject will go with 'mark'.

A,B--as per 1, out of the game.(A goes for both 1 & 2 basically)
D--out for 2

Now left with C & E.

C--improper parallel structure. 'slammed' and ' and causing'...Grammatically wrong.

So E is the OA.

P.S : I'm posting this prior seeing yours so that I don't get biased and understand the depth of mine..will be helpful for me you know..
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2013, 18:17

Anyways, I have a question on below ---

egmat wrote:
On her birthday, Kim got an iPhone 4S and iPad 3 from her parents, a gift that was in her wish list from a very long time.

My questions ---

1) Why can not "a gift..." refer to the list "an IPhone 4S and IPad 3" ? That is why does this noun + noun modifier clause need to refer to individual item of the list ? My understanding is for most of the cases an item list (such as a, b, and c etc) can be taken as one single entity.

2) This might be perhaps gift is singular here - but again gift is a package - so it can still make sense with a list of items in the gift. I need help here to disambiguate on what basis list should be treated as one single entity and in what cases it needs to be broken down.

3) If possible, please provide examples of both the cases - a) a noun + noun modifier must refer to list as single entity b) and a noun + noun modifier must refer to one of the item of the list.

Thanks !
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2013, 09:58
Hi Shailendra,

On her birthday, Kim got an iPhone 4S and an iPad 3 from her parents, a gift that was in her wish list from a very long time.

Notice the use of “a gift”. This is a singular noun phrase. Now, gift is a countable noun. Even if all the items one is presented with on a special occasion are called gifts, we can count them. Per the context of the sentence, we can say for sure that Kim got two gifts from her parents – one iPhone and one iPad. The gifts that she got are countable.

This is the reason why this sentence is ambiguous because “a gift…” can refer to the any of the gifts.

Whenever we have the noun in the noun + noun modifier in singular person, it must refer to a singular entity.

You can take a look at these official questions: OG 13#47, OG 12#83, OG 12#118

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2013, 12:15
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2013, 22:47
Awesome article...got many of my doubts clear...thanx a lot egmat..

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
B. Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
C. Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
D. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and 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

in option D..WHICH modifies the starting noun phrase??...but which should modify the noun it follows..am i right??
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2013, 11:32
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Hi anish123ster,

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
B. Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
C. Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
D. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and 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

In choices D and E, the relative pronoun “which” refers to, as in any case, the preceding noun entity. In this sentence, the preceding noun entity is “Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson”, a noun phrase. So, “which” grammatically and logically refers to “letters” because “letters” is the head of this noun phrase.

Also notice that the prepositional phrase “to Susan Huntington Dickinson” cannot be placed anywhere in the sentence without violating the logic of the sentence. Hence, in this situation, “which” the noun modifier, has the liberty to jump over this prepositional phrase to refer to “letters”.

This a case where a noun modifier can refer to a slightly far away noun. You may review the following article to know the details about such modification:
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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11 May 2013, 04:51
egmat wrote:
Hi Folks,

Try this official question (OG Verbal 2#100) to aee if you have understood the concept discussed in the article well.

Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks
B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking
C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks
E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

Thanks.

It is a great great article. Note that i have not mistakenly written "great" 2 times :)
I have 1 doubt in respect to tense in this question.Why we are using Mark in present tense . Acc. to my analysis since that happened 65million years ago.
Also i got confused and assumed "it" in choice D should refer to Event , because original choice structure is like not giving any indication that "marks" should be the verb of extinctiojns.So thats why i chose D as correct one.
Please clarify that how i can avoid such mistakes.

Regards,
Gourav
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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11 May 2013, 13:31
gorupruthi wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi Folks,

Try this official question (OG Verbal 2#100) to aee if you have understood the concept discussed in the article well.

Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks
B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking
C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks
E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

Thanks.

It is a great great article. Note that i have not mistakenly written "great" 2 times :)
I have 1 doubt in respect to tense in this question.Why we are using Mark in present tense . Acc. to my analysis since that happened 65million years ago.
Also i got confused and assumed "it" in choice D should refer to Event , because original choice structure is like not giving any indication that "marks" should be the verb of extinctiojns.So thats why i chose D as correct one.
Please clarify that how i can avoid such mistakes.

Regards,
Gourav

Gourav, Well lets see your 1st question about mark"ed". well to be frank, if we look at this question we don't see any choice with marked, so that should not bother you and should not hamper you in answering this question. nevertheless even though I am not an expert, still I will try to answer your question regarding tense. as per my understanding the reason this tense is not past is because author intended to show that "plant and animal extinctions" mark the end of geological era, event is the bigger cause which further triggers the plant and animal extinction that mark the end, I guess this is the intent of the author.
regarding your 2nd question well lets take up an eg, "I drove a bike, and it went very fast", over here "It" is pointing to bike not me. but in this sentence you can clearly make this out as "it" as a pronoun cannot stand for me(subject), however in the original question "It" can stand for both "event" and "plant and animal extinctions" thus it is ambiguous in D
hope it helps.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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23 May 2013, 02:40
nikhil007 wrote:
regarding your 2nd question well lets take up an eg, "I drove a bike, and it went very fast", over here "It" is pointing to bike not me. but in this sentence you can clearly make this out as "it" as a pronoun cannot stand for me(subject),

I am not too sure if if you are able to put your point across by giving the above example.
First of all, pronoun ambiguity is not an absolute rule. It is largely contextual driven, however, what must be true is that Subjective pronouns should stand for subjects and objective pronoun stands for objects.
The example that you have given is poorly written, it cannot stand for a Bike. It has structural problem.

nikhil007 wrote:
however in the original question "It" can stand for both "event" and "plant and animal extinctions" thus it is ambiguous in D
hope it helps.

Above reasoning is also Flawed.
Plant and Animal Extinctions is a Compound Subject, and it is a singular pronoun, hence it cannot stand for a plural subject.
The reason the pronoun "it" is ambiguous because, it is not clearly understood if the clause" and it marks " is parallel to clause "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest:" or to the clause "an event that caused". in other words, the pronoun it has two referents - an event or an an asteroid...
Hence Incorrect.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2013, 10:43
This is awesomeness at its best!!!
Thanks a lot for simplyifying this complex topic.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2013, 02:26
Really good article. Thanks for posting!
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 19:11
egmat wrote:
catfreak wrote:
Thanks Shraddha. Found a question on Noun + Noun Modifier

Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
persisting
persists
persisted
they persist
are persisting

OA - A
Can you please explain why C is wrong. The explanation talks about parallelism but how is it possible to have present participle parallel to past participle.

I am not sure if you still have this doubt. After all you posted this question almost half a month back. In any case, if you still have doubts about this question, then I would suggest you read thisarticle. Pay close attention to the explanation of OG question - extending and spawned. And then come back here and solve this question. I would look forward to your explanation. If you have any other doubts regarding this, feel free to let me know.

Thanks,

Payal

Hi Payal, before I read your advice, I too didn't think A was the right answer (IMO was B ). Do let me know if i got this right this time around.
'particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.'

Here created is a verb-ed modifier. 'And' is the parallel marker. Only a modifier must parallel the verb-ed modifier. Other than persisting none of the options introduce a modifier. Persisting is a verb-ing modifier that gives more information about particles.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 20:20
Perfect analysis Vibhav. Notice how important it is it to understand the sentence structure and the roles played by the elements in the sentence!

Regards,
Payal
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2013, 06:42
Hello everyone,

Try this official question.

A group of paleontologists recently announced that a site in Utah has yielded fossils of some of the biggest armored dinosaurs ever found, and that they were at least 25 million years older than any similar dinosaur type previously found in North America.

(A) and that they were at least 25 million years older than any similar dinosaur type previously
(B) and they are at least 25 million years older than those of any similar dinosaur type that previously was
(C) and the fossils are at least 25 million years older than any similar dinosaur types that previously were
(D) fossils that are at least 25 million years older than those of any similar dinosaur type previously
(E) fossils at least 25 million years older than similar dinosaur types previously

Looking forward to your detailed analysis.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2013, 09:03
I think it should be D. And is a parallel marker and its use necessitates repeating that. This eliminates B &C. In A 25million yrs older than other dino types is wrong comparison which also eliminates E. left is D.
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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2013, 21:27
IMO OA:D

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Re: NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2013, 21:27

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