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Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is

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Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is  [#permalink]

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Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.


(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one

(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one

(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present

(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence

(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence


The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 83
Page: 665

https://www.nytimes.com/1984/07/24/science/the-doctor-s-world-james-fixx-the-enigma-of-heart-disease.html

The advanced equipment needed to screen for heart disease in symptomless individuals is very expensive. Moreover, all medical tests sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate it is there when it is not. The percentage of such so-called false negatives and false positives varies with each test. For those and other reasons, most doctors are not inclined to advise use of currently available technology to mass screen for heart disease.

Originally posted by WinWinMBA on 26 May 2005, 15:12.
Last edited by Bunuel on 11 Jan 2019, 02:10, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2011, 20:28
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Sorry my answer is wrong. The correct explanation is :-

First, let's think about what the sentence is trying to say without pronouns - it's trying to point out a problem and its obverse: detect a condition when the condition is present vs. indicate that the condition is present when the condition is not present.

A) does a fine job with the first bit (detect a condition when it is present) but messes up the second bit "indicate that there is one when it is not" - indicate there is one what? One condition? It sounds like it's saying something like "one condition exists." The point is to indicate the presence of the condition in a particular circumstance, not its mere existence on the planet.

B) repeats that same error

C) does a fine job with the first bit (detect a condition when it is present) and the second bit (indicate it is present when it is not). Fine.

D) muddies the meaning by moving "when" to the front (B does this too). It sounds like the test just can't detect the timing of the condition, as though, sometimes I have cancer and sometimes I don't and the test can't tell when I do or don't. Really, the test is failing to detect the condition itself, not the timing of the condition. See E for the problem at the end of this choice.

E) "indicate its presence when it is not" is incorrect - that translates as "indicate its presence when it is not presence (last word implied)" which doesn't make any sense. We need to say "indicate that it is present when it is not present (last word implied)." Also "the presence of a condition when it is there" is wordy. "a condition when it is present" is much cleaner.

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New post 30 May 2005, 12:33
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I have no idea how to break this sentence down. MY AC is a D.

I eliminated any AC with "that" because it doenst serve either as a linking conjuction or as introducing a relative clause. If its introduces a relative clause it doesnt follow parallelism.

Root Phrase: Any medical test will sometimes fail to (1) detect when a condition is present <AND> (2) indicate its presence when it not.

Element (1): Phrase.
Element (2): Phrase.

All other answer choices break the parallelism mold becuase the element (1) and (2) are never parallel.
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New post 03 Jun 2005, 07:24
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gmataquaguy wrote:
I have no idea how to break this sentence down. MY AC is a D.

I eliminated any AC with "that" because it doenst serve either as a linking conjuction or as introducing a relative clause. If its introduces a relative clause it doesnt follow parallelism.

Root Phrase: Any medical test will sometimes fail to (1) detect when a condition is present <AND> (2) indicate its presence when it not.

Element (1): Phrase.
Element (2): Phrase.

All other answer choices break the parallelism mold becuase the element (1) and (2) are never parallel.


What is the OE for C? I havent seen a convincing response yet. Also doesnt AC "C" break the parallellism rule? And "that" introduces a restrictive clause. So what is the conjuction "and" really joining? 2 unequal parts? How is that even possible? "And" should always be used as a coordinating conjuction, joining equal parts. Where are the equal parts here?
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New post 02 Jul 2009, 11:37
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Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.
(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one - pronoun confusion and 'there is' is almost always wrong
(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one - 'there is' is almost always wrong
(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present - This is correct
(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence - awkward
(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence - awkward
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Re: Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2013, 13:44
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(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present
Correct. This choice is more concise and clear.

(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence
-In first underlined part: The use of pronoun "it" is ambiguous as it is wrongly referring to "presence" (action noun) rather than the "condition".
-In second underlined part: "indicate its presence when it is not" is incorrect as it means "indicate condition's presence when it condition is not", which is wordy and doesn't make much sense. We should say "indicate that it [condition] is present when it is not [present]." Words in the bracket are implied.
- Also structure "a condition when it is present" is more concise.



One of the generic guideline to prefer verb to action noun. (Remember: its not a rule but a guideline) - MGMAT SC guide
Pattern: Prefer verb to action noun
o Wordy: The townspeople’s revolution was against the king.
 Revolution is a noun that expresses an action
o Better: The townspeople revolted against the king.

"a condition when it is present" is more concise and clearer than "the presence of condition when it is there". ("presence" is the action noun here)
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New post 12 Aug 2013, 18:56
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A) the word "there" refers to "a condition." If you replace "there" with "a condition," you get: "fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that a condition is one when it is not." "A condition is one" doesn't make sense.

B) Same issue as A.

C) Correct - parallel
"fail to detect... a condition.......... when it is present" and
"indicate.......... that it is present... when it is not"

D) present and presence - not parallel

E) looks like it is correct. but actually 'its' refers to the condition. So, it's wrong
"fail to detect... the presence of a condition.... when it is there" and
"indicate.......... its presence......................... when it is not"
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New post 10 Mar 2014, 23:39
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1
Remember here "it" is referring to "condition"

(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one
Incorrect. "one" cannot replace a pronoun

(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one
Incorrect. One cannot replace a pronoun. "sometimes fail to detect when" is redundant statement. The statement could be "it fail to detect when..." If you are mentioning "when" a thing is going to happen then "sometimes" is not really needed. :wink:

(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present
Correct.

(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence
Incorrect. Same as B

(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence
Wordy. So fall back when compared with option C.
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New post 11 Mar 2014, 17:55
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Mountain14 wrote:
goodyear2013 wrote:
Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.

(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one
(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one
(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present
(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence
(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence

Hi, I added this question as other posts don't include OA.



Guys,

I understood that A is wrong, but in day to day language we use " one" quite often. So , in which type of sentence " one" would be correct?

Thanks in advance for explaining.

~M14


The key to this sentence is seeing the full parallelism at work. "A condition" and "one" are indeed parallel. Still, the parallelism must be maintained throughout the structure too. The real comparison is between the predicates: "detect a condition when it is present" and "indicate that it is present when it is not." "There is one" is not parallel because "there" is explicative construction, thus inverting the sentence. So, the type of sentence that uses "one" correctly is...

"detect that there is a condition when it is present and indicate there is one when it is not."

I hope this helps.
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New post 06 Jun 2014, 01:01
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Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.

(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one -"There is one" - not a proper usage
(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one - fail to detect something - when is used to denote a time. fail to detect X when Y happened.
(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present - Correct. it correctly and logically refers to condition.
(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence - Same issue as point out in B)
(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence - fail to detect a condition and not presence of condition. Somehow I feel presence is redundant.
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New post 10 Jul 2015, 17:47
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rggoel9 wrote:
Sorry my answer is wrong. The correct explanation is :-

First, let's think about what the sentence is trying to say without pronouns - it's trying to point out a problem and its obverse: detect a condition when the condition is present vs. indicate that the condition is present when the condition is not present.

A) does a fine job with the first bit (detect a condition when it is present) but messes up the second bit "indicate that there is one when it is not" - indicate there is one what? One condition? It sounds like it's saying something like "one condition exists." The point is to indicate the presence of the condition in a particular circumstance, not its mere existence on the planet.

B) repeats that same error

C) does a fine job with the first bit (detect a condition when it is present) and the second bit (indicate it is present when it is not). Fine.

D) muddies the meaning by moving "when" to the front (B does this too). It sounds like the test just can't detect the timing of the condition, as though, sometimes I have cancer and sometimes I don't and the test can't tell when I do or don't. Really, the test is failing to detect the condition itself, not the timing of the condition. See E for the problem at the end of this choice.

E) "indicate its presence when it is not" is incorrect - that translates as "indicate its presence when it is not presence (last word implied)" which doesn't make any sense. We need to say "indicate that it is present when it is not present (last word implied)." Also "the presence of a condition when it is there" is wordy. "a condition when it is present" is much cleaner.

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I took (A) to be fine for the most part until the last bit with the word, "one", but for a different reason. If you replace "one" with condition, then the sentence reads: "Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is a condition when it is not." This does not make sense.

I think if it was written as "Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that one is present when it is not.", that would work. So, (C) is best.
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New post 15 Jan 2017, 22:26
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mymba99 wrote:
Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.

(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one
(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one
(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present
(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence
(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence


"when it is not" is ellipsis pattern. we need "it is " in the previous phrase. there is no such phrase. wrong
"there is one" should be followed by "when there is not". for this point, a and b are gone.
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New post 15 Jan 2017, 22:30
mymba99 wrote:
Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.

(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one
(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one
(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present
(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence
(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence


because we have
when it is not
we need
"it is" in previous to make ellipsis logic.

only choice c has "it is" so C is correct.
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New post 15 May 2017, 19:49
Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one when it is not.

(A) a condition when it is present and indicate that there is one
(B) when a condition is present and indicate that there is one
(C) a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present
(D) when a condition is present and indicate its presence
(E) the presence of a condition when it is there and indicate its presence

GMATNinjaTwo What is wrong with (A)?

Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is present and indicate that it is present when it is not.

Parallelism play a role in (C).
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New post Updated on: 31 May 2017, 14:40
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victory47 is right. We don't want to contrast "there is one" with "it is not." Those don't work together.
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Originally posted by DmitryFarber on 28 May 2017, 13:23.
Last edited by DmitryFarber on 31 May 2017, 14:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any medical test will sometimes fail to detect a condition when it is  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2019, 00:52
In A, both one and it seem to refer to a condition. The result is a nonsensical meaning:
Any medical test will sometimes indicate that there is ONE CONDITION when A CONDITION is not.
Eliminate A.
B and D distort the meaning by implying that the purpose of a medical test is to detect a MOMENT IN TIME: WHEN a condition is present.
The purpose of a medical test is to detect the CONDITION itself, not WHEN the condition is present.
Eliminate B and D.
In E, the first it could refer to the presence or to a condition.
C avoids this issue and is free of errors.
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