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# SC: Modifier Problem

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Manager
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 113

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03 Nov 2008, 11:59
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A specific question:

Answer choice E (correct) says: “In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.”

Can I argue that it is the nephew who is in two letters i.e. "In two letters to the historian Tacitus" modifies "the nephew"?

The actual question:

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

A. The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus
B. To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
C. The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
D. Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder's nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
E. In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

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Joined: 17 Jun 2008
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03 Nov 2008, 12:06
"In two letters to the historian Tacitus" is an adverbial phrase, is it not?
Manager
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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06 Dec 2008, 13:42
"In two letters to historian" is a prepositional phrase. since it is located at the beginning of a sentence and followed by a comma it must modify a verb that follows it.

thus:

in two letters to historian, the nephew wrote a letter
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Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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16 Dec 2008, 00:26
vferns wrote:
Guys...What is wrong with A & D?

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

D. Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder's nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

account for=cause thus the meaning we get is "nephew caused eruption"
Re: SC: Modifier Problem   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2008, 00:26
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