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According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud

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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 02:26
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, to find the correct choice! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, which brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocking out a communications satellite.

(A) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, which brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocking
(B) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun was what recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, and it brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocked
(C) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, brightening the Northern Lights and possibly knocking
(D) a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, recently triggered by an expanding cloud of energized particles, brightened the Northern Lights and it possibly knocked
(E) a large storm in the magnetic field surrounding Earth was recently triggered by an expanding cloud of energized particles, brightening the Northern Lights and it possibly knocked

After a quick glance over the options, there are 2 main things we can focus on:

1. Modifiers (Are the scientists monitoring the cloud or the storm?)
2. Parallelism (brightened/brightening & knocked/knocking)


Let's start with #1 on our list: modifiers! We have to ask ourselves a couple questions to determine what order the modifiers should be in:

WHAT were the scientists monitoring?
and
WHAT brightened the Northern Lights and possibly knocked out a communications satellite?


We can tell by reading the sentence carefully that the scientists were monitoring THE CLOUD. This means the modifier "According to scientists who monitored its path" needs to come directly before the storm, which is what it's referring to! Let's see which options handle this correctly, and rule out those that don't:

(A) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, which brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocking

(B) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun was what recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, and it brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocked

(C) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, brightening the Northern Lights and possibly knocking

(D) a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, recently triggered by an expanding cloud of energized particles, brightened the Northern Lights and it possibly knocked

(E) a large storm in the magnetic field surrounding Earth was recently triggered by an expanding cloud of energized particles, brightening the Northern Lights and it possibly knocked

We can rule out options D & E because they don't put the modifier next to what it's modifying.

Now that we're left with only 3 options, let's move on to #2 on our list: parallelism. There are two things that happened as a result of the large storm in Earth's magnetic field: the Northern Lights were brighter, and it possibly knocked out a communications satellite. These two need to be written using parallel structure! Let's see which ones do, and rule out those that don't:

(A) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, which brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocking --> NOT PARALLEL

(B) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun was what recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, and it brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocked --> NOT PARALLEL

(C) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, brightening the Northern Lights and possibly knocking --> PARALLEL

There you go - option C is the correct choice! It places the modifier next to what it's modifying, and it uses parallel structure for both effects at the end!


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Hi There,

Apologies in advance but I'm still unsure how we determined that the scientists were monitoring the cloud. I understand from the question that "an expanding cloud..." was placed after the first comma which lends itself nicely to this being the case...but is that the reason why we chose this? Furthermore, how do we determine what brightened the northern lights / possibly knocked out the satellites? If we sub in "an expanding cloud", this can make sense (i.e. it may be possible that a cloud of energized particles recently ejected from the sun brightened the northern lights and knocked out satellites)... but the storm cloud also makes sense in this case as well.

Overall just unsure. I initially picked C, then picked D and have all the regrets!

Thanks
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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 04:29
YB101 wrote:
I initially picked C, then picked D and have all the regrets!

D would be incorrect for the following reasons:

i) Option D just completely forgoes the phrase ejected from the sun

ii) The use of it (in it possibly knocked) is at best redundant. The sentence could as well have been:

a large storm..brightened and possibly knocked..
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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 08:18
YB101 wrote:
Apologies in advance but I'm still unsure how we determined that the scientists were monitoring the cloud. I understand from the question that "an expanding cloud..." was placed after the first comma which lends itself nicely to this being the case...but is that the reason why we chose this? Furthermore, how do we determine what brightened the northern lights / possibly knocked out the satellites? If we sub in "an expanding cloud", this can make sense (i.e. it may be possible that a cloud of energized particles recently ejected from the sun brightened the northern lights and knocked out satellites)... but the storm cloud also makes sense in this case as well.

Overall just unsure. I initially picked C, then picked D and have all the regrets!

Thanks[/color][/b]

I am also confused. Were scientists monitoring the path of the cloud or the storm? Very confusing :?

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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 01:29
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Largely with reference to the antecedence of the pronoun 'it', the prerogative of a pronoun is to refer to the subject first.

From the text, it could be seen that it makes sense to say that the scientists monitored the path from the very first moment the cloud was ejected from the sun. On the contrary, choices D and E imply that the scientists started monitoring the path sometime midway, much later than when the cloud was ejected by the sun.

The point is that one can technically say it is the storm, or Sun or cloud or earth but not logically. In addition, the grammar errors in choice D, and E are enough to set them aside.

Take away: Those who want to practice meaning based questions might choose some good number of topics in which the intended meaning may not be clear within a reasonable time and see whether they can narrow down with the help of basic grammar and structure.
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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 15:17
2
PavaniRaghunath wrote:
YB101 wrote:
Apologies in advance but I'm still unsure how we determined that the scientists were monitoring the cloud. I understand from the question that "an expanding cloud..." was placed after the first comma which lends itself nicely to this being the case...but is that the reason why we chose this? Furthermore, how do we determine what brightened the northern lights / possibly knocked out the satellites? If we sub in "an expanding cloud", this can make sense (i.e. it may be possible that a cloud of energized particles recently ejected from the sun brightened the northern lights and knocked out satellites)... but the storm cloud also makes sense in this case as well.

Overall just unsure. I initially picked C, then picked D and have all the regrets!

Thanks[/color][/b]

I am also confused. Were scientists monitoring the path of the cloud or the storm? Very confusing :?

GMATGuruNY


When an introductory modifier includes a pronoun without an antecedent, the referent for the pronoun invariably BEGINS the main clause.
Consider the following examples in the OG12:

Q7: As ITS sales of computer products have surpassed those of measuring instruments, THE COMPANY...
Q28: Building on civilizations that preceded THEM in coastal Peru, THE MOCHICA...
Q31: Even though many of HER colleagues were convinced that genes were relatively simple and static, BARBARA MCCLINTOCK...
Q105: In HER book illustrations, which SHE carefully coordinated with HER narratives, BEATRIX POTTER...

In each case, the introductory modifier includes a pronoun without an antecedent.
In each case, the referent for the pronoun begins the main clause.

Generally:
If the original sentence conveys a logical meaning, we should eliminate answer choices that do not retain this meaning.
A: According to scientists who monitored ITS path, an expanding CLOUD of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth.
Here, the introductory modifier in blue includes a pronoun without an antecedent (its).
In accordance with the rule above, the referent for this pronoun -- an expanding cloud -- begins the main clause.
Conveyed meaning:
Scientists monitored the path of AN EXPANDING CLOUD of particles EJECTED from the sun.
Since this meaning is logical, we should eliminate answer choices that do not retain this meaning.

D and E: According to scientists who monitored its path, a large storm
Here, its seems to refer to a large storm, conveying that scientists monitored the path of A LARGE STORM.
Since the logical meaning of the original sentence is not retained, eliminate D and E.
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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 22:22
GMATGuruNY wrote:
D and E: According to scientists who monitored its path, a large storm
Here, its seems to refer to a large storm, conveying that scientists monitored the path of A LARGE STORM.
Since the logical meaning of the original sentence is not retained, eliminate D and E.

Thanks GMATGuruNY. The thing is that to me, a "storm" is more logical to have a "path" (that can be monitored) than an "expanding cloud" (the cloud is just expanding, so what path can it have :? ).

That's what confused me.
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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2019, 16:40
What are the scientists monitoring 1) an expanding cloud or 2) a large storm? An expanding cloud, which triggered the magnetic field, was monitored by the scientists.

(A) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, which brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocking- Earth did not brighten the Northern Lights

(B) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun was what recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, and it brightened the Northern Lights and also possibly knocked - It is ambiguous

(C) an expanding cloud of energized particles ejected from the Sun recently triggered a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, brightening the Northern Lights and possibly knocking - Correct

(D) a large storm in the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, recently triggered by an expanding cloud of energized particles, brightened the Northern Lights and it possibly knocked- a large storm was not monitored

(E) a large storm in the magnetic field surrounding Earth was recently triggered by an expanding cloud of energized particles, brightening the Northern Lights and it possibly knocked - a large storm was not monitored
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Re: According to scientists who monitored its path, an expanding cloud   [#permalink] 25 Apr 2019, 16:40

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