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Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is

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Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 06:58
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Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles


Can somebody please explain why cant their refer back to the SNAILS...I mean it still would make perfect sense "snail serve as host for a part in their life cycle"

I understand from the explanations that this is not the intended meaning, but how can gmat expect the test taker to peep in the author's brain?
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 07:57
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ratinarace wrote:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles


Can somebody please explain why cant their refer back to the SNAILS...I mean it still would make perfect sense "snail serve as host for a part in their life cycle"

I understand from the explanations that this is not the intended meaning, but how can gmat expect the test taker to peep in the author's brain?


Hi ratinarace, when dealing with pronoun questions, it's always simplest to replace the pronoun by the word it is replacing and verify that the pronoun agrees with the noun.

In this case, the sentence should be:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of [u]THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF the worm's LIFE CYCLE. Who's life cycle are we referring to? The parasite, which in turn is referencing the worm.

If you want it to reference the snails (plural), also note that the sentence is slightly different (in part vs for part). In part usually means "as one of the reasons of" whereas for part usually means "for an incomplete period". I chose this answer in part because the idiom was good for this part of the test.

Between the intention and the phrasing, I agree that A should be the correct answer, but B is a tempting choice as well.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 08:43
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ratinarace wrote:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles


Can somebody please explain why cant their refer back to the SNAILS...I mean it still would make perfect sense "snail serve as host for a part in their life cycle"

I understand from the explanations that this is not the intended meaning, but how can gmat expect the test taker to peep in the author's brain?


Hi ratinarace,

"their" can refer to snails and in (B) "their" is in fact referring to "snails", but it shouldn't. The sentence is discussing about the life cycle of the parasite and not the snails. In (B) "their" refers to snails, resulting in change in the meaning of the original sentence.

Well, it may appear that GMAT expects one to peep into the author's brain. :-) But while answering you should keep in mind that the answer choice that changes the meaning of the original sentence is almost always incorrect. If we have two grammatically correct answer choices then the one which preserves the meaning of the original sentence is most likely to be the correct one.

Hope this helps,

Vercules
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 09:38
@ron...Thanks for the "in part" "for part" explanation ...that makes perfect sense :)

@vercules ..."For part of __ lifecycle" ...here snails and parasite both can fit in nicely with their respective pronouns and make perfect sense.... one really doesn't know the actual meaning, at least in this problem....then how should one decide that an option is altering the intended meaning??.....I just read somewhere and hence the thought.since both parasite's and its are possesive...does that in any way affects their affinity towards each other??
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 19:18
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To understand this issue correctly, one requires to look at the science of logic and I wonder whether it could have been the intention of the framers of this topic. If you understand the relationship between a host and a parasite, it is like this.

There are millions of hosts of a species and millions of parasites of the same. But it is not essential that the host has to necessarily have a parasite as part of its life cycle. It can continue to live healthily without getting infected by the parasite. For example do we all get malaria? No. we don’t. So a mosquito is not part of our life-cycle.
But not so in the case of the parasite. A parasite has to depend upon its host for some time, if it has to successfully complete its life cycle. Looking therefore from the meaning point, - its - should refer to the parasite in this case. So A.

I am not clear whether this fine tuning is by default or by design by the originators.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2013, 20:14
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A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
Should keep it
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
For part of its life cycle seems ok
but in part of their life cylce seems not as "parasite" is singular and their is plural.

C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
Which should be preceded by comma.
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
Same as (C).
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles
Changes the meaning and this one says that habitat of parasite's hosts and not of freshwater snails has been enlarged
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2014, 11:04
Well all options are using wrong usage of "which" - C,D,E out
For B - use of "their" not correct
A- correct Answer .
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2014, 06:23
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Can we consider that which without a preceding comma is always wrong in GMAT ?
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2014, 10:05
The answer is A. The reason being the reference is for the freshwater snails which play a part host during for duration of the lifecycle.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2014, 19:59
dream21 wrote:
Can we consider that which without a preceding comma is always wrong in GMAT ?

Yes, except in a few instances; for example, when "which" is a part of "prepositional phrase".
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2014, 21:45
I have solved this SC in the following way,

For a single parasite, life cycle should be one. So, choice C, D, & E are out.
In choice B, pronoun 'their' should be singular to refer single parasite.

So, choice A is correct.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2014, 07:56
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle - Correct Answer , Its correctly refer to parasite's (both are relative pronouns)
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle - part of parasite's lifecycle, not snail's lifecycle - distorts meaning
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles - parasite can have one life cycle.
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles - parasite can have one life cycle.
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles - Same error as in B


This one is hard... :roll:
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2014, 21:13
dream21 wrote:
Can we consider that which without a preceding comma is always wrong in GMAT ?



This is what the OG has to say about your doubt.

I have copied it from OG.

"some writers follow the convention that which can only be used for non restrictive clauses, but insistence on this rule is controversial."
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2014, 21:13
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