GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 16 Nov 2018, 14:45

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel
Events & Promotions in November
PrevNext
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
Open Detailed Calendar
  • Free GMAT Strategy Webinar

     November 17, 2018

     November 17, 2018

     07:00 AM PST

     09:00 AM PST

    Nov. 17, 7 AM PST. Aiming to score 760+? Attend this FREE session to learn how to Define your GMAT Strategy, Create your Study Plan and Master the Core Skills to excel on the GMAT.
  • GMATbuster's Weekly GMAT Quant Quiz # 9

     November 17, 2018

     November 17, 2018

     09:00 AM PST

     11:00 AM PST

    Join the Quiz Saturday November 17th, 9 AM PST. The Quiz will last approximately 2 hours. Make sure you are on time or you will be at a disadvantage.

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Director
Director
User avatar
B
Status: I don't stop when I'm Tired,I stop when I'm done
Joined: 11 May 2014
Posts: 537
Location: Bangladesh
Concentration: Finance, Leadership
GPA: 2.81
WE: Business Development (Real Estate)
About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post Updated on: 04 Sep 2018, 17:50
25
1
Top Contributor
99
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  85% (hard)

Question Stats:

52% (01:51) correct 48% (01:56) wrong based on 3080 sessions

HideShow timer Statistics

The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question No.: 751

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.

(A) States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering

(B) States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering

(C) States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia having milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering

(D) States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displaces grasses and other cattle food, and renders

(E) States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia that has milky sap giving mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering

https://www.nytimes.com/1998/06/09/science/rootin-shootin-raiders-conquer-native-ground.html

LEAFY SPURGE. About five million acres in 26 states, including New York, have been invaded by leafy spurge, an herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering range land worthless. Ranchers tried putting sheep on spurge-infested range. Although they eat the plant, they do not kill it and there is not enough of a market for sheep wool and meat. So about 13 insects have been imported to help control it. Dr. Neal Spencer, an entomologist at a Department of Agriculture research laboratory in Sidney, Mont., said flea beetles had been most effective. The adult beetles feed on the leaves and their larvae mine the roots.

Leafy Spurge

(A) Modifier / Meaning (displacing)

(B) CORRECT

(C) Modifier (displacing)

(D) Subject-Verb / Meaning (displaces, renders)

(E) Structure; Parallelism (X and Y)


First glance

The opening split is between States have been and States, having been. In the former, the verb is in main-verb form; in the latter, the verb form is a modifier. Examine sentence structure and modifiers.

Issues

(1) Modifier / Meaning: displacing
Structure; Parallelism: X and Y


First, a warning: This is an extremely difficult problem. If you were able to eliminate a couple of answer choices before you guessed, you can feel good about this problem.

The underlined portion consists of a series of modifiers. The original sentence contains a pair of parallel comma –ing modifiers: displacing … and rendering. These should modify the main action of the clause to which they are attached—in this case, the sap that gives mouth sores to cattle. The fact, however, that the plant’s sap … gives mouth sores to cattle is not what displaces grasses and other cattle food. Rather, this plant is invasive—it grows everywhere and takes over. That is why it has displaced other grasses. Eliminate choice (A) for faulty modifier meaning.

Choices (C) and (E) also use the –ing word displacing so check them for similar issues.

Answer (C) uses the parallel structure having … and displacing. The having portion disguises the later issue; remove it and look at just the second part of the parallel structure:

(C) a plant from Eurasia … displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless

The first –ing form, displacing, is no longer preceded by a comma, so it is a noun modifier in this sentence. That part might be okay. The word rendering, though, is still a comma –ing, so it still needs to refer to a clause. Displacing is not a verb, though; it’s a modifier. To what clause is the rendering modifier referring? The main clause says that 5 million acres have been invaded by leafy spurge; it could be acceptable to say that this is what rendered the rangeland worthless, though the modifier is awfully far from the clause to which it refers. Typically, modifiers should be placed close enough to what they’re modifying that you don’t have to think so hard about it.

Compare this to choice (B): in that choice, the spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless. This structure is much more specific and clear: if you get lose grasses and cattle food, then rangeland (meant to feed cattle) definitely does lose its value. Eliminate choice (C) for an ambiguous comma –ing modifier.

Answer (E) has two issues jumbled together. First, and displacing needs some other parallel word to match before the and. There are two possible –ing words (having or giving), but this highlights an even bigger issue: where is the main verb for the subject 5 million acres? Having is not a main verb, nor is giving, displacing, or rendering. Has milky sap describes the plant, not the 5 million acres. There is no main verb for the main subject of the sentence. Eliminate choice (E) because it is a sentence fragment.

(2) Subject-Verb / Meaning: displaces, renders

The issues described above for choice (E) may help you to spot the error in choice (D). What is the main verb for 5 million acres in this choice? The only verbs that could qualify are displaces and renders, but these are both singular verbs, while the subject 5 million acres is plural. Eliminate choice (D) for faulty subject-verb agreement.

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (B) fixes the modifier issues in other choices by having the comma –ing modifier rendering … refer to the clause that … displaces grasses and other cattle food. Gives and displaces are properly parallel.

The with milky sap phrase seems very odd. On hard questions, it’s not uncommon for there to be an element that seems wrong or sounds funny; the test writers are trying to give you a reason to cross off the correct answer.

As mentioned earlier, this is an extremely difficult problem. If you were able to eliminate some choices, particularly (D) and (E), before you guessed, you can feel good about this problem even if you did not guess correctly. Just be careful not to spend too much time on a problem like this one; guess and move on.

_________________

Md. Abdur Rakib

Please Press +1 Kudos,If it helps
Sentence Correction-Collection of Ron Purewal's "elliptical construction/analogies" for SC Challenges


Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 13 Jun 2017, 11:25.
Last edited by hazelnut on 04 Sep 2018, 17:50, edited 6 times in total.
Reformatted question
Most Helpful Expert Reply
e-GMAT Representative
User avatar
G
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2743
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:01
26
12
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?



Hello sevenplusplus,

I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :-)

Let's take a look at the original sentence:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.

(Blue = subject, Green = verb, Pink = comma + verb-ing modifiers)

Let's understand what the sentence intends to convey. The sentence states that in the US, some 5 million acres of land have been invaded leafy spurge. Describing the leafy spurge, the sentence states that it's a plant from Eurasia. It has milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle. This leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food and renders rangeland worthless.

However, the way this sentence is worded, it suggests that because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle, it displaces grasses and other cattle food and has rendered rangeland worthless.

We get this illogical meaning from the sentence because of the incorrect usage of the comma + verb-ing modifiers* displacing and rendering.

The comma + verb-ing modifier must modify the preceding action logically and must also make sense with the doer of the modified action.

In this official sentence, the comma + verb-ing modifiers displacing and rendering illogically modifies the preceding action gives by presenting the result of this action. Grasses and other cattle food are not displaced and rangeland are not rendered worthless because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle.

This is the reason why Choice A is incorrect.

From the context of the sentence, we can understand that because leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, rangeland are rendered useless. So we do have this logical cause-and-effect in the sentence that must be communicated in correct grammar.

Let's evaluate Choice B now:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless.

This choice correctly conveys the logical intended meaning. The comma + verb-ing modifier displacing has been turned to simple present tense verb displaces. The comma + verb-ing modifier rendering correctly modifies the preceding action displaces, presenting the result of this action. Because the leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, it renders rangeland worthless.

*The correct usage of comma + verb-ing has been covered in great details and with pertinent examples in our SC course, In fact, this concept features in the Free Trail course offered by e-GMAT. You can register for free at e-gmat.com and review the concept.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
_________________












| '4 out of Top 5' Instructors on gmatclub | 70 point improvement guarantee | www.e-gmat.com

Most Helpful Community Reply
Manager
Manager
User avatar
G
Joined: 23 Dec 2016
Posts: 62
Location: United States
Concentration: Statistics
Schools: Duke Fuqua
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
GPA: 3.38
GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 15:13
10
1
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?

I am not an expert, but the way I understood the question is "leafy spurge" has 2 negative effects - it gives mouth sores to cattle and also displaces grasses and other cattle food. As far as I understand in option A the intended meaning is that it gives mouth sores to cattle and, by doing that, displaces grasses and other cattle food.
_________________

If you find my solution useful, hit the "Kudos" button

General Discussion
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 12:35
1
could anyone explain how A is wrong?
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 12:49
1
My line of thoughts:
a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle
appositive for leafy spurge.

The sentence, after removing above appositive is correct:
About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 13:04
sevenplusplus wrote:
My line of thoughts:
a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle
appositive for leafy spurge.

The sentence, after removing above appositive is correct:
About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.

I was referring to this type of sentence correction with participle qualifier clause:

- "He moved ahead more quickly now, dragging his heels a little in the fine dust."
(John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, 1939)
Director
Director
avatar
P
Joined: 14 Nov 2014
Posts: 637
Location: India
GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V34
GPA: 3.76
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 13:20
3
In B , it seems like "that" is pointing to Eurasia not milky sap..
If B is correct,can some please justify usage of that here..

Comma + that is worrying me in option B ...

Posted from my mobile device
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 16:00
1
Vardan95 wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?

I am not an expert, but the way I understood the question is "leafy spurge" has 2 negative effects - it gives mouth sores to cattle and also displaces grasses and other cattle food. As far as I understand in option A the intended meaning is that it gives mouth sores to cattle and, by doing that, displaces grasses and other cattle food.


Thanks for your reply, @Verdan95. I, still, feel like "displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless." modifies "leafy spurge".
If you remove the appositive in red below, the sentence read correctly to me.
About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 15 Mar 2015
Posts: 11
CAT Tests
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 16:45
sevenplusplus wrote:
Vardan95 wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?

I am not an expert, but the way I understood the question is "leafy spurge" has 2 negative effects - it gives mouth sores to cattle and also displaces grasses and other cattle food. As far as I understand in option A the intended meaning is that it gives mouth sores to cattle and, by doing that, displaces grasses and other cattle food.


Thanks for your reply, @Verdan95. I, still, feel like "displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless." modifies "leafy spurge".
If you remove the appositive in red below, the sentence read correctly to me.
About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.

Modifier with comma after the clause can modify the entire clause ( subject + verb).
AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question No.: 751

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.
A. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering
B. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering
C. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia having milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering
D. States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displaces grasses and other cattle food, and renders
E. States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia that has milky sap giving mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering



Sent from my Moto G (4) using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
VP
VP
User avatar
P
Status: Learning
Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 1085
Location: India
Concentration: Operations, Marketing
GMAT 1: 670 Q48 V36
GRE 1: Q157 V157
GPA: 3.4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Reviews Badge
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jun 2017, 22:43
Imo B
It is the only option which makes sense

Sent from my ONE E1003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
_________________

Please give kudos if you found my answers useful

Director
Director
User avatar
P
Joined: 26 Aug 2016
Posts: 632
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 690 Q50 V33
GMAT 2: 700 Q50 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q51 V38
GPA: 4
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 04:31
1
This is an stupendous question,
Where logic and intended meaning precedes Grammar.
Hint- grass is responsible for two things . This in turn is causing / rendering the rangelands worthless.
My Go is with B.
Manager
Manager
User avatar
B
Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 93
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 660 Q47 V36
GPA: 3.12
WE: Education (Internet and New Media)
Reviews Badge
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 05:07
5
2
The question checks the meaning and parallelism.

Parallel elements are
gives mouth sores to cattle
displacing grasses and other cattle food and
rendering

Here the leaf spurge performs two actions
gives mouth sores to cattle
displace grasses and other cattle food

The effect of the second action(displace grasses and other cattle food) causes the third rendering rangeland worthless.


So rendering rangeland worthless is a modifier, not an action
So B is the correct option
The other option either considers three parallel elements or causes meaning ambiguity
_________________

Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place - that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have the perseverance to realise the great life. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:36
1
egmat wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?



Hello sevenplusplus,

I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :-)

Let's take a look at the original sentence:

About 5 million acres in the United [u]States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.[/u]

(Blue = subject, Green = verb, Pink = comma + verb-ing modifiers)

Let's understand what the sentence intends to convey. The sentence states that in the US, some 5 million acres of land have been invaded leafy spurge. Describing the leafy spurge, the sentence states that it's a plant from Eurasia. It has milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle. This leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food and renders rangeland worthless.

However, the way this sentence is worded, it suggests that because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle, it displaces grasses and other cattle food and has rendered rangeland worthless.

We get this illogical meaning from the sentence because of the incorrect usage of the comma + verb-ing modifiers* displacing and rendering.

The comma + verb-ing modifier must modify the preceding action logically and must also make sense with the doer of the modified action.

In this official sentence, the comma + verb-ing modifiers displacing and rendering illogically modifies the preceding action gives by presenting the result of this action. Grasses and other cattle food are not displaced and rangeland are not rendered worthless because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle.

This is the reason why Choice A is incorrect.

From the context of the sentence, we can understand that because leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, rangeland are rendered useless. So we do have this logical cause-and-effect in the sentence that must be communicated in correct grammar.

Let's evaluate Choice B now:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless.

This choice correctly conveys the logical intended meaning. The comma + verb-ing modifier displacing has been turned to simple present tense verb displaces. The comma + verb-ing modifier rendering correctly modifies the preceding action displaces, presenting the result of this action. Because the leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, it renders rangeland worthless.

*The correct usage of comma + verb-ing has been covered in great details and with pertinent examples in our SC course, In fact, this concept features in the Free Trail course offered by e-GMAT. You can register for free at e-gmat.com and review the concept.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


Thank you, Shraddha for this clear explanation. Very much appreciated.
I understood from your analysis that the clause beginning with "verb + ing" always modifies "the entire previous clause (and cannot just qualify the preceding object -- leafy splurge in this example) and that the noun of the preceding clause should still make sense to the verb+ing phrase. Will commit this to my memory :)
e-GMAT Representative
User avatar
G
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2743
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:43
2
1
1
sobby wrote:
In B , it seems like "that" is pointing to Eurasia not milky sap..
If B is correct,can some please justify usage of that here..

Comma + that is worrying me in option B ...

Posted from my mobile device



Hello sobby,

I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :)

Let me bring in here the sentence with Choice B:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless.

In the above-mentioned sentence, it is the phrase with milky sap that has been enclosed between two commas. If we were to remove this phrase from the sentence, we would also remove the comma before with and the comma after sap. Hence, it is not so that the that clause is preceded by a comma.

The placement of the phrase with milky sap between the two commas implies this is just an additional information. The milky white sap does not necessarily give mouth sore to the cattle. It is the plant that does so.

Now let's talk about how that correctly modifies the noun entity a herbaceous plant. There is no issue in that modifying a herbaceous plant because the phrase from Eurasia modifies a herbaceous plant and cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence. Here we see the case of a noun modifier modifying a slightly far away noun. We have a detailed article named Noun Modifiers can Modify slightly far away noun that deals with this concept. This article can be reviewed in the following link:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
_________________












| '4 out of Top 5' Instructors on gmatclub | 70 point improvement guarantee | www.e-gmat.com

Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:49
egmat wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?



Hello sevenplusplus,

I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :-)

Let's take a look at the original sentence:

About 5 million acres in the United [u]States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.[/u]

(Blue = subject, Green = verb, Pink = comma + verb-ing modifiers)

Let's understand what the sentence intends to convey. The sentence states that in the US, some 5 million acres of land have been invaded leafy spurge. Describing the leafy spurge, the sentence states that it's a plant from Eurasia. It has milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle. This leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food and renders rangeland worthless.

However, the way this sentence is worded, it suggests that because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle, it displaces grasses and other cattle food and has rendered rangeland worthless.

We get this illogical meaning from the sentence because of the incorrect usage of the comma + verb-ing modifiers* displacing and rendering.

The comma + verb-ing modifier must modify the preceding action logically and must also make sense with the doer of the modified action.

In this official sentence, the comma + verb-ing modifiers displacing and rendering illogically modifies the preceding action gives by presenting the result of this action. Grasses and other cattle food are not displaced and rangeland are not rendered worthless because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle.

This is the reason why Choice A is incorrect.

From the context of the sentence, we can understand that because leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, rangeland are rendered useless. So we do have this logical cause-and-effect in the sentence that must be communicated in correct grammar.

Let's evaluate Choice B now:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless.

This choice correctly conveys the logical intended meaning. The comma + verb-ing modifier displacing has been turned to simple present tense verb displaces. The comma + verb-ing modifier rendering correctly modifies the preceding action displaces, presenting the result of this action. Because the leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, it renders rangeland worthless.

*The correct usage of comma + verb-ing has been covered in great details and with pertinent examples in our SC course, In fact, this concept features in the Free Trail course offered by e-GMAT. You can register for free at e-gmat.com and review the concept.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


Hi Shraddha

I read another related post on this from you:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verb-ing-mod ... 35567.html

Does this mean that A without comma before verb + ing phrase would have been correct?

About 5 million acres in the United [u]States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.[/u]
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 109
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:50
sevenplusplus wrote:
egmat wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?



Hello sevenplusplus,

I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :-)

Let's take a look at the original sentence:

About 5 million acres in the United [u]States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.[/u]

(Blue = subject, Green = verb, Pink = comma + verb-ing modifiers)

Let's understand what the sentence intends to convey. The sentence states that in the US, some 5 million acres of land have been invaded leafy spurge. Describing the leafy spurge, the sentence states that it's a plant from Eurasia. It has milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle. This leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food and renders rangeland worthless.

However, the way this sentence is worded, it suggests that because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle, it displaces grasses and other cattle food and has rendered rangeland worthless.

We get this illogical meaning from the sentence because of the incorrect usage of the comma + verb-ing modifiers* displacing and rendering.

The comma + verb-ing modifier must modify the preceding action logically and must also make sense with the doer of the modified action.

In this official sentence, the comma + verb-ing modifiers displacing and rendering illogically modifies the preceding action gives by presenting the result of this action. Grasses and other cattle food are not displaced and rangeland are not rendered worthless because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle.

This is the reason why Choice A is incorrect.

From the context of the sentence, we can understand that because leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, rangeland are rendered useless. So we do have this logical cause-and-effect in the sentence that must be communicated in correct grammar.

Let's evaluate Choice B now:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless.

This choice correctly conveys the logical intended meaning. The comma + verb-ing modifier displacing has been turned to simple present tense verb displaces. The comma + verb-ing modifier rendering correctly modifies the preceding action displaces, presenting the result of this action. Because the leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, it renders rangeland worthless.

*The correct usage of comma + verb-ing has been covered in great details and with pertinent examples in our SC course, In fact, this concept features in the Free Trail course offered by e-GMAT. You can register for free at e-gmat.com and review the concept.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


Hi Shraddha

I read another related post on this from you:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verb-ing-mod ... 35567.html

Does this mean that A without comma before verb + ing phrase would have been correct?

About 5 million acres in the United [u]States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.[/u]


in other words, in the above sentense, would "displacing" modify the preceding noun (cattle) or "leafy splurge"? would this sentence be correct?
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 20 Jan 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Armenia
Concentration: Finance, Statistics
Schools: Duke Fuqua (A)
GMAT 1: 730 Q51 V38
GPA: 3.92
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 12:02
Vardan95 wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?

I am not an expert, but the way I understood the question is "leafy spurge" has 2 negative effects - it gives mouth sores to cattle and also displaces grasses and other cattle food. As far as I understand in option A the intended meaning is that it gives mouth sores to cattle and, by doing that, displaces grasses and other cattle food.


Good explanation, implemented the same logic as you described.
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2093
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 18:07
13
3
Full disclosure: I totally got punked by this one during our last verbal chat. Join us for the next one! https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-chat- ... 78-20.html I mean, it's fun to see a guy with an 800 get embarrassed, right? :oops: :-D

As some others have pointed out, this one is all about the intersection of structure and meaning. (And there are already some excellent explanations here, but, well, I promised to write one as penance, so here you go.)

Quote:
A. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering

I really only notice two things in (A). "That gives mouth sores to cattle" seems to modify "milky sap", and I guess that's OK.

But then at the end of the sentence gives us a pair of parallel "-ing" modifiers, "displacing grasses... and rendering rangeland worthless." And what do they modify?

Hold that thought. We'll come back to that in a second.

Quote:
B. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering

OK, so the added commas around "with milky sap" change things just a tiny bit: "that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses..." now clearly modifies "a herbaceous plant from Eurasia." Hm, that makes a lot of sense.

And now "rendering" clearly modifies the preceding clause, "that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food." That also makes a lot of sense: rangeland is rendered useless by this evil plant that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces their food sources.

Back to (A), then:
Quote:
A. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering

So wait: in (A), it's the milky sap that gives the mouth sores to cattle -- not the leafy spurge itself, as (B) would indicate. In that sense, (B) seems to be a slightly better choice. It's a bigger problem, presumably, if the entire plant gives mouth sores to cattle.

More importantly: "displacing grasses and rendering rangeland useless", would generally modify the preceding clause. And that's pretty illogical in (A): "that gives mouth sores to cattle" has absolutely nothing to do with "displacing grasses." And in that sense, (B) is much clearer.

So (A) is gone. And the rest are easier to eliminate:

Quote:
C. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia having milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering

Parallelism in (C) is clearly wrong: "... and displacing grasses" is parallel to what, exactly? "Having milky sap", I guess? That's a mess. We can comfortably eliminate (C).

Quote:
D. States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displaces grasses and other cattle food, and renders

I really don't love "having been invaded" in this case. In general, "having + verb" needs to be the first of two actions, and that's just not happening here. (For more on this topic, see our last chat transcript.)

Also, the parallelism at the end of the sentence isn't ideal: "... with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displaces grasses..., and renders rangeland worthless." The sap displaces grasses? That doesn't make sense. (D) is gone.

Quote:
E. States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia that has milky sap giving mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering

(E) is similar to (D): "having been" doesn't seem quite right, and "giving mouth sores to cattle" is parallel to "displacing grasses", suggesting that the milky sap displaces grasses -- and that doesn't make sense. (E) is gone, too, and (B) is our winner.
_________________

GMAT Club Verbal Expert | GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (Now hiring!) | Instagram | Food blog | Notoriously bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars
Series 1: Fundamentals of SC & CR | Series 2: Developing a Winning GMAT Mindset

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99 | Time management on verbal

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
S
Joined: 04 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
Location: Viet Nam
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 730 Q51 V36
GPA: 3.56
Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 19:07
About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.

A. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering

B. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering

C. States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia having milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering

D. States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displaces grasses and other cattle food, and renders
--> lack of main verb.

E. States, having been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia that has milky sap giving mouth sores to cattle and displacing grasses and other cattle food, rendering[/quote]
--> lack of main verb.
_________________

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one - Bruce Lee

Study Buddy Forum Moderator
User avatar
D
Joined: 04 Sep 2016
Posts: 1249
Location: India
WE: Engineering (Other)
Premium Member CAT Tests
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Jun 2017, 19:31
egmat wrote:
sevenplusplus wrote:
could anyone explain how A is wrong?



Hello sevenplusplus,

I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :-)

Let's take a look at the original sentence:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia with milky sap that gives mouth sores to cattle, displacing grasses and other cattle food and rendering rangeland worthless.

(Blue = subject, Green = verb, Pink = comma + verb-ing modifiers)


In this official sentence, the comma + verb-ing modifiers displacing and rendering illogically modifies the preceding action gives by presenting the result of this action. Grasses and other cattle food are not displaced and rangeland are not rendered worthless because leafy spurge gives mouth sores to cattle.

This is the reason why Choice A is incorrect.

From the context of the sentence, we can understand that because leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, rangeland are rendered useless. So we do have this logical cause-and-effect in the sentence that must be communicated in correct grammar.

Let's evaluate Choice B now:

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy spurge, a herbaceous plant from Eurasia, with milky sap, that gives mouth sores to cattle and displaces grasses and other cattle food, rendering rangeland worthless.

This choice correctly conveys the logical intended meaning. The comma + verb-ing modifier displacing has been turned to simple present tense verb displaces. The comma + verb-ing modifier rendering correctly modifies the preceding action displaces, presenting the result of this action. Because the leafy spurge displaces grasses and other cattle food, it renders rangeland worthless.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


Excellent explanation, Shraddha. I have a couple of doubts though. I am truncating part of your solution
to lay stress on my doubts.
For choice A, there is no coma before rendering. How did you assume both rendering and displacing as coma + verb-ing modifier
when in fact coma is present only before displacing. Do you assume this because of parallelism?
Also want to understand if my noun + noun modifier is correct in option B: a herbaceous plant (noun) from euracia (noun modfier due to presence of from) modifies
leafy spurge - a noun. Also let me know of you omit phrases between coma to understand meaning better. There are just two many (comas) to complicate things in option B
WR,
Arpit
_________________

It's the journey that brings us happiness not the destination.

GMAT Club Bot
Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy &nbs [#permalink] 14 Jun 2017, 19:31

Go to page    1   2   3    Next  [ 53 posts ] 

Display posts from previous: Sort by

About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


Copyright

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.