I couldn't find its solution anywhere so posting it here.
"In undistributed primary forests, the Honduran Mahogany grows up to a height of 130 feet, having a buttressed trunk and a crown that spread over the canopy of lesser trees."
Correct answer is -
"to a height of 130 feet, with a buttressed trunk and with a crown that spreads"
The explanation says that "spread" should logically refer to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown". How do we know from the original sentence that "that" refers to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown"?
First of all, are you familiar with the Modifier Touch Rule
? It's not 100%, but in general, a modifying phrase, here "that spreads
...", modifies the noun directly adjacent to it in a sentence.
For more information, see: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/modifiers- ... orrection/
Of course, here we could say that here the modifier "touches" either "a crown
" or "a buttressed trunk and a crown
", so how do we know the intended target? We have to use logic. A crown
(whatever that is, probably the top of a tree) could "spread over the canopy
", but a trunk (the vertical part of a tree) doesn't "spread over" anything.
Never forget --- GMAT SC is not primarily about grammar. It's primarily about logic, what do the sentence say, and the grammar has to support the logic.
Does all this make sense?
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