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Semi-real Questions With Extremely Real Answers
Mr. Butterfield, who dreamed of living for years on a pirate ship, insists on sleeping in his new backyard hammock.
- (A) who dreamed of living for years on a pirate ship
- (B) who dreamed of for years living on a pirate ship
- (C) who dreamed of living on a pirate ship for years
- (D) who dreamed for years of living on a pirate ship
- (E) for years dreaming of living on a pirate ship
The correct answer is (D).
The key to unlocking Mr. Butterfield’s dream is the phrase “for years.” As with any modifier, we need to try to place it as close to the thing it’s modifying as possible, which in this case means “for years” goes right next to “dreamed.” We can eliminate (A) and (C) for vagueness and (E) for grammatical shenanigans (technical term right there). (B) is incorrect because the preposition “of” throws a big ol’ monkey wrench between our subject and its description, just like being born in the 20th century threw a big ol’ monkey wrench into Mr. Butterfield’s piratical aspirations.
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