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  1. She washed the dishes in the sink in the kitchen.

Does 'in the kitchen' modify 'the sink' ? Or does 'in the kitchen' modify 'washed'? Is 'in the kitchen' an adverbial phrase or an adjective phrase? Or can it be both?

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, Skooba, Roaring Fish, J. Taylor, jimm101 Nov 1 '18 at 10:55

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  • There are several interpretations. "In the kitchen" could be adjectival, modifying "sink"[1], or modifying "dishes in the sink"[2]. or it could be adverbial, modifying the sentence "she washed the dishes in the sink"[3]. [1] tells which sink was used; [2] tells which dishes got washed, and [3] tells where the dish-washing event took place. – Greg Lee Oct 23 '18 at 22:21
  • Good question +1. – Nigel J Oct 23 '18 at 22:51
  • Regardless of the syntax, there can only be one essential meaning that I can think of. She was standing in the kitchen and washing the dishes that were in the sink there. Now, whether or not she washed the dishes in the kitchen sink (as opposed to a detached sink that had been carried into the kitchen) is another matter . . . – Jason Bassford Oct 24 '18 at 11:21
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This can be solved by writing the sentence in a more grammatically correct way - She washed the dishes in the kitchen sink. And by the way, "he" can do it too!

  • The OP posed four questions. I don't think you have answered any of them. – Nigel J Oct 23 '18 at 22:34
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    Are you suggesting the original is ungrammatical? – Jim Oct 23 '18 at 22:46

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