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

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About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by hazelnut on 16 Jul 2017, 23:59, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 12:35
could anyone explain how A is wrong?

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 12:49
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.

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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)

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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 ...

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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.
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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 16:00
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.

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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



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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 04:31
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.

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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
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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
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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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 :)

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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
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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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]

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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?

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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.

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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 18:07
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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.
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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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.
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Re: About 5 million acres in the United States have been invaded by leafy [#permalink]

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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
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