Doctors still know little about how the Listeria bacterium : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Doctors still know little about how the Listeria bacterium

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29 Nov 2009, 21:55
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Doctors still know little about how the Listeria bacterium is spread and why the disease it causes, listeriosis, afflicts some people in a contaminated area though it spares many others.

(A) though it spares
(B) where it spares
(C) despite sparing
(D) when sparing
(E) while sparing

Can anyone explain the solution of the question?What does option A and E mean in simple english?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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05 Dec 2015, 09:50
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In A and B, it is not that the pronoun ‘it’ has no proper referents. The problem is that ‘it’ refers to two different things. The first ‘it’ refers to the bacterium and the second ‘it’ refers to the disease. Ambiguity is not an issue but the multiple references are.

Despite is inappropriate in this context because despite always involves a paradox. Say like: Despite my low GMAT score, I got admitted into the Ivy League; Churchill was sure of his victory despite the series of defeats until the very end. etc, etc.

So E wins
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29 Nov 2009, 23:10
though introduces a contrast which is not required here

while introduses a case happening at the same time when the other is occuring...

and IMO the s/c here is describing that the disease is afflicting some people while sparing others is more appropriate then saying that

the disease afflicts some people , though it spares other

E for me
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01 Dec 2009, 01:07
Hey, dude, can u pls underline the quest.

in A & B it has no clear referance. A&B out
Despite, When seem irrelevant here
E is my ans
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01 Dec 2009, 03:41
"it" in choose A and B could be "Listeria bacterium" or "contaminated area". Hence "it" has no clear referent
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02 Oct 2010, 07:08
Whats wrong with A?
Actually, the || between afflicts and spares sounds good to me.
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12 Dec 2011, 19:36
I made the same mistake but it could also be that "IT" in the underlined sentence could refer to the area which is the noun closest to it ....
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12 Dec 2011, 20:13
the 'it' in option A and B refers to 'it' in 'disease it causes' hence to the bacteria.

but, i think E makes the most sense here.
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12 Dec 2011, 20:17
D and E speak about the time frame.I dont think thats the intention of this sentence.A and B use "it" which has no reference. So C.
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12 Dec 2011, 21:11
+ 1 E, "though" and "despite" are not suitable in this case.
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12 Dec 2011, 21:28
IMO E.

A B - 'it' has no clear referent.
B - where - is wrong
C - despite sparing - 'though', 'despite' are used to show contrast which is not needed here.
D - when - is wrong we should refer to the period
E - while sparing others is the right usage here which occurs at the same time.

P.S. Underline the part under study the next time you post questions.
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13 Dec 2011, 11:59
IMO A

A has clear referent. This is beacuse "It" is used twice and they should refer same subject "Listeria bacterium".
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07 Jan 2013, 06:11
vinayaerostar wrote:
IMO A

A has clear referent. This is beacuse "It" is used twice and they should refer same subject "Listeria bacterium".

I agree ... cannot find any fault with A ...
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07 Jan 2013, 06:37
I narrowed the answer choices down to A and E and then I got stuck. Can anyone please clarify.
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07 Jan 2013, 13:05
I do not ike this question at all.

That say, A is wrong because it refers to area and do not have sense.

E is correct
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07 Jan 2013, 13:13
E

This is a tough question, but I think if you are answering SC based on intuition, you should get E no problem. Take a look at this link.
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31 Jan 2013, 01:07
tuanquang269 wrote:
+ 1 E, "though" and "despite" are not suitable in this case.

Hi ,
Can you please tell me ehy " despite" is not suitable here?
I understood it as , despite many live there the bacteria is effecting only few

Correct me , If I'm wrong.
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31 Jan 2013, 07:38
bhatgmat wrote:
tuanquang269 wrote:
+ 1 E, "though" and "despite" are not suitable in this case.

Hi ,
Can you please tell me ehy " despite" is not suitable here?
I understood it as , despite many live there the bacteria is effecting only few

Correct me , If I'm wrong.

Doctors still know little about how the Listeria bacterium is spread and why the disease it causes, listeriosis, afflicts some people in a contaminated area despite/while sparing many others.

Look at the meaning:

1. why the bacterium afflicts some people
2. why the bacterium spares some people

Both are relevant questions. And despite = regardless.
When you use despite, the sentence would imply the doctors are interested only for the afflicted cases.

Despite is used when one action is considered unnecessary or overlooked for the other. It is not used to represent two simultaneous actions or event.
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16 Nov 2015, 04:54
bsv180985 wrote:
Hey, dude, can u pls underline the quest.

in A & B it has no clear referance. A&B out
Despite, When seem irrelevant here
E is my ans

OA is E. The point is that we need a description that can either contrast the two situations (different groups of people), or demonstrate their happening simultaneously.

(A) though it spares
Wrong for two reasons.
(1) In GMAT, we can say for sure that it is incorrect to use one SAME PRONOUN more than twice.
(2) You often use "though" to introduce a fact that you regard as less important than the fact in the main clause.

(B) where it spares
Wrong for "it". In GMAT, we can say for sure that it is incorrect to use one SAME PRONOUN more than twice.
Note: "where" is correctly used here.
You use "where" to introduce a clause that contrasts with the other part of the sentence.regard as less important than the fact in the main clause.

(C) despite sparing
Wrong for "despite"
You use "despite" to introduce a fact that makes the other part of the sentence surprising.

(D) when sparing
Wrong for "When"
You use "when" to introduce a fact that makes the other part of the sentence surprising or impossible.

(E) while sparing
Correct.
You use "while"
(1) before making a statement, to introduce a fact that partly conflicts the following statement.
(2) to introduce a fact that happens simultaneously with the following statement.
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26 Nov 2015, 12:28
My take on this question:
A and B are out because "ït" in the not-underlined part refers to Listeria bacterium whereas "ït" in the underlined part should refer to "disease" leading to ambiguity. Hence A & B out. Of the remaining choices "when" does not demonstrate a strong contrast so crossed it off as well. I am not able to decide between Despite and While.

Disease afflicts some people ........despite/while sparing others.
Both of them seem equally right ?

Thanks
Teja
Re: Doctors still know little about how the Listeria bacterium   [#permalink] 26 Nov 2015, 12:28

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