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Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u

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Orion Director of Academics
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 09:35
Hey Gagoosh,

The "including" clause modifies "other birds". What follows is then a list of other bird species that the cowbird might take care of. The first comma, before the word including, is there to offset that modifier, and the rest of the commas are there to indicate that you're dealing with a list :)
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 19:44
dear LauraOrion, thank you for your reply.
my confusion was that since comma + verb-ing modifies the action of the main clause (being the adverbial modifier), why is this structure modifying the preceding noun?
Orion Director of Academics
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 08:58
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The verb+ing (participle) construction can work as an adverb (and in that case would have to modify a verb), but it can also act as an adjective even though it retains some of its verb-like qualities. And because it can perform both functions, you have to fall back on the logic here - a group of birds can include a list of bird types, but a verb like build, care, or lays can't logically include a list of bird types.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u &nbs [#permalink] 05 Oct 2018, 08:58

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Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u

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