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The World Wildlife Fund has declared that global warming, a

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Status: First-Year MBA Student
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The World Wildlife Fund has declared that global warming, a [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2011, 11:40
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  5% (low)

Question Stats:

52% (01:26) correct 47% (00:52) wrong based on 17 sessions
118. The World Wildlife Fund has declared that global
warming, a phenomenon most scientists agree to be
caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels
, will
create havoc among migratory birds by altering the
environment in ways harmful to their habitats.

(A) a phenomenon most scientists agree to be
caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels,

(B) a phenomenon most scientists agree that is
caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,

(C) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is
caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels,

(D) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon
caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,

(E) which most scientists agree to be a
phenomenon caused by fossil fuels burned by
human beings,

I was able to narrow the answer choices down to (C) and (E), but went with (E) because "human being's burning of fossil fuels" sounded awkward + I wasnt' sure if human being's was a correct possessive. Clearly I was incorrect. Any advice one this problem would be much appreciated.
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Re: Global Warming [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2011, 18:26
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tonebeeze,

I'd take two lessons from this problem.

1. The plural possessive. C refers to the entire collection of human beings and their burning of fossil fuels, so you need to use the plural possessive. Consider some other examples:

"My three brothers' favorite game growing up was making fun of me." --> Here, the game belongs to all three of my brothers.
"Will you please go to the Smiths' house and ask for a cup of sugar?" --> Here, the house belongs to all of the Smiths, so you need that plural possessive.

2. "Sounds awkward" is less reliable then "is grammatically incorrect."

I agree that C) is written in a way that is not ordinary in everyday speech, but when I'm reading and I notice that, I make only a mental note that it might be wrong. I then go to E) and see the incorrect idiom "agree to be" and then unnecessarily passive tense. The problems with E are therefore worse than the "problems" with C even though C isn't the best sentence in the world.

Does that help?

Brett
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Re: Global Warming [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2011, 04:12
Expert's post
your explenation helped me a lot........thanks :)
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Re: Global Warming [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2011, 05:54
I have a very basic question on this problem. Is 'a phenomenon ....' is describing Global Warming?
in D and E, it sure describes global warming.
Re: Global Warming   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2011, 05:54
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