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About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States

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About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Skag55 on 10 Nov 2013, 11:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?


What does "that" refer to in C?....Is "have had" right usage?
I am confused. I saw that 3 people has answered this question correctly. It will be helpful if anyone can explain the POE.

Thanks,
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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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Original response from veritas prep:

This sentence correction problem uses an unusual modifier structure to “hide the correct answer” - a common tool used by testmakers that you learned about in the Advanced Verbal lesson. In (A), the phrase “their DNA modified….” is called an absolute phrase (a difficult but relatively common structure) and it is properly modifying seeds and how they have been engineered. Everything else in the sentence is fine so (A) is the correct answer. However many students will eliminate it because they are not familiar with the absolute phrase structure. The other four answer choices all have fatal flaws and if you use the proper strategy (“only eliminate when you are sure it is wrong” and “look for the easier decision points first”) then you will get this problem correct.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?


Hi all,

70 percent of X come from Y. ==> eliminate D & E

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species - "their" is not correct and wordy here
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species - also having is not parallel
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species - Correct / That refers to the "70 percent of tomatoes"
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species - comes
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species - comes

Hope it helps
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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2013, 10:36
Skag55 wrote:
Original response from veritas prep:

This sentence correction problem uses an unusual modifier structure to “hide the correct answer” - a common tool used by testmakers that you learned about in the Advanced Verbal lesson. In (A), the phrase “their DNA modified….” is called an absolute phrase (a difficult but relatively common structure) and it is properly modifying seeds and how they have been engineered. Everything else in the sentence is fine so (A) is the correct answer. However many students will eliminate it because they are not familiar with the absolute phrase structure. The other four answer choices all have fatal flaws and if you use the proper strategy (“only eliminate when you are sure it is wrong” and “look for the easier decision points first”) then you will get this problem correct.


Hi skag55.

You mean OA is A? I picked A but got the question wrong. Please confirm.
I will share my explanation if A is correct.

Thank you.
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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2013, 11:37
pqhai wrote:
Skag55 wrote:
Original response from veritas prep:

This sentence correction problem uses an unusual modifier structure to “hide the correct answer” - a common tool used by testmakers that you learned about in the Advanced Verbal lesson. In (A), the phrase “their DNA modified….” is called an absolute phrase (a difficult but relatively common structure) and it is properly modifying seeds and how they have been engineered. Everything else in the sentence is fine so (A) is the correct answer. However many students will eliminate it because they are not familiar with the absolute phrase structure. The other four answer choices all have fatal flaws and if you use the proper strategy (“only eliminate when you are sure it is wrong” and “look for the easier decision points first”) then you will get this problem correct.


Hi skag55.

You mean OA is A? I picked A but got the question wrong. Please confirm.
I will share my explanation if A is correct.

Thank you.


Oh gee, I'm so sorry, you're right. C was my selection (also highlighted in veritas prep, but in red :) )
I just corrected it.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2014, 13:27
pqhai wrote:
Skag55 wrote:
Original response from veritas prep:

This sentence correction problem uses an unusual modifier structure to “hide the correct answer” - a common tool used by testmakers that you learned about in the Advanced Verbal lesson. In (A), the phrase “their DNA modified….” is called an absolute phrase (a difficult but relatively common structure) and it is properly modifying seeds and how they have been engineered. Everything else in the sentence is fine so (A) is the correct answer. However many students will eliminate it because they are not familiar with the absolute phrase structure. The other four answer choices all have fatal flaws and if you use the proper strategy (“only eliminate when you are sure it is wrong” and “look for the easier decision points first”) then you will get this problem correct.


Hi skag55.

You mean OA is A? I picked A but got the question wrong. Please confirm.
I will share my explanation if A is correct.

Thank you.

Hi Pghai
Can you please post your explanation.
I am dumb struck with this question!!
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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2014, 14:03
I went with C but A looks right to me.

C uses an "and" and I so I looked for parallelism which is not present. If the intent was not to use "and" as a parallel marker then the second part of the sentence doesn't have a clear subject. "have had" is also wordy.

A is grammatically correct and I look the last phrase after the comma as a non-essential modifier.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2014, 19:00
Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?


The key in identifying absolute modifiers is spotting the past participle in the non-essential phrase. Once the participle is found, test all the pronouns and you'll be home free.
IMO A.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

Subject is "70% of the tomatoes" which is plural; thus, verb must be come not comes. D and E eliminated.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.
"Their DNA -ed modifier" this part of the sentence is not a clause here "modified" is the past participle modifier modifying DNA.
"Their" has a clear antecedent as tomatoes, thus, this absolute phrase modifier is also legit.

B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
Restrictive modifier That is not parallel with participle modifier having.
"and also" is also redundant.

C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
Same error as in B, -ed modifier is not parallel to restrictive that modifier.

D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species


Skag55 wrote:
I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?


Responding to a pm:

Yes, the first part is an independent clause:

"About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory,"

The second part is an absolute phrase:

"their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species."

Here is a bit on Absolute Phrases:

Often (but not always), this is the structure of an absolute phrase:

noun + participle (could be -ing or -ed) + optional modifier or object

It modifies an independent clause as a whole.

It is often useful in describing one part of the whole person/place/thing or in explaining a cause or condition etc. The absolute phrase above describes the life of the accused - a condition.

Other examples:
There was no one in sight and Paul, his hands still jammed in his pockets, scowled down the empty street.
We devoured the yummy cupcake, our fingers scraping the leftover frosting off the plates.


The second part of our original sentence tells us more about the engineered seeds. The DNA of the seeds is modified in the lab, not of the tomatoes. Tomatoes are grown from these seeds. So the use of absolute phrase is correct and all other options are incorrect.

By the way, this is a perfectly valid GMAT question and you could very easily get something similar in the real deal too. It also includes recognizing accurate meaning and hence is the favored type with GMAT these days.
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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2016, 09:51
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Dear Karishma,

How to make sure that the word "their" modifies seeds but not tomatoes. I understand that the meaning does make sense, but seldom I found GMAT clarifying the correct usage of pronoun in the absolute phrase. I skipped A because of this pronoun ambiguity. Any help on this ?

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2016, 04:12
ankitmining wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma

Dear Karishma,

How to make sure that the word "their" modifies seeds but not tomatoes. I understand that the meaning does make sense, but seldom I found GMAT clarifying the correct usage of pronoun in the absolute phrase. I skipped A because of this pronoun ambiguity. Any help on this ?


"seeds" is the closest noun to "their" and is the logical antecedent to it. Hence, there is no pronoun ambiguity here.

Refer to this post for a write up on pronoun ambiguity:
https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2016/0 ... -the-gmat/
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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2016, 22:45
Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

I've got this one wrong and I believe it's way too weird! I'd swear that these kind of questions won't ever appear on the real GMAT. What do you think?


about 70% of tomatoes => Quantity phrase means I need pural verb "come", D and E are out.
Now, B is just too awkward to be correct answer, and also is redundant. having is modifying which identity is not clear.

C=> lets try to connect verb with its subject," seeds that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species" means that modification was done before engineering seeds in laboratory. This is not true.

Answer A.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 03:47
I have a doubt whether the following rule is ok with gmat.
x% of y (plural) is always plural.
X% of y(singular) is always singular.

If it is true and accepted, please review following sentence:

In the most common procedure for harvesting forage crops such as alfalfa, as much as 20 percent of the leaf and small-stem material, the most nutritious parts of the plant, shatters and falls.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 07:57
Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species


About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that ( Tomatoes) have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

Answer must be (A) for Correct S-V & Pronoun usage, errors in other options highlighted in RED..

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2016, 23:48
Abhishek009 wrote:
Skag55 wrote:
About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

A) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
B) come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and also having their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
C) come from seeds engineered in a laboratory and that have had their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
D) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory and with their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
E) comes from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, and their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species


About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that ( Tomatoes) have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.

Answer must be (A) for Correct S-V & Pronoun usage, errors in other options highlighted in RED..



Abhishek009

Relative Pronoun Modifiers are more flexible modifiers and have the privilege to modify far away nouns unless the placement creates an ambiguity.
In the above example, replace 'their' with Seeds: seeds DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species
and replace 'their' with tomatoes: Tomatoes DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species

both makes sense from meaning perspective and they also make sense grammatically as both are plural and can be referred by their. Hence this option creates ambiguity.
Per my opinion Option A is not a valid option. Please explain what am I missing here.

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2017, 09:07
Could anyone please explain to me why option C is incorrect?

Thank You!

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Re: About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States   [#permalink] 23 Oct 2017, 09:07
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