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# A question about -ing modifiers

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Manager
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10 Apr 2012, 12:12
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Difficulty:

35% (medium)

Question Stats:

68% (01:58) correct 32% (01:11) wrong based on 208 sessions

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Here's the SC question from GMAT Verbal review

38. Scientists have observed large concentrations of
heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there.
(A) Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there
(B) Baltic Sea sediments, where the growth of industrial activity is consistent with these findings
(C) Baltic Sea sediments, findings consistent with its growth of industrial activity
(D) sediments from the Baltic Sea, findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area
(E) sediments from the Baltic Sea, consistent with the growth of industrial activity there

My question is that how come findings seems to modify researche's obeservations?

Is that because -ing modifiers are more flexible and can refer to nouns that are not directly touching them?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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10 Apr 2012, 13:20
"+ing" modifiers modify the subject of the preceding clause. So the subject in the first clause is the observations, so "findings" refers to those observations
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22 Nov 2013, 06:44
Here's the SC question from GMAT Verbal review

38. Scientists have observed large concentrations of
heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there.
(A) Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there
(B) Baltic Sea sediments, where the growth of industrial activity is consistent with these findings
(C) Baltic Sea sediments, findings consistent with its growth of industrial activity
(D) sediments from the Baltic Sea, findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area
(E) sediments from the Baltic Sea, consistent with the growth of industrial activity there

My question is that how come findings seems to modify researche's obeservations?

Is that because -ing modifiers are more flexible and can refer to nouns that are not directly touching them?

Findings is noun; here it indicate the observation. So the options are C and D, boh have 'findings', but the option C has pronoun 'its' wrongly indicating the ancient findings, rather than sediments. So right answer D.

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Last edited by rango on 22 Nov 2013, 17:35, edited 1 time in total.
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22 Nov 2013, 09:12
Hmm, I selected E, but seems C is the correct choice. However the sentence sounds very strange to me.
For me, findings is the plural of the noun finding. From pure reading I cannot understand that it refers to the observation...
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22 Nov 2013, 09:21
wfmd wrote:
Hmm, I selected E, but seems C is the correct choice. However the sentence sounds very strange to me.
For me, findings is the plural of the noun finding. From pure reading I cannot understand that it refers to the observation...

In option E; consistent wrongly indicate Baltic sea; hence wrong

Hope that helps
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22 Nov 2013, 09:40
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This is one of those booby traps that the GMAT folks try to trick you on.

The general rule is that an -ING verb positioned there modifies the subject.

But do we have an -ING verb?

Initially, it might LOOK like an -ING verb---but actually it's used as a NOUN.

The key is to notice the 's' at the end of FINDINGS. This tells us that we are dealing with a noun here.

Also, if you flip it - it doesn't make sense:

"Findings consistent with the growth of X, scientists have observed..." - it does not make sense for the descriptive phrase to modify the subject SCIENTISTS. Therefore, we know this is not the -ING verb that modifies the subject.

So keep in mind - look out for -ING verbs as possible descriptive phrases modifying the subject - but also be wary of booby traps--cases in which the -ING word is NOT used as a descriptive phrase. In this case, it's used as a noun that further describes what the scientists have observed.
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11 Feb 2016, 12:28
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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