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Reply to "Comma before a modifier"

Hi, Nousher—I see that you have brought us a complex specimen to parse.

Yes, that's right.

No. That relative clause modifies "igloos."

Yes.

Right.

"And just as ingenious" forms a coordinate structure with "As vital." Below I have rearranged the sentence so that you can see clearly how the sentence is put together. The subject of the main clause ("their winter clothing") is in dark green; the predicate of the main clause ("is as vital and just as ingenious as [are] their igloos" or "is as vital and just as ingenious as their igloos [are]") is in blue; and the two relative clauses, one modifying "igloos" ("which permit the Innuits to live in reasonable comfort in an icy land") and the other modifying "their winter clothing" ("[which is] so perfect in design and material that it makes them nearly impervious to any arctic weather") are in brown. Starting with the sentence as you have found it in print, I have manipulated the phrases for your grammatical enlightenment.

(1a) As vital as [are] their igloos, which permit the Innuits to live in reasonable comfort in an icy landand just as ingeniousis their winter clothing, [which is] so perfect in design and material that it makes them nearly impervious to any arctic weather.

(1b) As vital and just as ingenious as [are] their igloos, which permit the Innuits to live in reasonable comfort in an icy land, is their winter clothing, [which is] so perfect in design and material that it makes them nearly impervious to any arctic weather.

(1c) Their winter clothing, [which is] so perfect in design and material that it makes them nearly impervious to any arctic weather, is as vital and just as ingenious as [are] their igloos, which permit the Innuits to live in reasonable comfort in an icy land.

Sir, The questions I have asked recently are related to sentence correction problems. These sentences are long, and many a time I have found them difficult to understand. I needed explanations from an expert. Luckily I have found Azar Grammar Exchange where experts like you helped a me a lot. I am really grateful to you for your help. Your explanations helped me a lot understand long and tough sentences.

 

Igloos are both vital and ingenious. Hence we can write this sentence in the following way which you have already suggested. 
 
As vital and just as ingenious as their igloos, which permit the Innuits to live in reasonable comfort in an icy land, is their winter clothing, so perfect in design and material that it makes them nearly impervious to any arctic weather.
 
I like to learn why just as ingenious has been separated from its main clause. which permit the Innuits to live in reasonable comfort in an icy land modifies igloos, and has been inserted between As vital as their igloos and just as ingenious. If these two parts would stay together, meaning could be understood easily.
 
 
Last edited by Nousher Ahmed
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