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that vs which vs ing-modifier

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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Operations
Schools: ISB '15
GMAT 1: 590 Q48 V23
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Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 45

that vs which vs ing-modifier [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2013, 08:49
Hiram Bingham, explorer and professor of South American history, first crossed the Andes Mountains in February 1909, the wettest month of the year, which makes his travels difficult.

a) which makes his travels difficult
b) that had made his travels difficult
c) which should have made his travels difficult
d) because it made his travels difficult
e) making his travels difficult

Please comment on usage of that vs which here.

My analysis:

a) which makes his travels difficult -> which should refer to a noun , The combination that made the task more difficult was crossing Alpes and that too when it was raining so which is unable to point to this combination.

b) that had made his travels difficult -> not very convinced as no restriction is needed here, plus "had made" creates a wrong sequence
c) which should have made his travels difficult -> meaning change, travelled done.
d) because it made his travels difficult -> 'it' has no antecedent
e) making his travels difficult
This one is confusing me most. I drew parallel from Jupiter example mentioned in ing- article. So I assume

Hiram Bingham, explorer and professor of South American history, first crossed the Andes Mountains in February 1909, the wettest month of the year
making his travels difficult.

So ing here is basically adding information of the activity. Hence modifies previous clause whose subject is Hiram Bingham.
But still not very convinced.
PLease comment.
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Re: that vs which vs ing-modifier [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2014, 20:57
the intended usage of "which" in this sentence is to refer to entire clause - if the speaker wants to express an outcome/result of what is mentioned in the first clause, present participle modifier is a better choice as usage of "which" relative clause can be ambiguous.

Does this help?
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Re: that vs which vs ing-modifier   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2014, 20:57
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