Modifiers Gist for GMAT GMAT Notes | EduRev

Verbal for GMAT

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GMAT : Modifiers Gist for GMAT GMAT Notes | EduRev

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MODIFIERS 
 20% of GMAT SC Questions | One of the top error types on the GMAT

Clausal GMAT Modifiers Consists of 3 Major Variations:

1) Underlined Modifier - Filled to the brim, the thermos was a testament to the importance of coffee.
2) Underlined Subject - Filled to the brim, the thermos was a testament to the importance of coffee.
3) Entire Underlined Sentence - Filled to the brim, the thermos was a testament to the importance of coffee.

1. Underlined Modifier

When the first clause of a sentence is underlined, that clause is almost always a modifier. The modifier modifies the subject immediately after the modifier.

Example:  
 Right: 

Having trained for twenty years, Jonas Matheson won the trophy by sheer dedication.

Having trained for twenty years” describes what? Jonas Matheson. Correct!

On par with the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.

 

2. Underlined Subject 

When the second clause of a sentence is underlined, that clause is almost always being modified. The modifier must correctly modify what follows the comma.

Example:  
 Wrong: 

Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, Paris, France is home to the Eiffel Tower, is known as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.

“Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair” describes what? The Eiffel Tower, not Paris France.
This sentence is wrong!  

A modifier most modify what immediately follows or precedes it. If what follows doesn’t match, it’s wrong!

 

3. Entire Sentence Underlined 

When the entire sentence is underlined, the issue is almost always a modifier error. These sentences usually require a fairly dramatic rewrite if wrong. The modification in the sentence must comply with all rules of modification.

Example:  
 Right: 

The doctor, after rendering the opinion after extensive analysis, informed the family that the patient’s prognosis had improved.

Who rendered the opinion after extensive analysis? The doctor. Modifier correct!
Who informed the family? The doctor. Modifier correct!

 

Other Modifications

Which

“Which” should be preceded by a comma, and modify the item just before the comma. You can think of “, which” as a reverse modifier

Example:  
Right:
The world's largest steppe region, which is often referred to as "the Great Steppe", is found in southwestern Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia.

This is not to be confused with “in which”. “In which” describes detail within something. Example: “scenario in which”, “strategy in which” 

Word Modification 

The placement of a single word can have a significant impact on the meaning of a sentence.

Example (suppose the coach believes the defense is well organized):  

Wrong (implies the coach seemed to argue):
The coach seemingly argued that the defense was well organized.

Right (implies the defense seemed well organized):
The coach argued that the defense was seemingly well organized. 

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