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Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team,

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GMAT Date: 11-02-2012
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Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 17

Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team, [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2012, 07:55
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  5% (low)

Question Stats:

74% (01:57) correct 26% (00:57) wrong based on 27 sessions
213. Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team, worked steadily and efficiently through the night, but sipping their coffee the next morning, she noticed that he seemed disoriented.
(A) sipping their coffee the next morning, she noticed that he seemed disoriented
(B) sipping their coffee the next morning, he seemed to be disoriented, she noticed
(C) as they sipped their coffee the next morning, she noticed that he seemed disoriented
(D) as they were sipping their coffee the next morning, he seemed, she noticed, disoriented
(E) he seemed disoriented, she noticed, sipping their coffee the next morning

The above question has already been discussed, although I have a doubt, why A is not the answer.

Sipping their coffe sounds correct to me as a modifier.

Please explain in detail.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Need more explanation [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2012, 12:36
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Expert's post
Hi Vivek,
Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team, worked steadily and efficiently through the night, but sipping their coffee the next morning, she noticed that he seemed disoriented.

Since the meaning of this sentence is simple to comprehend, let’s proceed to the error analysis:
1. The verb-ing modifier “sipping their coffee the next morning” suggests that she (Florence) was drinking her coffee as well as her husband’s coffee. This does not sound logical. Both the husband and their wife were sipping their own coffee. Hence, we have modifier issue here.

POE:
(A) sipping their coffee the next morning, she noticed that he seemed disoriented: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

(B) sipping their coffee the next morning, he seemed to be disoriented, she noticed: Incorrect.
1. This choice repeats the same modification error of choice A. Now it suggests that he (Clark) was drinking both their coffees.
2. Also two independent clauses are joined just by a comma. This leads to run-on sentence.

(C) as they sipped their coffee the next morning, she noticed that he seemed disoriented: Correct.

(D) as they were sipping their coffee the next morning, he seemed, she noticed, disoriented: Incorrect. Same run-on sentence error as in choice B.

(E) he seemed disoriented, she noticed, sipping their coffee the next morning: Incorrect.
1. This choice also repeats the run-on sentence error.
2. Verb-ing modifier “sipping…” is now modifying the preceding clause, suggesting that she (Florence) was drinking her coffee as well as her husband’s coffee.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team, [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 06:51
Hi Shraddha

Could you please clarify what a run on sentence is?

Thanks

B.
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Re: Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team, [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 07:32
Expert's post
Hi @bradfris,

When two independent clauses are not connected properly to each other, they are called run-on sentence. The most common instance is two ICs connected just by a comma. For example:

I can’t come to your house now, I am doing my homework.

Both the sentences here are independent clauses. They can stand by their own. We can very well use a full stop instead of the comma in this sentence. Joining these two sentences with comma leads to a run-on structure.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team, [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2012, 07:57
Great, very clear and concise.

+1 for you
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Re: Clark and Florence Wallace, a husband-and-wife medical team,   [#permalink] 27 Aug 2012, 07:57
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