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# Verb-ed modifiers Vs. Verb-ing modifiers

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Verbal Expert
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 3315
Location: Germany
Schools: HHL Leipzig
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V47
WE: Corporate Finance (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
Re: Verb-ed modifiers Vs. Verb-ing modifiers [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2016, 03:21
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ShekharKanodia wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi,
I received a PM for this one.

John sat in the minivan carrying seven passengers.
Per the rules of verb-ing modifier, “carrying” is clearly modifying “minivan” there is no comma between the two words. When there is no comma before the verb-ing then it modifies the preceding noun.
So in the above sentence too, “carrying” is referring to “minivans”. It is giving us more information about the minivan that John sat in that minivan that had seven passengers in it.
The sentence that you have provided is also correct. There again, “carrying” is not separated with comma. Hence without any ambiguity or confusion, “carrying” is modifying “minivan”, suggesting that the minivan in which John sat carried load. “carrying” in no way can refer to John if there is no comma between “carrying” and “minibus”.

@maheshrini: For the Stegosaurus, a dinosaur, the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back were necessary elements for survival, regulating its temperature throughout its bus-sized body and protecting it from much larger carnivores.

In this sentence, both the verb-ing modifiers “regulating” and “protecting” are modifying the preceding clause. They are giving information about how “the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back were necessary elements for survival” for the Stegosaurus.
One way to identify what the modifier is modifying is that ask a question. Whatever aspect the modifier is the reply to, that is the aspect it is modifying.
For example, in the above dinosaur sentence, ask how the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back were necessary elements for survival? Both the verb-ing modifiers answer this question. Hence, the modifiers are modifying the preceding clause. They are providing additional information as to how these bony plates were essential for survival for Stegosaurus.
Hope these explanations help.
Thanks.

Thanks for explaining the concept. I have one doubt regarding application of -ing verb. The below question is from the OG:

As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.

The explanation in the OG says that including is modifying the previous clause 'generations of actors', however as per your rule it modifies actors. Can you please clarify?

Regards
Shekhar

The structure comma+ present participle modifier can refer to either the complete previous clause OR the subject of the previous clause.

Usage 1:
The crime in the region decreased, attracting many real-estate investors. (The present participle modifier refers to the whole clause - it depicts the result of the whole clause)

Usage 2:
Steffi won Wimbledon, defeating Sabatini in straight sets. (The present participle modifier refers to the subject of the previous clause Steffi)

Usage 3:
The present participle modifier may also act as any other modifier, i.e. modifying the noun it touches:
...trained several actors including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. (The present participle modifier modifies the noun actors)
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Joined: 16 Jul 2016
Posts: 7
Re: Verb-ed modifiers Vs. Verb-ing modifiers [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2016, 03:55
Hi sayantanc2k,

As per the OG, in Usage 3 the present participle modifies 'generations of actors' and not 'actors'. The OG says that instead of 'including' it should be 'whose ranks included'.

Regards
Shekhar
Verbal Expert
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 3315
Location: Germany
Schools: HHL Leipzig
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V47
WE: Corporate Finance (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
Re: Verb-ed modifiers Vs. Verb-ing modifiers [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2016, 04:09
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ShekharKanodia wrote:
Hi sayantanc2k,

As per the OG, in Usage 3 the present participle modifies 'generations of actors' and not 'actors'. The OG says that instead of 'including' it should be 'whose ranks included'.

Regards
Shekhar

You are right. I went through the explanation: including refers to "generations of actors", when the reference should be to "actors" only.

The usage is not accepted because the noun "actors" is the object of preposition "of", and hence there could be an ambiguity whether the present participle "including" refers to "generations" or "actors". Nonetheless, in absence of such a prepositional phrase, the usage 3 (i.e. a present participle modifier refers to the noun it touches) would be valid. Following is a different example which does not have the ambiguity as in my previous example:

The cat SLEEPING on the rug is named "Sue." (example from Manhattan SC guide)

I have modified my previous post slightly in order to remove this ambiguity.
Manager
Joined: 05 Dec 2014
Posts: 231
Location: India
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V36
GPA: 3.54
Re: Verb-ed modifiers Vs. Verb-ing modifiers [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2017, 03:47
egmat wrote:
Hi,
I received a PM for this one.

John sat in the minivan carrying seven passengers.
Per the rules of verb-ing modifier, “carrying” is clearly modifying “minivan” there is no comma between the two words. When there is no comma before the verb-ing then it modifies the preceding noun.
So in the above sentence too, “carrying” is referring to “minivans”. It is giving us more information about the minivan that John sat in that minivan that had seven passengers in it.
The sentence that you have provided is also correct. There again, “carrying” is not separated with comma. Hence without any ambiguity or confusion, “carrying” is modifying “minivan”, suggesting that the minivan in which John sat carried load. “carrying” in no way can refer to John if there is no comma between “carrying” and “minibus”.

@maheshrini: For the Stegosaurus, a dinosaur, the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back were necessary elements for survival, regulating its temperature throughout its bus-sized body and protecting it from much larger carnivores.

In this sentence, both the verb-ing modifiers “regulating” and “protecting” are modifying the preceding clause. They are giving information about how “the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back were necessary elements for survival” for the Stegosaurus.
One way to identify what the modifier is modifying is that ask a question. Whatever aspect the modifier is the reply to, that is the aspect it is modifying.
For example, in the above dinosaur sentence, ask how the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back were necessary elements for survival? Both the verb-ing modifiers answer this question. Hence, the modifiers are modifying the preceding clause. They are providing additional information as to how these bony plates were essential for survival for Stegosaurus.
Hope these explanations help.
Thanks.

Hi E-GMAT,
I have a doubt on the below question on the usage of ing-
United States Senator Daniel Inouye was appointed to several posts within the Democratic party during his first term, that included assistant majority whip and vice-chair of the Democratic Senatorial Committee.
A. that included
B. which includes
C. including
D. some of which were
E. among them being

Here, comma + ing should modify the preceding clause and modify/agree with the subject, so including modifies the preceding clause ( United States Senator Daniel Inouye was appointed to several posts within the Democratic party during his first term).But including should modify posts. Now, if we ignore the prepositional phrase- within the Democratic party during his first term, then including can modify posts, but again we have comma + ing. So, how can comma + ing modifies post instead of the preceding clause and the subject United States Senator Daniel Inouye.
Re: Verb-ed modifiers Vs. Verb-ing modifiers   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2017, 03:47

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