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As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen

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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2018, 22:52
Why is the usage of 'would be ' correct over here? shouldn't it be 'is rated'?
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 16:18
anchitahuja wrote:
Why is the usage of 'would be ' correct over here? shouldn't it be 'is rated'?

In order to say a baby's sight "is rated about 20/500", somebody would actually have to rate the baby's eyesight "when it emerges from the darkness of the womb." And while maybe that could happen using some sort of interesting technology, it seems unlikely that a baby would willingly participate in an eye test as soon as it's born.

Since the actual act of rating the baby's eyesight might not actually happen, it makes sense to use the conditional "would": if somebody were to rate the baby's eyesight as soon as it's born, it would rate about 20/500.

I hope this helps!
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 06:40
Dear All

While D is the correct answer, please can you help me understand the phrase after the semi colon.

Reason am asking is that I understand semi colon should have independent clauses before and after and within D, after colon, an adult such vision .... isn't such vision something unclear or does not have precedent , hence fragment or incorrect sentence.

(D) A baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sense of vision that would be rated about 20/500; an adult with such vision would be deemed legally blind.
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 21:17
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Dear All

While D is the correct answer, please can you help me understand the phrase after the semi colon.

Reason am asking is that I understand semi colon should have independent clauses before and after and within D, after colon, an adult such vision .... isn't such vision something unclear or does not have precedent , hence fragment or incorrect sentence.

(D) A baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sense of vision that would be rated about 20/500; an adult with such vision would be deemed legally blind.

An independent clause must be able to stand on its own grammatically. It doesn't mean that you can't refer to another clause to understand it.

Think of the way you learned to structure a paragraph when you were introduced to formal essay-writing in school. The first sentence introduces an idea. The next one elaborates on this idea, or provides an example to illustrate it. It may well be the case that the second sentence doesn't make sense without the first, but that doesn't mean that there's a grammatical error in it!

Similarly, we'll often use a pronoun in one clause to refer to an antecedent in another. You can basically think about the usage of "such vision" that way - it refers to "20/500," and that's perfectly fine.

I hope that helps!
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2018, 21:34
Option A: "As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sense of vision, it would be rated about 20/500, or legally blind if it were an adult with such vision"

I was confused between A and D. I somehow felt that there is a meaning change in option D and chose the wrong answer A.

Is the ambiguous usage of "it" the only mistake in option A?


Please clarify.
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 00:10
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SUPMUN wrote:
Option A: "As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sense of vision, it would be rated about 20/500, or legally blind if it were an adult with such vision"

I was confused between A and D. I somehow felt that there is a meaning change in option D and chose the wrong answer A.

Is the ambiguous usage of "it" the only mistake in option A?


Please clarify.

The usage of "it" is worse than ambiguous in (A). Because "it" is the subject of a clause and "a baby" is the subject of the previous clause, it seems as though "it" is referring to "a baby." Rating a baby 20/500 isn't just nonsensical, it's downright mean. (On a good day, my baby would rate at least a 120 on a 500 point scale.)

Worse still, the clause "if it were an adult with such vision" suggests that a baby could be an adult! I would not want to live in such a world. And neither would that man-baby's poor mother... :oops:
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2018, 20:42
GMATNinja, egmat,

Thanks for clarifications. My answer choice D is correct at first place. However I have 2 questions :
Q1 : I can see it is mentioned that 'it' can refer to baby. Can 'it' pronoun refer to 'baby' which is human and not things ?
Q2 : In answer choice D, 'with' is modifying 'womb' or 'baby' ? I understand GMAT does not prefer sentences which use 'with'.
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 09:19
NAvinash wrote:
GMATNinja, egmat,

Thanks for clarifications. My answer choice D is correct at first place. However I have 2 questions :
Q1 : I can see it is mentioned that 'it' can refer to baby. Can 'it' pronoun refer to 'baby' which is human and not things ?
Q2 : In answer choice D, 'with' is modifying 'womb' or 'baby' ? I understand GMAT does not prefer sentences which use 'with'.

Excellent questions!

In fact, question 1 is so good, I don't think it has a definitive answer. Surely, it's okay to exclaim, "It's a girl!" when a baby is born. And if someone knocks at your door, there's no problem asking "who is it?" But if your baby were throwing a tantrum on a plane, and someone else asked you to "feed it or something" the "it" seems inappropriate.

For what it's worth, I can't recall having seen an OA in which "it" referred to a person. So I'd be very surprised if "it" is ever used to refer to a person in a correct answer, but I can't say that with 100% certainty that it's absolutely WRONG, especially if "it" refers to "a baby" and we don't know its gender. But I wouldn't worry about this issue at all, since you will probably never see it as the deciding factor on an official question.

As for question 2, wouldn't it be nice if we could just memorize a list of prepositions the GMAT didn't like and then robotically eliminate those answer choices whenever we encountered such words? Sadly, the GMAT is going to force us to think, and we'll have to use a bit of logic to determine if a given construction is acceptable. In this case "with a rudimentary sense of vision" seems to be modifying the previous clause, "A baby emerges." This makes perfect sense -- when the baby emerges, it possesses a rudimentary sense of vision.

To summarize: there's nothing inherently wrong with "with." (If there were, I wouldn't have written the previous sentence!) Ask yourself what "with" is modifying and then determine whether the construction seems logical.

I hope that helps!
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2019, 00:22
Sentence describes the baby’s momentous escape from the womb, and then discusses the dreadful eyesight all babies possess. The sentence continues with the pronoun “it”, which could refer back to the baby, the vision, or potentially even the womb, as any singular noun in the sentence could potentially be the correct antecedent. The context kind of guides you into understanding that the vision must be what’s considered, because babies are not rated 20/500 (except on Toddlers & Tiaras). The presence of another “it” later on, ostensibly referring to the child this time, cements the notion that the pronouns are unclear and the answer cannot be A.
Choices C and E commit the same pronoun error. We can also eliminate option C because the semi-colon should link two sentences that could stand on their own, whereas the second portion is clearly dependent on the first section. Similarly answer choice E is missing a crucial “be” between the words “would” and “deemed”. In option B, everything after the comma changes the meaning of the sentence. The sentence does not convey that the baby’s eyesight is just dreadful. Instead it implies that the vision would be an adult, which is completely nonsensical.
By process of elimination, it must be answer choice D. This sentence uses syntax correctly and avoids ambiguous pronoun usage. The pronoun which is used properly (it always refers to the term right before the comma), and the meaning is clear and unambiguous. Not only are the four other answer choices incorrect, this choice is grammatically flawless and aesthetically pleasing.
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Re: As a baby emerges from the darkness of the womb with a rudimentary sen &nbs [#permalink] 15 Jan 2019, 00:22

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