This course is of great interest to students, _____ to improve their writing skills.
A.hope
B.to hope
C.hoping
D.hoped
 
Hello everyone. The answer to that question is C, but I want to know who's hoping? This course?
If it is the "students", wouldn't a restrictive modifier be better? 
Thanks in advance. 
 
Last edited by Robby zhu
Original Post

Hi, Robby zhu,

The verb "hope" can only apply to people or to organizations formed by people (e.g. companies, countries). Even in this position "hoping" refers to the personal subject:

- They have enrolled in the course hoping to improve their writing skills.

Robby zhu posted:
 
If it is the "students", wouldn't a restrictive modifier be better? 
 

Yes, I agree with you that it should be a restrictive modifier:

- This course is of great interest to students hoping to improve their writing skills.

Participial clauses will usually be adverbial, not adjectival, when set off by commas:

Hoping to improve their writing skills, many students have enrolled in the course. 

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