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