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# The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat

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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
The battle is singular and the verb should be ranks.

A) ranks as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties from -- no problem with this choice
B) rank at the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, having almost 23,000 casualties in – plural verb rank is wrong
C) has the rank of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, who lost almost 23,000 casualties from -- no proper reference for the relative pronoun who
D) have the rank of the single-day battle in American history, having lost almost 23,000 casualties from – have is wrong number
E) has ranked as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties from – has ranked is improper tense form in the context

Hi daagh ,

I have a query here.
What does the adverbial phrase "with almost 23,000 casualties from the two sides" after comma modify in the correct option.
I mean it can very well modify the closet noun American history (which is nonsensical) or the verb of the previous clause i.e. ranks (how would it make sense with the verb of previous clause?)

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SR
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
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As with any adverbial modifier, the phrase modifies the subject of the clause and the subject’s related action. In the case, it essentially modifies the Battle of Antietam ranking as the bloodiest single day battle.
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The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
As with any adverbial modifier, the phrase modifies the subject of the clause and the subject’s related action. In the case, it essentially modifies the Battle of Antietam ranking as the bloodiest single day battle.

Thanks a lot daagh !

I have a follow up question. Can the "with +...." adverbial phrase modify the nearest noun (if that makes sense), instead of subject of the previous (or the related action)?

Regards
SR
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
SR
I am afraid it won’t work. The comma before the modifier has a meaningful role in the construction that it is going to modify something distant. One can use it without the comma, in which case, the modification will relate to the nearest noun. But it might distort the meaning. Take the current case; In this the “with modifier’ without the comma can apparently modify the American history; but, is not the meaning drastically changed implying that American history itself has almost 23000 causalities only in total from both sides?.
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
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Careful, folks. Adverbial modifiers don't modify nouns at all. That's why they're called adverbial modifiers. Adverbs generally modify verbs, but can also modify adjectives or other adverbs. They can even modify an entire preceding clause. However, they cannot modify nouns.

In this case, "with almost 23,000 casualties" adds information about how the Battle of Antietam ranks as the bloodiest. It's modifying the verb (ranks), not any noun.
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The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
DmitryFarber wrote:
Careful, folks. Adverbial modifiers don't modify nouns at all. That's why they're called adverbial modifiers. Adverbs generally modify verbs, but can also modify adjectives or other adverbs. They can even modify an entire preceding clause. However, they cannot modify nouns.

In this case, "with almost 23,000 casualties" adds information about how the Battle of Antietam ranks as the bloodiest. It's modifying the verb (ranks), not any noun.

Thanks Dmitri !

one point I want to clarify:

placement of Comma+ with adverbial phrase doesn't alter it's role. I mean even if it is placed before a clause(structure : with phrase, clause) it would modify the action of the clause?

I believe in this example the adverbial phrase is modifying adverb bloodiest instead of verb (action) ranks (bloodiest because of large number of causalities- 23000 )?

Correct me if I am wrong !

Regards,
SR
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
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The tricky thing here is that when you modify a verb, you are saying something about how that verb takes place, and that necessarily involves the rest of the clause, including the subject. In this case, we're saying that this battle ranks as the bloodiest. In what way? There were all those casualties. In a sense, it doesn't matter which word we tie the modifier to, and in some cases there can be more than one right answer to that question. Here, however, we are saying how the battle ranks as the bloodiest, so we could say the modifier applies to the verb or to the whole clause. We wouldn't say it just applies to the adjective (bloodiest). That would imply that we're only changing the extent of that one word, as the word "very" does to "talented" in the sentence "She is a very talented journalist."

As for initial modifiers, they often seem to modify the subject, as we see here:

Wishing to remain anonymous, the newspaper did not print the donor's name. [Incorrect]
Wishing to remain anonymous, the donor requested that the newspaper not print her name. [Correct]

Many people would explain the error in the first version by saying that the modifier should apply to the *donor* and not the *newspaper.* However, this is not quite right. "Wishing to remain anonymous" is an adverbial modifier, and it modifies an action. Since in the first sentence, the only action is on the part of the newspaper, there is nothing correct for the modifier to apply to. In the second case, the modifier is able to apply to "requested." The idea here is that she made this request because she wished to remain anonymous.

The confusion comes because even if we have two actions, we still want the modifier to go with the first one. Basically, we see "Wishing to remain anonymous" and want to know right away *who* is wishing. So this sentence is still incorrect:

Wishing to remain anonymous, the newspaper agreed not to publish her name when she called the office.

You'd think that we could apply the initial modifier to "she called," since adverbial modifiers don't follow the touch rule. However, this construction is needlessly confusing. So the short version is that we can treat an initial adverbial modifier as if it were a noun modifier, because the first noun we see should be the one performing the modified action.

I hope that all made sense. Let me know if I can clarify.
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
DmitryFarber wrote:
The tricky thing here is that when you modify a verb, you are saying something about how that verb takes place, and that necessarily involves the rest of the clause, including the subject. In this case, we're saying that this battle ranks as the bloodiest. In what way? There were all those casualties. In a sense, it doesn't matter which word we tie the modifier to, and in some cases there can be more than one right answer to that question. Here, however, we are saying how the battle ranks as the bloodiest, so we could say the modifier applies to the verb or to the whole clause. We wouldn't say it just applies to the adjective (bloodiest). That would imply that we're only changing the extent of that one word, as the word "very" does to "talented" in the sentence "She is a very talented journalist."

As for initial modifiers, they often seem to modify the subject, as we see here:

Wishing to remain anonymous, the newspaper did not print the donor's name. [Incorrect]
Wishing to remain anonymous, the donor requested that the newspaper not print her name. [Correct]

Many people would explain the error in the first version by saying that the modifier should apply to the *donor* and not the *newspaper.* However, this is not quite right. "Wishing to remain anonymous" is an adverbial modifier, and it modifies an action. Since in the first sentence, the only action is on the part of the newspaper, there is nothing correct for the modifier to apply to. In the second case, the modifier is able to apply to "requested." The idea here is that she made this request because she wished to remain anonymous.

The confusion comes because even if we have two actions, we still want the modifier to go with the first one. Basically, we see "Wishing to remain anonymous" and want to know right away *who* is wishing. So this sentence is still incorrect:

Wishing to remain anonymous, the newspaper agreed not to publish her name when she called the office.

You'd think that we could apply the initial modifier to "she called," since adverbial modifiers don't follow the touch rule. However, this construction is needlessly confusing. So the short version is that we can treat an initial adverbial modifier as if it were a noun modifier, because the first noun we see should be the one performing the modified action.

I hope that all made sense. Let me know if I can clarify.

Thanks a lot Dmitri !
It's clear now.

Regards,
SR
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
Official explanation:
Choice (E) --- "has ranked" --- is the present perfect tense, and this is awkward: this suggests that it "has ranked" one way, but now ranks differently. Without some kind of contrast, use of the present perfect tense makes no sense here.
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
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Harley1980 wrote:
The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederates and the Army of the Potomac under McClellan, ranks as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties from the two sides.

A) ranks as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties from
B) rank at the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, having almost 23,000 casualties in
C) has the rank of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, who lost almost 23,000 casualties from
D) have the rank of the single-day battle in American history, having lost almost 23,000 casualties from
E) has ranked as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties from

look at choice A and E. we need to differentiate between simple present and perfect present.
it is hard.
simple present signal that the condition/fact exist forever, indefinitely. in contrast, present perfect signal that the action exist in a period of time or that action finished but the time frame is not indefinite.
so, choice e signal that the ranking exist in a period not indefinitely, and that the ranking can be changed. this is not logic.

choice A signal that the ranking exist forever, indefinitely.
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
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Re: The Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 between Lee's Confederat [#permalink]
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