Can someone provide reasoning to this question. Its from GPrep.
Could you please provide your reasoning on Choice C as to why it is incorrect. Also, can you please elucidate a bit on the usage of When.
I'm happy to help.
Here's the question again:In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing
E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slowsSplit #1
: the mystery "they
", presumably referring to people at the tobacco company. The "major tobacco company
" itself is a singular collective noun, which would take a singular verb (as it does!) and a singular pronoun. This is a classic mistake pattern --- using the plural pronoun "they
" for singular collective noun (a company, a country, etc.) (B)
is incorrect. See:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/Split #2
: the "which
" pronoun after the comma. What "slows" the rate of burning? This entire process --- using the extra paper that decreases the oxygen. We can use a participle to modify a clause ---- "slowing
" ---- but we cannot use the relative pronoun "which
" to modify a clause. See this blog for another alternative:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... te-a-word/
Here, the answers with "which slows" are incorrect --- (B)
are out. Split #3
: the "and
" before the "thereby
" is problematic ---- it suggests this parallelism with another participle, which isn't the case. It's awkward. (D)
is out. Split #4
: the beginning of the underlined sentence:
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used ...
= correct --- passive verb is fine, because we care about the effect, the way the cigarettes wind up, not about who is doing this to the cigarette
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper ...
--- the "they" problem discussed in Split #1
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper ...
--- this has the active verb "uses
" --- what "uses
"? Does the "cigarette
" "thin "layers of extra paper
"???? That is a colloquialism that would in no way be acceptable on the GMAT. This is one reason (C)
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used ...
--- has the correct passive, but the preposition "for
" is odd. The extra layers of thing paper are used "for" the cigarettes, for the sake of the cigarette?? Something is off about this wording.
E. using thin layers of extra paper ...
---- similar to (C)
, implies that the "cigarettes" themselves are the agents. Split #5
: to express purpose or intention, use an infinitive, "to decrease
", not a preposition + gerund "in decreasing
" ---- choices (B)
make this mistake. Split #6
: (as requested) --- the problem with "when
" --- this is subtle ---- the phrase "to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette
" correctly implies that there's a lot of oxygen out there, that more of it used to enter the cigarette, and now less does. By contrast, the phrase " to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette
" illogically suggests that some quantity of oxygen enters the cigarette, and after it enters, somehow inside the cigarette it is decreased, as if there is some magical transmutation of the elements that takes place, so that oxygen that has already entered the cigarette becomes something other than oxygen, so that the amount of the oxygen that already has entered the cigarette is decreased. This is a huge and subtle logical problem with (C)
For all these reasons, the only possible answer is (A)
, the OA. This is a good challenging question --- typical of the high standards of the GMAT.
Does all this make sense?
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