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The distance between the two runners, which is over 50

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The distance between the two runners, which is over 50 [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 20:47
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A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  5% (low)

Question Stats:

58% (01:20) correct 42% (00:05) wrong based on 12 sessions
The distance between the two runners, which is over 50 meters, cannot be made up with only three laps to go in the race.

A)The distance between the two runners, which is over 50 meters
B) The distance between the two runners, who is over 50 meters
C) The distance between the two runners, whom is over 50 meters
D) The distance between the two runners, that is over 50 meters
E) The distance between the two runners, whoever is over 50 meters

B, C, and E are thrown out because the relative pronoun is referring to the distance and not the runners.

My question:
Why is which preferred over that in this situation?
Isn't the information that the distance is over 50 meters necessary? "That" would restrict the distance to "50 meters".

Source: PowerScore
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 21:11
Yup, i have the same q. Which always modifies the one which is right before it? Don't it?
In this case it is two runners.
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 21:29
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asax wrote:
Yup, i have the same q. Which always modifies the one which is right before it? Don't it?
In this case it is two runners.


Hmm, I'd take that rule with some caution. I do not believe that rule is set in stone. In this situation, the subject is distance and "runners" is the object of a prepositional phrase. Take a look at this link: http://gmatclub.com/blog/2012/04/that-v ... orrection/

It didn't really clarify which versus that in this specific example for me though.
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 22:25
Thanks damham17!

I guess here "which" means, it could be > 50 meter [Non restrictive]?

Like:
The distance between two runners, which is over 50 meters, cannot be made up with only three laps to go in the race.

The distance between two runners that is 50 meters, cannot be made up with only three laps to go in the race.

am i right?
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 22:34
You may have overlooked it, but your example with "that" omits the word over and that changes the meaning of the sentence. The answer choices did not omit over.

I tried to poke holes in my answer choice of "that" and this is what I came up with:

The distance between two runners, which is over 50 meters, cannot be made up with only three laps to go in the race.
The distance between two runners, that is over 50 meters cannot be made up with only three laps to go in the race.

Ignore which and that, but instead pay attention to "cannot be made up with only three laps to go in the race." The meaning of the sentence does not change whether or not we include details about the distance. It is stated that it cannot be made up so non restrictive seems appropriate.

Another huge thing that I did not even notice till now is the usage of commas. The comma preceding that is incorrect!!! I cannot believe I missed such an easy tell.
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 23:30
yup, i notice it just now :)
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 23:54
In general, "that" is used when the clause is necessary to the sentence. In addition, "that" is used exlusive of a comma. So we'll go with which here.

As noted, obviously eliminate B, C, and D.

Difficulty of this problem is IMO < 650.
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2012, 19:25
Expert's post
asax wrote:
Yup, i have the same q. Which always modifies the one which is right before it? Don't it?
In this case it is two runners.
Which modifies the noun or noun phrase immediately before it.

Because "which is" cannot modify the plural "runners" it modifies the entire phrase "the distance between two runners"

Compare to "The speed of the car, which is 50 miles per hour,..." This sentence likely would not appear in a correct GMAT answer, because the "which is" could refer grammatically to both "the car" and to "the speed of the car."
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Re: Which/That ? detailing measure of distance between runners   [#permalink] 19 Jun 2012, 19:25
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