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A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a

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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2019, 10:06
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Yes. 'Depending upon the mass' is central to the intended meaning. IMO, it is even more essential than the first modifier. Although it is small, the error is fatal. To be fair, just an insertion of 'and' between the two modifiers will render B adequate.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2019, 02:59
A literally states that passing through a red-giant is only conducive to the formation of a black hole, and not to a white dwarf or neutron star - this is because of the "after it... " component
(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

B is incorrect because of the "it" and the fact "depending on its mass" is non-restrictive. It should be restrictive as it is always dependent on mass
(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

C and E illogically state that the mass, not the star, pass through the red giant stage
(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

D clearly communicates the intended message
(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 17:34
Hi Experts,

I have a question on D.

I understand that "comma + Ving" would modify the preceding clause and must make sense with the subject, as well as the correct intended meaning of the action.

Buy why , in D ," after passing ...." can modify the preceding noun "a star"?

Please explain.
Really appreciate.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 17:59
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ballest127 wrote:
Hi Experts,

I have a question on D.

I understand that "comma + Ving" would modify the preceding clause and must make sense with the subject, as well as the correct intended meaning of the action.

Buy why , in D ," after passing ...." can modify the preceding noun "a star"?

Please explain.
Really appreciate.


Good question here - two things stand out to me:

1) The "comma + ing" structure modifying the previous clause is for when that comma+ing follows a complete thought. Here "mass determines whether a star" isn't a complete thought, so the modifier doesn't fit that "modifies the previous clause" mold - there isn't one full independent clause for it to modify. It comes between a new subject ("a star") and its verb ("will compress").

2) The word "after" breaks that structure, too, signaling that it isn't an exact application of that "comma + ing attached to the end of a clause" rule.

#1 is the big one to me - the modifier splits a subject from its verb, so it just doesn't fit the mold of when comma+ing modifies the entire clause.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2019, 12:04
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Right. To pile on a little bit, as I learned it and as I teach it, the rule is as follows:

"A participle phrase generally modifies whatever it is right next to in the sentence. However, the key exception is that
1. a participle phrase
2. at the end of a sentence (or independent clause, if we're being technical)
3. set off by a comma
correctly modifies a nonadjacent word earlier in the sentence – usually the subject – as long as it’s clear."

Since this participle phrase does not run to the end of the sentence (it ends at the comma after "stage"), the exception does not apply, and in fact it not only may but must modify what it's right next to -- the star.



VeritasPrepBrian wrote:
ballest127 wrote:
Hi Experts,

I have a question on D.

I understand that "comma + Ving" would modify the preceding clause and must make sense with the subject, as well as the correct intended meaning of the action.

Buy why , in D ," after passing ...." can modify the preceding noun "a star"?

Please explain.
Really appreciate.


Good question here - two things stand out to me:

1) The "comma + ing" structure modifying the previous clause is for when that comma+ing follows a complete thought. Here "mass determines whether a star" isn't a complete thought, so the modifier doesn't fit that "modifies the previous clause" mold - there isn't one full independent clause for it to modify. It comes between a new subject ("a star") and its verb ("will compress").

2) The word "after" breaks that structure, too, signaling that it isn't an exact application of that "comma + ing attached to the end of a clause" rule.

#1 is the big one to me - the modifier splits a subject from its verb, so it just doesn't fit the mold of when comma+ing modifies the entire clause.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2019, 18:02
C and E suffer from the same fate in 'it' refers to the 'star's mass' not the star.
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New post 08 Nov 2019, 22:45
I really doubted between B and D and finally chose B because in D, it is not specified that "mass" is referring to the mass of the star itself... And to me it is not 100% clear it can properly be assumed. What do you think?

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A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2019, 23:56
Nicooo13 wrote:
I really doubted between B and D and finally chose B because in D, it is not specified that "mass" is referring to the mass of the star itself... And to me it is not 100% clear it can properly be assumed. What do you think?

Posted from my mobile device


I think that if either answer has an unclear reference it's for sure B.

For one thing, the "its" in B references the star, but the star hasn't been introduced yet. Perhaps not fatal, but not ideal and not totally clear, since "its" could possibly refer to the preceding "stage." However, the bigger problem with B is "depending on its mass"; this participle phrase does not correctly modify anything around it. Certainly the "red giant stage" is not the intended target, but note that the star also cannot be described as "depending on its mass."

On the other hand, D seems pretty clear to me. What other possible mass could we be talking about?

I think that part of the issue here comes down to prioritizing. If you're debating between

(1) a terrible, totally reference-less modifier mixed with a dodgy pronoun

and

(2) a possibly slightly ambiguous meaning

... then I think you definitely need to decide that in favor of the latter.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2019, 02:02
AnthonyRitz wrote:
Nicooo13 wrote:
I really doubted between B and D and finally chose B because in D, it is not specified that "mass" is referring to the mass of the star itself... And to me it is not 100% clear it can properly be assumed. What do you think?

Posted from my mobile device


I think that if either answer has an unclear reference it's for sure B.

For one thing, the "its" in B references the star, but the star hasn't been introduced yet. Perhaps not fatal, but not ideal and not totally clear, since "its" could possibly refer to the preceding "stage." However, the bigger problem with B is "depending on its mass"; this participle phrase does not correctly modify anything around it. Certainly the "red giant stage" is not the intended target, but note that the star also cannot be described as "depending on its mass."

On the other hand, D seems pretty clear to me. What other possible mass could we be talking about?

I think that part of the issue here comes down to prioritizing. If you're debating between

(1) a terrible, totally reference-less modifier mixed with a dodgy pronoun

and

(2) a possibly slightly ambiguous meaning

... then I think you definitely need to decide that in favor of the latter.


Thanks Anthony for the quick and detailed feedback.

I fully agree with you. I am becoming too paranoiac with any possibility of misinterpretation... Haha
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New post 12 Nov 2019, 08:44
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(or any person who could shed some light for me...)

I understand why all answer choices are wrong but can some experts be so kind and please allaborate why we use "whether" in this case?
From what I've understood is that the use of wheter is restricted to yes / no occurences, such as "Could you tell me wheter you come by or not" -> answer choice yes or no.

Why do we say "Whether X compresses itself into A, B or C?"
I've never seen this structure, any help is appreciated!

Citation:

"in formal writing, such as in technical writing at work, it's a good idea to make a distinction between them because the meaning can sometimes be different depending on which word you use. The formal rule is to use if when you have a conditional sentence and whether when you are showing that two alternatives are possible. Some examples will make this more clear."

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educa ... us-whether
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New post 12 Nov 2019, 11:09
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A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.


(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.


Chrt wrote

Quote:
I understand why all answer choices are wrong but can some experts be so kind and please allaborate why we use "whether" in this case?
From what I've understood is that the use of wheter is restricted to yes / no occurences, such as "Could you tell me wheter you come by or not" -> answer choice yes or no.

Why do we say "Whether X compresses itself into A, B or C?"
I've never seen this structure, any help is appreciated!

Citation:

"in formal writing, such as in technical writing at work, it's a good idea to make a distinction between them because the meaning can sometimes be different depending on which word you use. The formal rule is to use if when you have a conditional sentence and whether when you are showing that two alternatives are possible. Some examples will make this more clear."


I think some people including some popular dictionaries accept 'whether' to refer to two or more alternatives.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... sh/whether

However, is there any other better expression to denote more than two factors?
To come back to the topic on hand, the trilemma exists in all the choices. Can we afford to reject all of them? The point is to choose the best among them. You can see why D is good.

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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2019, 01:07
is there any problem with the usage of ing modifier in option A? depending on mass --- it ties up with the subject and the verb right? egmat please clarify this
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2020, 02:31
i dont like this problem. in choice D, which "mass" determine?. this is unclear.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2020, 16:11
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one thing at a time, and narrow down our options quickly so we know how to answer questions like this when they pop up on the GMAT! To begin, let's take a quick look at the question and highlight any major differences between the options in orange:

A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.
(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

Whenever you see an entire sentence highlighted like this, and each option is organized very differently, there is one grammar issue you can typically count on to be the problem:

MODIFIERS!

We need to make sure that modifier phrases, such as "after passing through a red giant stage" and "depending on its mass" are organized clearly and convey the correct meaning. Let's see how each option handles this:

(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

This is INCORRECT because the phrase "depending on mass" is supposed to modify "star," and not "a red giant stage." It's not 100% clear to readers what that phrase should modify because it's in the wrong place. Let's rule this one out.

(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the phrase "depending on its mass" should only refer to "a star," but this placement makes it ambiguous. It could modify either "a star" or " a red giant stage." Second, the pronoun "its" is unclear - is it referring back to "a red giant stage" or "a star?" It's unclear, so let's rule this one out too.

(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

This is INCORRECT because "a star's mass" doesn't pass through a red giant stage - a star does. The pronoun "it" is also too vague - it's not clear if "it" is referring to "a red giant stage" or "a star's mass." Either way, it would be wrong anyway. The modifier and antecedent don't make logical sense, so let's rule this one out also.

(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

This is OKAY for now. By rewriting it a little, we've gotten rid of the "determined by mass" modifier altogether - so we don't have to worry about that. The modifier "after passing through the red giant stage" is located directly after its antecedent "a star," which is clear and logical. Let's keep this one for now.

(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

This one is INCORRECT because "the mass of a star" doesn't pass through the red giant stage - the star itself does. Since this doesn't make logical sense as written, let's rule this one out.


There you have it - option D is our correct choice! The modifiers and antecedents are logical and located clearly to show the intended meaning.


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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2020, 01:00
noboru wrote:
A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.


(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass. This last part is a bit off. Sounds if the star passes through the red giant stage depending on mass.
(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. Could a star compress itself? Plus, I am not sure whether its could refer back to star. it should refer to a possessive. shouldnt it?

(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
Two things: Star’s mass does not pass through a red giant stage but the star itself. IT has a star’s mass a its referrant and its non-sensical.

(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
Crisp and clear. Even though it does not mean the same as original sentence but it makes sense.


(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. Again, its not the mass that passes through a red giant stage but the star itself.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2020, 05:55
A lot of people has chosen (B), but (B) has a meaning Problem.

choice b contains an unacceptable ambiguity in meaning: the modifying phrase 'depending on its mass' is clearly supposed to what the star is doing, but, in choice b, it could technically also refer to passing through a red giant stage. In other words, one could read the sentence as though the star's passing through a red giant stage depends upon the star's mass.
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2020, 04:59
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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

noboru wrote:
A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.



Choice A: In Option A, we see a case of distorted meaning, arising from the incorrect placement of a modifier; as the modifying phrase "depending on mass" follows the noun "red giant stage", it appears to modify the "red giant stage" rather than modifying "the star". Thus, the sentence conveys that the star's post-compression form is dependent on its mass during the red star stage, rather than its original mass as a star. Therefore, Option A is incorrect.

Choice B: In Option B, the phrase “depending on its mass” is found between two commas; this placement is a major error, as this phrase conveys information critical to the meaning of the sentence. And only extraneous information can be placed between two commas. Thus, Option B is incorrect.

Choice C: In Option C, the modifying phrase "After passing through a red giant stage" incorrectly modifies the noun "a star's mass". As per the intended meaning of the sentence, the star is supposed to pass through a red giant stage. However, as per this construction “a star’s mass” will pass through the red giant stage. Thus, Option C alters the meaning of the sentence; therefore, it is incorrect.

Choice D: In Option D, the phrase "after passing through the red giant stage" correctly modifies the noun "star". Moreover, this option correctly conveys the meaning of the sentence, after passing through a red giant stage, a star will compress itself a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole, and which of these three it shall become depends on the star's mass.

Choice E: Option E repeats the same error as Option C.; the phrase "after passing through the red giant stage" modifies "The mass of the star". Thus, Option E is incorrect.

Hence, D is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of “Avoiding Pronoun Ambiguity on GMAT”, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):



To understand the concept of “Extra Information between Two Commas on GMAT”, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):



All the best!
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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2020, 12:23
ExpertsGlobal5 wrote:
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

noboru wrote:
A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.



Choice A: In Option A, we see a case of distorted meaning, arising from the incorrect placement of a modifier; as the modifying phrase "depending on mass" follows the noun "red giant stage", it appears to modify the "red giant stage" rather than modifying "the star". Thus, the sentence conveys that the star's post-compression form is dependent on its mass during the red star stage, rather than its original mass as a star. Therefore, Option A is incorrect.

Choice B: In Option B, the phrase “depending on its mass” is found between two commas; this placement is a major error, as this phrase conveys information critical to the meaning of the sentence. And only extraneous information can be placed between two commas. Thus, Option B is incorrect.

Choice C: In Option C, the modifying phrase "After passing through a red giant stage" incorrectly modifies the noun "a star's mass". As per the intended meaning of the sentence, the star is supposed to pass through a red giant stage. However, as per this construction “a star’s mass” will pass through the red giant stage. Thus, Option C alters the meaning of the sentence; therefore, it is incorrect.

Choice D: In Option D, the phrase "after passing through the red giant stage" correctly modifies the noun "star". Moreover, this option correctly conveys the meaning of the sentence, after passing through a red giant stage, a star will compress itself a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole, and which of these three it shall become depends on the star's mass.

Choice E: Option E repeats the same error as Option C.; the phrase "after passing through the red giant stage" modifies "The mass of the star". Thus, Option E is incorrect.

Hence, D is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of “Avoiding Pronoun Ambiguity on GMAT”, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):



To understand the concept of “Extra Information between Two Commas on GMAT”, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):



All the best!
Experts' Global Team


Hi,
I agree that Choice D is best answer but I guess that in choice d , it should be written compresses rather than compress because star is singular.

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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2020, 19:35
aarushisingla wrote:
I agree that Choice D is best answer but I guess that in choice d , it should be written compresses rather than compress because star is singular.

Hi Aarushi, the exact structure that the sentence uses is will compress.

So, the sentence is in future (will). In future tense, we always use the plural form, irrespective of whether the subject is singular or plural.

Stars will compress.

Star will compress.

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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2020, 21:43
EducationAisle wrote:
aarushisingla wrote:
I agree that Choice D is best answer but I guess that in choice d , it should be written compresses rather than compress because star is singular.

Hi Aarushi, the exact structure that the sentence uses is will compress.

So, the sentence is in future (will). In future tense, we always use the plural form, irrespective of whether the subject is singular or plural.

Stars will compress.

Star will compress.


Yes, i got it. Thankyou so much.

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Re: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2020, 21:43

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