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# The yield per acre of coffee berries varies enormously in

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The yield per acre of coffee berries varies enormously in [#permalink]  23 Jul 2012, 15:54
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The yield per acre of coffee berries varies enormously in that a single tree, depending on both its size and on climate and altitude, could produce enough berries to make between one and twelve pounds of dried beans a year.
A. enormously in that a single tree, depending on both its size and on climate and altitude, could produce
B. enormously in that a single tree, dependent on its size and also on climate and altitude, is able to produce
C. enormously, because a single tree, depending on its size and on climate and altitude, is able to produce
D. enormously, because a single tree, being dependent on its size, climate, and altitude, is capable of producing
E. enormously, because a single tree, dependent both on its size as well as on climate and altitude, could produce

1. I know that punctuation is not an important issue evaluated by the GMAT, but I have a doubt with the comma after "because" in choice C. I know that, when a main clause is followed by a subordinate clause, both clauses are not separated by a comma. In other words: Main clause + subordinator + (subordinate clause). Why in this case is there a comma?, or is "because " an exception?, in which cases?
2. Is there a difference between "capable of v-ing" and "able to"?
3. How could we know that we should use "because" instead of "in that"?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Yield per acre [#permalink]  23 Jul 2012, 21:36
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metallicafan wrote:
The yield per acre of coffee berries varies enormously in that a single tree, depending on both its size and on climate and altitude, could produce enough berries to make between one and twelve pounds of dried beans a year.
A. enormously in that a single tree, depending on both its size and on climate and altitude, could produce
B. enormously in that a single tree, dependent on its size and also on climate and altitude, is able to produce
C. enormously, because a single tree, depending on its size and on climate and altitude, is able to produce
D. enormously, because a single tree, being dependent on its size, climate, and altitude, is capable of producing
E. enormously, because a single tree, dependent both on its size as well as on climate and altitude, could produce

1. I know that punctuation is not an important issue evaluated by the GMAT, but I have a doubt with the comma after "because" in choice C. I know that, when a main clause is followed by a subordinate clause, both clauses are not separated by a comma. In other words: Main clause + subordinator + (subordinate clause). Why in this case is there a comma?, or is "because " an exception?, in which cases?
2. Is there a difference between "capable of v-ing" and "able to"?
3. How could we know that we should use "because" instead of "in that"?

1 - You are correct on both counts - punctuation is rarely a means of elimination on the GMAT and that main clause/subordinator construction does not use a comma. There is not a rule to explain why the GMAT included the comma on this question. You could easily argue that the sentence would be better without the comma. I'll point you back to your original point - don't look for punctuation as a major source of eliminations.
2 - Here the GMAT is posing a "fake split" between able to and capable of. The meaning is essentially the same, so you can't eliminate any choices on that basis. You could see an error here if you had "able to" vs. "capable to" because "capable to" is an incorrect idiom. That said, the GMAT is reducing it's reliance on idioms, so this error choice is becoming less likely.
3 - There is a very subtle difference between because and in-that - one that I wouldn't really use for eliminations. If you're stretching, "Because" indicates cause and effect; "in that" generally just indicates some kind of correlation. If it's a cause-effect scenario, go with because.

Bonus points here, notice the necessary parallelism addition of "on" to include a preposition before the first parallel item. Also, the word "being" in answer choice D is almost always incorrect on the GMAT.

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Re: Yield per acre [#permalink]  24 Jul 2012, 11:07
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In matters of speculation, ‘could produce’ is the preferred usage over the categorical ‘is able to, and ‘is capable of’ Hence B, C and D are out. Between A and E, in E, dependent on is inferior to depending on; Also both and as well as cannot go together. Both…. and is the correct usage.

Why there is a comma after tree? The phrase introduced by' depending on' is a modifier modifying the tree and hence is rather inessential to the main theme of the text tht the tree could produce widely ranging yields. That is perhaps the reason the authors chose to parenthesize the phrase between two commas.

2. Is there a difference between "capable of v-ing" and "able to"? Yes, some kind of technical differences. Capable of is preposition and hence the verb+ing will always be a gerund. Able to is an infinitive and hence the ‘to’ will always be followed by a verb.
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Re: Yield per acre   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2012, 11:07
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