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Can't decide whether the following sentence conveys the intended meaning.

Sam is the only presenter to pose difficult questions in post match presentation to players with supreme confidence

Mean to say that Sam is the only presenter who poses difficult questions (with supreme confidence) to players, during/in post match presentation/interview.

It seems as though my sentence is implying that he poses tough questions to players who have supreme confidence, and not that he poses tough questions and does it with supreme confidence. Similarly, can't decide whether it should be 'poses tough questions to players in post match presentation' or poses tough questions in post match presentation to players'.

So I guess I am having trouble with deciding which phrases is modifying what in the sentence.

  • For your second doubt: I prefer 'poses tough questions to players in post match presentation' - following what > who > where. – JMB Aug 8 '15 at 12:32
  • Is there a rule one can consult when in doubt? Thanks. – dijter Aug 8 '15 at 12:33
  • It's a complicated sentence that's hard to parse. It's definitely ambiguous, but the "players with supreme confidence" reading didn't make much sense to me. What's particularly awkward about this sentence is that the "only" can refer to two things: is s/he the only presenter to pose difficult questions, or the only presenter to do so with confidence? – Steve Bennett Jan 6 '16 at 3:12
  • If you mean that various presenters ask difficult questions, but only Sam does so confidently: Of those posing difficult questions to players during post-match interviews, Sam is the only presenter to do so with supreme confidence. If you mean that only Sam asks difficult questions and he does so confidently, then: During post-match interviews, Sam is the only presenter to ask difficult questions, and he does so with supreme confidence. – nnnnnn Jun 4 '16 at 7:03
  • with supreme confidence is an adverbal phrase, in the same way that with speed means the same as speedily. You can put adverbs into a sentence in different places to provide different meanings: generally it affects what it follows. – JavaLatte Jun 4 '16 at 9:51
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There is always more than one way to write the perfect sentence. Here are three changes I would make in an effort to clearly get my point across:

1- Use confidence as an adverb and move it close to presenter, thus making the phrase to confidently pose.

2- Change post match presentation to post-match interviews. Note the hyphenated word and the plural interviews.

3- Change the word order to enhance clarity.

Sam is the only presenter to confidently pose difficult questions to players in post-match interviews.

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You can add a comma after "players" that will break the association between confidence and players.

Sam is the only presenter to pose difficult questions in the post match presentation to players, with supreme confidence.

Also you need an article before "post match presentation", or make it plural.

Though reordering to better associate confidence with the questions.

Sam is the only presenter to pose difficult questions with supreme confidence in the post match presentation to players,.

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