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Below is a sentence from an article on New York Times.

A week before Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security adviser, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.

I would like to ask about the structure of the bold part and what it is modifying in the sentence.

I can't understand the exact meaning of the part.

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A week before Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security adviser, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.

The constituent in bold is a gerund-participial clause modifying the noun phrase “a sealed proposal”. Semantically, it is similar to the relative clause in … a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, which outlined a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.

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Reworded this way, it should be more clear.

a sealed proposal outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia was hand-delivered to his office.

The proposal outlines a way to lift sanctions. The proposal was hand-delivered to his office.

  • Thank you. Your answer is very neat and clear so I could undertand this problem perfectly! – Smart Humanism Mar 7 '17 at 6:02

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