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OG - 13 Q 120

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Joined: 03 Jun 2013
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OG - 13 Q 120 [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2013, 21:52
120. The WorldWildlife Fund has declared that global
warming, a phenomenon most scientists agree to be
caused bv human beings in burning fossil fuels, will
create havoc among migratory birds by altering the
environment in ways harmful to their habitats.
(A) a phenomenon most scientists agree to be
caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels,
(B) a phenomenon most scientists agree that is
caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,
(0 a phenomenon that most scientists agree is
caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels,
(D) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon
caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,
(E) which most scientists agree to be a
phenomenon caused by fossil fuels burned by
human beings,

The correct answer is C, however, if we change "human beings' burning" to "burning of human being" will not make sense. The sense here is "burning by human beings". Please clarify.
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Re: OG - 13 Q 120 [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2013, 08:04
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Hi Anurag,

I clearly understand where your doubt stems from.

You are trying to compare “human beings’ burning” with a general and more common usage such as “John’s house”.
“John’s house” is same as “house of John”.

That’s an interesting observation you have there. Anyway let me try to address your query.

Before that, I want you to observe the difference in the following sentences.

A. Obama’s pictures are frequently used all over the internet. (pictures of Obama)
B. Da Vinci’s painting of the Monalisa is world famous. (painting by Da Vinci)

Do you think it is “painting of” in both the cases? 

From the context, you need to observe if the possessive case (’s) is used to denote the “possession of an object” or if it hints at a “doing of an action or an action already done” (Da Vinci painted… in this case)

Coming back to the question, let me write the entire sentence with Option C.
The World Wild Life Fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the environment in ways harmful to their habitats.

Observe that the usage in this sentence is similar to the usage in example (B) shown above. It is the burning of fossil fuels which is done by human beings

As a final note, you need to understand from the context what a possessive case denotes in the sentence.

Hope this helps!
Regards,
Krishna Chaitanya
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Re: OG - 13 Q 120   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2013, 08:04
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