"in the exercise class": modifies?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by uktous, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. uktous Senior Member

    cantonese
    Hi,

    I would like to hear how other people will think about my sentence.

    Sentence:
    I need to help students with their problems in the exercise class.

    What is your opinion
    Opinion1:
    "in the exercise class" is to modify "problems"
    Opinion2:
    "in the exercise class" is to modify "I need to help students with their problems"
    ?

    I hope you would have opinion 2


    Thanks
     
  2. ndchiquita10 Member

    Puebla, Mexico
    United States, English
    Hi

    I'm not quite sure that I understand your questions, so please clarify if my answer isn't quite what you need:

    The phrase 'in the exercise class' is modifying 'problems' because you are specifying that you are only referring to the problems that arise from the exercise class.

    On a side note, the phrase 'exercise class' is very uncommon and you would most likely hear 'physical education class' or something similar to that.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    I have opinion 1, alas.

    If you want me to have opinion 2, you will have to move the prepositional phrase:
    In the exercise class, I need to help students with their problems.
     
  4. uktous Senior Member

    cantonese
    Hi


    Can we continue the discussion using the sentence below?


    Sentence:
    When I was a tutor in the exercise class, I need to help students with their problems.


    Which is your opinion?

    Opinion1:
    "in the exercise class" is modifying "tutor".
    Opinion2:
    "in the exercise class" is modifying "I".
    Opinion3:
    "in the exercise class" is modifying "When I was a tutor".

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  5. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    I'll take opinion 1, and not just because I always do. ;)

    I tend to think the prepositional phrase modifies whatever it's close to, unless there is something to make me read it differently. There is nothing here that does that.
     
  6. uktous Senior Member

    cantonese
    Hi,

    Could I ask you the last (I hope) question in this topic?


    Sentence:
    When I was a tutor, I need to help students with their problems in the exercise class.

    Doesn't the sentence sensible?
    Or
    Is it a "wrong" sentence, if


    I want to convey an idea that "In the exercise class, I help
    the students with their problem".

    Thanks
     
  7. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    It is not wrong, and it makes sense. As ndchiquita10 says in post 2, in this construction the prepositional phrase specifies the kind of problems you helped with, it limits it to the problems in the exercise class.

    However, it will give people the same idea of what you were doing that you would if you said:
    In the exercise class, I help the students with their problems.
    In fact, might be better, because in this last sentence, someone could say that you were helping students with every kind of problem, not just exercise problems.
     
  8. uktous Senior Member

    cantonese

    "every kind of problem, not just exercise problems"


    Very helpful.

    But I will open another post to ask further questions about modifying, because I find that I am not good at it.

    Thanks
     

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