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We know that ' in the river' is a adverbial modifier. My question is that :which one it modifies? 'the fish' or ' some men'.
We all are clear the truth that the fish are in the river, you may say it modifies 'the fish'. Then how about this sentence?:
'We are thinking about the travelling in the room.'
Does 'in the room' modify the 'travelling' also?

I am expecting you and your information concerning to this subject.
Comments  
In cases like this you must rely on your common sense and interpret the situation you see before you.

Situation 1. Men are swimming in a river which contains no fish. A little child passes by on the river bank holding a bowl of water. In the bowl there is a tiny goldfish. The child stops and asks, "Can you guys please watch my fish while I go back and play with the other kids?" They agree. They watch the fish without coming out of the water.

Some men are watching the fish in the river.

Situation 2. Men are sitting along the bank of a river. They can see fish swimming in the river. They watch the fish.

Some men are watching the fish in the river.

Which of the two situatiions do you think of first when you hear the sentence without any context?

CJ
I think of first is situation 2 .
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I think you are like everyone else in this respect!

That illustrates that, even though a sentence can mean more than one thing, in a specific situation it usually means only one thing -- the thing that applies to the situation it is being used in.

Emotion: smile

By the way, I didn't understand "the traveling in the room", so I didn't comment on it. It's not a phrase we use in English. Maybe you can modify it with the help of your teacher and ask again?
Situation 1. Men are swimming in a river which contains no fish. A little child passes by on the river bank holding a bowl of water. In the bowl there is a tiny goldfish. The child stops and asks, "Can you guys please watch my fish while I go back and play with the other kids?" They agree. They watch the fish without coming out of the water.

Of course, this sort of thing happens all the time.
I think if you really wanted to describe this situation, it would be better to say, "Some men in the river are watching the fish."
"the traveling in the room"


'We are thinking about the caterpillar's traveling in the room.'

paco
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khoff,

What it is better to say once the thought is already in the mind is one thing.
How to interpret a sentence uttered, no matter how ineptly or ambiguously, is another.

I was focusing on the second problem - the problem of assigning a meaning for

"We saw a man on the hill with a telescope."

for example.

I doubt there are enough "better ways" to word this to express all the possibilities.
Are we on the hill? Or just the man? Or both? Do we have a telescope? Or does the man? Does the man have a telescope with him at the time? Or is this simply the hill identified as the one where a telescope is located? (All the foregoing questions are rhetorical, of course!)

Emotion: smile
CJ