Phlogiston : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Phlogiston

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15 Nov 2009, 05:24
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45% (medium)

Question Stats:

57% (02:20) correct 43% (01:13) wrong based on 210 sessions

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Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood.a) many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
b) many scientists believed that phlogiston was an imaginary substance released by combustion and its properties were not fully understood
c) phlogiston was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood and which many scientists had believed was released by combustion
d) phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood, was believed by scientists to be released by combustion
e) many scientists had believed that phlogiston was released by combustion and was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood

Will post OA after some discussion.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by ankurgupta03 on 10 Apr 2014, 12:16, edited 1 time in total.
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15 Nov 2009, 06:57
yangsta8 wrote:
Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood.a) many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
b) many scientists believed that phlogiston was an imaginary substance released by combustion and its properties were not fully understood
c) phlogiston was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood and which many scientists had believed was released by combustion
d) phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood, was believed by scientists to be released by combustion
e) many scientists had believed that phlogiston was released by combustion and was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
Will post OA after some discussion.

we are talking about two actions that happened int he past.
we need past perfect..
B, D --> out ( used simple past)
C -> akward.

Between A and E
A looks good.

S had believed that combustion released phlogiston, Imaginary substance..(Appositive which modifies Ph)

E --> S had believed that Ph was released by combustion and ph was imaginary substance.

This is wrong. these two statements are contradicting each other. If they belive " Ph" relased... that means that they exists right.. they are not "imaginary substances any more".. so E is out.
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19 Nov 2009, 23:41
OA is A.
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20 Nov 2009, 02:04
I was between A and E.
But wasn't able to choose the right. Suresh gave a nice explanation.
I wonder is something wrong with E except for context contradiction? Cause for me (as non-native) it was dificult to catch this contradiction.
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27 Nov 2009, 08:32
A is best. Since the faulty belief about phlogiston was before Lavoisier's refutation, we need "had believed" to counter the later verb "proved." The phrase "an imaginary substance . . ." properly modifies phlogiston.
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27 Nov 2009, 10:20
The sentence requires past perfect tense because the act of “believing” happened before the act of “proving”. So Choice B and D are out

It cannot happen that “phlogiston is released” and can be “an imaginary substance”. So Choice E is out

As for choice C, the events are reversed. It should be first “Scientist believing” followed by “properties not understood”, moreover the choice is passively constructed. So Choice C is out.

Hence the answer should be A
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27 Nov 2009, 19:47
Between A and E. I go with A, it's correct and concise.
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Re: Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2014, 10:58

if you scan unlike is used at very beginning means parallel unlike Antoine Lavoisier, so word after comma will be scientist not phlogiston so c,d out.

E-->passive form
between A and , two action here proved and beleived so prefer had
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06 Nov 2016, 10:10
Let us take up A and E.
In E it goes like this -- Scientists believed that ph did this and ph was an imaginary substance whose properties...
This is saying that Scientists had two beliefs. This really is not the meaning of sentence. Scientists believed that combustion released ph.. that is it.
Re: Phlogiston   [#permalink] 06 Nov 2016, 10:10
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