7

Consider:

The bank is opposite the supermarket next to the bar.

What is next to the bar, the bank or the supermarket?

10

The cited example is inherently ambiguous. The meaning depends on how you parse it...

1: The bank is opposite the supermarket [and [the bank is]] next to the bar
(the bank is next to the bar)
OR
2: The bank is opposite the supermarket [which is] next to the bar
(the supermarket is next to the bar)

BUT - if you include a comma (pause, in speech) after supermarket, this weakens the link between that word and the clause that follows (effectively ruling out sense #2 above). This doesn't alter the fact that without the comma/pause, the text is perfectly idiomatic, and can indeed carry either sense, depending on context.

4

The preposition phrase "next to the bar" is modifying "the supermarket" since it is tightly following "the supermarket".

If the preposition phrase is modifying "the bank," it'd be written like this:

The bank is opposite the supermarket and next to the bar.

1
  • 3
    Or 'The bank is opposite the supermarket, next to the bar.' Oct 19 '20 at 8:11

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