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# According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita

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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2012, 03:16
IMO Option E is correct. All other options have modifier errors.

Why OA is debatable?
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2012, 04:57
+1 E for sure.....

Concise & correct
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2012, 23:05
Surely E ...
Other options have modifier problems...
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2012, 00:12
E is correct but not able to understand why the tag restricts the question to debatable OA
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 05:49
(A) "Which" is modifying "United States". Incorrect.
(B) The sentence is conveying that "National Pasta Association" is "approaching 19 pounds a year". Incorrect.
(C) "Which" is modifying "United States" incorrectly. Missing a "that" after "National Pasta association predicts". Incorrect placing of "that" before "per-capita consumption".
(D) Incorrect placing of "By the twenty-first century". "Having already approached" is awkward.
(E) Correct.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 07:03
I agree with the "Debatable OA" tag. Proper answer is either A or E, depending on the intended meaning of the sentence.

We cannot eliminate A from the ", which" modifier. Relative clauses must modify the immediately preceding noun, but it can get tricky when that immediately preceding noun is a noun phrase containing prepositional phrases. In these cases, the ", which" modifier can either modify the object of the preposition or the head noun by modifying the entire noun phrase. For example:

The box of pencils that is red costs $5. The box of pencils that are red costs$5.

Each of these is okay. The first relative clause is describing the lead noun of the noun phrase by describing the entire "the box of pencils" while the second relative clause is describing just the "pencils." When this occurs, use the relative pronoun (that, who, etc.) or the verb of the relative clause to determine what the relative clause modifies.

Back to the question:

(A) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which has already been approaching 19 pounds a year, will achieve 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.

The relative clause can describe "per-capita consumption," "pasta," or "United States" because "which" can describe any of these three nouns and because they all match the singular verb "has." Therefore, there is no modifier error in the original sentence. POSSIBLY CORRECT

(B) Already approaching 19 pounds a year in the United States, the National Pasta Association predicts that per-capita consumption of pasta will reach 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.

This present participle is an adverb and is telling us that the National Pasta Association is approaching 19 pounds a year in the United States during the act of its predicting. This alters the meaning in an impermissible way. WRONG

(C) The National Pasta association predicts by the twenty-first century that per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which is already approaching 19 pounds a year, will reach 30 pounds a year.

The "by the twenty-first century" modifier is misplaced. It should be describing the consumption reaching 30 pounds a year, but instead describes the NPA's act of predicting because it is outside the "that" clause. It should read "... predicts that, by the twenty-first century, per-capita consumption..." This is subtle, but an issue. WRONG

(D) By the twenty-first century, the National Pasta Association predicts that per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, having already approached 19 pounds a year, will reach 30 pounds a year.

Same problem as in C. "By the twenty-first century" is misplaced. WRONG

(E) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States is already approaching 19 pounds a year and will reach 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.

Same as in A, but now the modifier has turned into a verb in parallel with "will reach." The meaning here matches reality, but whether we should make "approaching" a modifier or a verb is a question of focus. POSSIBLY CORRECT.

If you disagree, see OG13 SC#126 and this e-GMAT post: noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

=====

(A) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which has already been approaching 19 pounds a year, will achieve 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.
(E) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States is already approaching 19 pounds a year and will reach 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.

In choosing between focus of the sentence (modifiers/verbs), we have to decide whether the information is the main point of the sentence or just extraneous information to help us understand the meaning. Here, the present participle in the beginning of the sentence tells us that the NPA is telling us this information. In A and E, the NPA is telling is that consumption will achieve 30 pounds. However, in E, the NPA is also telling us that consumption has been approaching 19 pounds a year. Is that intended, or is the "approaching 19 pounds per year" meant to be context that is gotten elsewhere? This is too hard to tell, since either is plausible.

When in doubt, we usually want to retain the original meaning of the sentence, so I would go with A. However, either option is plausibly correct, so this question is probably too close for actual GMAT.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 07:38
mmagyar wrote:
If you disagree, see OG13 SC#126 and this e-GMAT post: noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

The post from e-GMAT is an excellent one and it clearly says when the modifier can be set in distance and when it cannot be.
The post properly justifies the distant modifier in several cases including OG question.
There is a good example in ex#2 under "WHEN FAR AWAY MODIFICATION IS NOT POSSIBLE" within the same post; the comparison between ex#1 and ex#2 and the associated explanation is very informative indeed.

In summary: If the construction is something like "... X of Y, which, ...", then "which" is modifying "X" [because Y is modifying X] -- distant modifier can be accepted. If the construction is something like "... X in Y, which, ...", then "which" is modifying "Y" [because Y is not modifying X and Y become immediately preceding noun to "which"] -- distant modifier cannot be accepted.

Using the same logic, "which" is modifying "United States" in option A -- this is contrary to the intended meaning.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 10:36
doe007 wrote:
mmagyar wrote:
If you disagree, see OG13 SC#126 and this e-GMAT post: noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

The post from e-GMAT is an excellent one and it clearly says when the modifier can be set in distance and when it cannot be.
The post properly justifies the distant modifier in several cases including OG question.
There is a good example in ex#2 under "WHEN FAR AWAY MODIFICATION IS NOT POSSIBLE" within the same post; the comparison between ex#1 and ex#2 and the associated explanation is very informative indeed.

In summary: If the construction is something like "... X of Y, which, ...", then "which" is modifying "X" [because Y is modifying X] -- distant modifier can be accepted. If the construction is something like "... X in Y, which, ...", then "which" is modifying "Y" [because Y is not modifying X and Y become immediately preceding noun to "which"] -- distant modifier cannot be accepted.

Using the same logic, "which" is modifying "United States" in option A -- this is contrary to the intended meaning.

I think you are misunderstanding the point made by egmat because you are focusing too much on which preposition is used instead of how the prepositional phrase is functioning.

egmat wrote:
2. The committee chose Mr. Smith in the last meeting, who was the most experienced member, to lead all the management-related operations.

If you notice, structurally there is no difference between sentences 1 and 2. In both, “Mr. Smith” is followed by prepositional phrase. However, the second sentence is not correct. Here “who” ends up modifying immediately preceding noun “the last meeting”, resulting in modifier error.
This is so because “in the last meeting” does not modify “Mr. Smith”. It rather modifies the action “chose”. When did the committee choose? It did in the last meeting. This prepositional phrase can actually be placed right in the beginning of the sentence, after “The committee”, or before “Mr. Smith” to convey the intended meaning. Hence, here “who” cannot jump over the preceding noun. Notice how per the context of this sentence, the expression “Mr. Smith in the last meeting” is not a noun phrase. Contrast this with the noun phrase in the original sentence “Mr. Smith of Left Block”.

"who" cannot modify Mr. Smith, not because the preposition "in" is used, but rather because, as the egmat post explains, the prepositional phrase "in the last meeting" does not modify the noun. This is not a noun phrase. Instead, it is a noun followed by a prepositional phrase that describes the verb in the sentence.

Try this: "The student in biology who is being disruptive will be given detention."

According to your summary, "who" cannot modify student because there is a prepositional phrase starting with "in" in the way. However, the sentence is grammatically correct and "who" properly modifies "student." Why? Because "the student in biology" is an entire noun phrase - "in biology" is not modifying the verb and is instead modifying the noun "the student" by restricting which student we are talking about.

Different (and wrong): "Detention will include the student on Monday who was being disruptive in class"

Here the noun is "the student," but the prepositional phrase "on Monday" is not there to describe the student. This is not "the student on Monday." Instead, the prepositional phrase "on Monday" modifies the verb "will include." Therefore, there is no noun phrase that can be modified by the "who" relative clause and "on Monday" gets in the way between the noun and the relative clause. Instead the sentence would be more correct if it was:

"On Monday, detention will include the student who was being disruptive in class"

Obviously, this is in passive voice and is not optimal, but at least the adverb "on Monday" is no longer interrupting the "who" relative clause. Does that make sense?

So, in the original question, A is okay because the prepositional phrases "of pasta" and "in the United States" do not modify a verb - they are modifying "consumption." Therefore, "per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States" is an entire noun phrase and the "which" modifier can describe the entire thing, which is headlined by "consumption."
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 10:41
Quote:
According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which has already been approaching 19 pounds a year, will achieve 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.

(A) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which has already been approaching 19 pounds a year, will achieve 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.
(E) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States is already approaching 19 pounds a year and will reach 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.

I would like to point out that I missed two other differences when I first looked at this question. A and E have different tenses and verbs.

E makes sense as "reach" probably matches the intended meaning better than "achieve," but the modifying structure in A is fine.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 18:41
mmagyar wrote:
Try this: "The student in biology who is being disruptive will be given detention."

According to your summary, "who" cannot modify student because there is a prepositional phrase starting with "in" in the way. However, the sentence is grammatically correct and "who" properly modifies "student." Why? Because "the student in biology" is an entire noun phrase - "in biology" is not modifying the verb and is instead modifying the noun "the student" by restricting which student we are talking about.

"Student in biology" is incorrect itself -- correct usage is "student of biology", and here biology is attributable to student. Hence, "who" is correctly modifying student.

I believe you misunderstood what I wrote earlier. I wrote "of" and "in" as example ... I wrote before that "something like" to indicate those as example. What I meant there is, if there is a modifier right before the modifier in question, then the modifier in question modifies the noun preceding previous modifier. I know this logic is true and in line with what e-GMAT wrote. However, you are welcome to stick to your own idea which may not help you.

Last edited by doe007 on 08 Apr 2013, 19:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 18:59
Option A has two mistakes:
1. Modifier issue: "which" is referring to "united States" here whereas "which" should modify "per-capita consumption (of pasta)".
2. Incorrect use of "achieve". Consumption cannot achieve but reach.

IMHO, obvious correct answer is option E and the OA is not debatable. I second with what nishtil wrote.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2013, 15:59
E is correct. Here my 2 cents.

(A) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which has already been approaching 19 pounds a year, will achieve 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.
Wrong. Modifier problem.

(B) Already approaching 19 pounds a year in the United States, the National Pasta Association predicts that per-capita consumption of pasta will reach 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.
Wrong. Modifier problem.

(C) The National Pasta association predicts by the twenty-first century that per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, which is already approaching 19 pounds a year, will reach 30 pounds a year.
Wrong. Modifier problem.

(D) By the twenty-first century, the National Pasta Association predicts that per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States, having already approached 19 pounds a year, will reach 30 pounds a year.
Wrong. Change meaning.

(E) According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita consumption of pasta in the United States is already approaching 19 pounds a year and will reach 30 pounds a year by the twenty-first century.
Correct.
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Re: According to the National Pasta Association, per-capita   [#permalink] 20 Apr 2013, 15:59

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