The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense

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The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2010, 08:53
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The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense light of wavelengths up to 0.0005 millimeters; infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye.

(A) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye
(B) however, the wavelength of infrared radiation—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye making it invisible
(C) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long for the eye to register it
(D) however, because the wavelength of infrared radiation is 0.1 millimeters, it is too long for the eye to register and thus invisible
(E) however, infrared radiation has a wavelength of 0.1 millimeters that is too long for the eye to register, thus making it invisible

Please can some explain why choice b is not correct ?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Need help with this SC ! [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2010, 11:11
ajit257 wrote:
The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense light of wavelengths up to 0.0005 millimeters; infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye.

(A) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye
(B) however, the wavelength of infrared radiation—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye making it invisible
(C) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long for the eye to register it
(D) however, because the wavelength of infrared radiation is 0.1 millimeters, it is too long for the eye to register and thus invisible
(E) however, infrared radiation has a wavelength of 0.1 millimeters that is too long for the eye to register, thus making it invisible

Please can some explain why choice b is not correct ?

Let me try

when -ing is used without comma , it is directly modifying the immediate previous noun, and comma + ing would modify the subject of the previous clause.

here the making it invisible doesnt modify eye... so B is wrong...

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Re: Need help with this SC ! [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2010, 11:30
I picked C, because of the usage "to be". Damn, should've stuck with my gut and picked A.

Wavelength shouldn't be the subject of the sentence, it should be infrared radiation since that is invisible to the eye.

Just wanted to add on to this: the word "Of" before infrared radiation turns the phrase "of infrared radiation" into a preposition. Aside from some idiomatic expressions, prepositions can't be subjects of the sentence. Therefore, given the context of the sentence, A would work best because it matches up subject and verb perfectly.

ajit257 wrote:
The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense light of wavelengths up to 0.0005 millimeters; infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye.

(A) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye
(B) however, the wavelength of infrared radiation—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye making it invisible
(C) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long for the eye to register it
(D) however, because the wavelength of infrared radiation is 0.1 millimeters, it is too long for the eye to register and thus invisible
(E) however, infrared radiation has a wavelength of 0.1 millimeters that is too long for the eye to register, thus making it invisible

Please can some explain why choice b is not correct ?

Last edited by USCTrojan2006 on 03 Dec 2010, 11:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help with this SC ! [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2010, 13:38
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Didnt like "it" in any of the choices, therefore, picked A
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Re: Need help with this SC ! [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2010, 13:42
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ajit257 wrote:
The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense light of wavelengths up to 0.0005 millimeters; infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye.

(A) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye
(B) however, the wavelength of infrared radiation—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye making it invisible
(C) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long for the eye to register it
(D) however, because the wavelength of infrared radiation is 0.1 millimeters, it is too long for the eye to register and thus invisible
(E) however, infrared radiation has a wavelength of 0.1 millimeters that is too long for the eye to register, thus making it invisible

Please can some explain why choice b is not correct ?

Hi! This question is an excellent test of modification, which is heavily tested on the GMAT.

As always, when first evaluating a sentence it's best to ignore the "extra bits" - focus on the subject and verb.

First, we recognize that the semicolon divides two equal sentences; in effect, we can ignore everything that comes before it. So, let's only focus on the underlined portion.

In the original (and, of course, choice (A)), we have:

Quote:
infrared radiation is invisible because its wavelength is too long to be registered by the eye.

Seems like a perfectly sound sentence - it's clear what's invisible (IR), "its" has a single clear antecedent (IR) and no style issues. Lookin' good!

Next up is (B):
Quote:
however, the wavelength ... is too long to be registered by the eye making it invisible.

This one isn't as clear: "it" is supposed to refer to IR, but actually modifies the subject of the sentence, "the wavelength". As noted by our Trojan-loving poster, a prepositional phrase can't be the subject, so even though (B) contains "of infrared radiation" that's not a legal parent noun for "it".

Here's another very useful general rule for the GMAT: ignore prepositional phrases. Such phrases appear all the time and are pretty much always just in there to distract you from the basic sentence structure.

Next we have (C):
Quote:
infrared radiation is invisible because its wavelength is too long for the eye to register it.

More pronoun problems (pronouns are another very commonly tested grammar concept)! "it" at the end of the sentence could refer to either IR or wavelength. When you see an ambiguous pronoun, move on!

(Technically pronouns refer to the closest "legal" preceding parent noun - in this sentence that would be "wavelength" - but for the most part the GMAT abhors pronoun ambiguity.)

Quote:
however, because the wavelength of infrared radiation is 0.1 millimeters, it is too long for the eye to register and thus invisible.

Same issue as (B) - "of infrared radiation" can't be the antecedent for "it".

Finally (E):
Quote:
however, infrared radiation has a wavelength of 0.1 millimeters that is too long for the eye to register, thus making it invisible.

"that" renders this sentence awkward; also, "it" at the end could refer to IR, wavelength or the eye.
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Re: Need help with this SC ! [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2010, 16:26
I got it wrong by choosing 'C' rather than 'A'.
Thanks for the explanation.
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Re: The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2013, 10:33
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The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense light of wavelengths up to 0.0005 millimeters; infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye.

Analyses of the sentence:

The Physical Structure ..... enables IT(eye- clear antecedent) to sense light of....; Infrared radiation..... is invisible because ITS wavelength- .........

Although the first IT is in non-underlined portion , we will analyse all pronoun-antecedent pairs.

We will run the MGMAT Sc guide proposed filtering test to check for pronoun ambiguity.

(1). Number / Gender:

First IT can refer to EYE(singular) and structure(singular) [Number]
Second ITS can refer to "Infrared radiation","light", "eye", and "structure".

(2). Repeats : Second ITS can refer to EYE as the FIRST one refers to EYE.

(3). Proximity: FIRST IT is closer to EYE, so refers to EYE
SECOND ITS is closer to "IR", so refers to IR

(4). Case: There is no point of case as IT is in same clause.
We don't have || clauses here so cannot apply this step.

(A) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye
Correct as is and as explained above.
(B) however, the wavelength of infrared radiation—0.1 millimeters—is too long to be registered by the eye making it invisible
Making what invisible - "the wavelength" or the IR
(C) infrared radiation, however, is invisible because its wavelength—0.1 millimeters—is too long for the eye to register it
We apply repeats , proximity and case.
Repeats => IT logically refers to IR
Proximity => IT refers to EYE
Case => No || clauses

(D) however, because the wavelength of infrared radiation is 0.1 millimeters, it is too long for the eye to register and thus invisible
EYE is thus INVISIBLE - nonsense
(E) however, infrared radiation has a wavelength of 0.1 millimeters that is too long for the eye to register, thus making it invisible
Repeats => IT occurs only once
Proximity => IT refers to EYE
Case => IT appears to refer to IR correctly
But "THAT" clauses restricts the 0.1 MM wavelength=> change in meaning
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Re: The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2016, 04:40
Option A , good explanations above
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Re: The physical structure of the human eye enables it to sense   [#permalink] 26 Apr 2016, 04:40
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