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As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was

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As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.


(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that


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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 72: Sentence Correction


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Originally posted by rigger on 23 Oct 2005, 19:15.
Last edited by Bunuel on 02 Nov 2018, 02:37, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 09:58
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Lots of disagreement on this one within the first few hours! I like that. It means we picked a fun one.

As is often the case on official SC questions, this one is mostly about logic and meaning, and the mechanics take a backseat. Fun times. And tricky, in my opinion.

Quote:
(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

The first thing that catches my eye is the parallelism, and that looks OK: "...neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter." Fair enough.

And the meaning seems OK to me, too: it is indeed fortunate that neutrinos are harmless and that they interact weakly with matter. If they weren't harmless, we would have been toast thirty years ago, and we never would have experienced the joys of GMAT Club, the Colorado Rockies, snapchat, Game of Thrones, Steph Curry, or Taylor Swift. Keep (A).

Quote:
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

I'm uncomfortable with that last bit that begins with "and which..." In theory, it's parallel with "which are harmless", but it's a little bit weird to have "which" without a comma here, since "which" is generally used as a non-essential modifier. I'm not 100% sure that this is wrong, but it doesn't seem quite right, either.

But more importantly: the meaning is warped. Stripping out the non-essential modifier, we have "fortunately, neutrinos... are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions." No, it really isn't fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. The fortunate part is that they're harmless. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

There's that silly "and which" thing again. But in this case, there's nothing that could possibly be parallel to "which." So there's no grey area here at all: (C) is definitely wrong.

Quote:
(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

This has the same meaning problem as (B), since it seems to be saying that it's fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. That really isn't the point of the sentence. (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that

I see two issues here. First, the fact that the neutrinos are harmless is buried in a modifying phrase, and that's not great. Again, the heart of this part of the sentence is that it's fortunate that neutrinos are harmless, so (E) does a lousy job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Second, I also don't really understand that last modifier beginning with "that" -- sure, neutrinos interact weakly with matter, but the phrase "these elementary particles... are neutrinos that interact weakly with matter" suggests that there might be other types of neutrinos out there. And I don't think that's true. (E) doesn't quite get the meaning right, and that leaves us with (A).
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2008, 03:38
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Firstly +1 for a really good Q.

As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(a) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that
(b) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which
The construction is odd : X is Y and which is Z. Better is X is Y and Z
(c) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which
When we have used "which" after and , the parallel struct should be maintained.... something like ... A is B which is X and which is Y OR A is B which is X and Y
(d) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos
odd construction
(e) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos thatodd construction

Now with A. Is THAT a suitable pronoun to refer back to neutrinos ??

But I will go for A.
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2010, 15:29
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A.

You can eliminate B, D and E rather easily.

C has a parallelism issue.

C would be correct if it was written, "particles which were produced in nuclear reactions and which."
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2013, 15:40
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Apex231 wrote:
As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which
(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which
(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos
(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that



After fortunately (that modifies the following phrase, the first thing to think is what we need suddenly. This is the subject to make clear the underlined portion and thi is the neutrino. So D and E are out of game

C neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

this is not parallel: we have neutrinos are and then at the end which.......



B neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

same



A neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

Correct



please underline the portion of the Sc.

thanks
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2013, 00:59
C neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which
this is not parallel: we have neutrinos are and then at the end which..

Can you ellobrate this please
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2013, 03:19
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rochak22 wrote:
C neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which
this is not parallel: we have neutrinos are and then at the end which..

Can you ellobrate this please

With option C, the part of the sentence after semicolon becomes -
fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which interact very weakly with matter

Here "produced in nuclear reactions" is not parallel to "which interact very weakly with matter".

Corrected form of the sentence would have been:
fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles which are produced in nuclear reactions and which interact very weakly with matter
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2014, 04:27
doe007 wrote:
Here "produced in nuclear reactions" is not parallel to "which interact very weakly with matter".

Yes, and just to elaborate, this is because produced in nuclear reactions is a phrase, while which interact very weakly with matter is a clause. From a parallelism perspective, phrases are not considered parallel to clauses.

doe007 wrote:
Corrected form of the sentence would have been:
fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles which are produced in nuclear reactions and which interact very weakly with matter

This is interesting. A minor thing is that one would always expect a comma' before which in all such instances. However, a slightly larger issue is that which would modify harmless elementary particles, the nearest eligible noun-phrase. However, from the context of the sentence, it is apparent that produced in nuclear reactions and interact very weakly with matter are both properties of neutrinos.

Perhaps for this reason, the correction option A uses that (and not which). As a relative pronoun that is more flexible in what it can modify; in other words, that need not necessarily modify the nearest eligible noun-phrase. So, in this case, that would modify neutrinos.

p.s. Our book SC Nirvana discusses differences between which & that, and their application in significant detail. If you can PM you email, I can send you the corresponding section.
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2017, 06:51
please help me with the answer. I thought it to be C but OA is A?
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2017, 07:39
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When grammar doesn't help, logic takes over. The crux of the matter is to arrive what will be starting late next year? Is it the launch of the website or the posting on it or the easy searchability? Launching it now and waiting until late next year either for posting or for easy searching may not make logic. But, A, B, C and E says the website will be easily searchable early next year. Therefore, it is difficult to digest them as the intended choice. However, D obviates this doubt by creating a comma +verb+ing modifier, thereby rendering it to modify the nearest previous clause whose subject is the government and its action namely posting. If I have to, I 'll put my two cents on D.
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Re: As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 06:37
bpiyush wrote:
please help me with the answer. I thought it to be C but OA is A?



Option C: Notice the parallel structure X AND Y

X = neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions (a complete clause)

Y = which interact very weakly with matter (a modifier)

Y should be a complete clause in order to make the sentence structurally complete. Hence C is wrong.

=====================================================
Another way of looking at the parallel structure in C is :

X = produced in nuclear reactions (past participle modifier)

Y = which interact very weakly with matter ( relative pronoun modifier)

Again the parallelism is faulty (a past participle modifier cannot be made parallel to a relative pronoun modifier).

=====================================================

Option A has correct parallelism structure:

X = that are produced in nuclear reactions (relative pronoun modifier)
Y = that interact very weakly with matter (relative pronoun modifier)

Two relative pronoun modifiers are correctly made parallel. Hence A is correct.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 10:07
Is it c, eliminate A & E 'that' is singular can not refer to plural neutrinos. Between B, C and D I chose C

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 10:27
As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that -Correct parallel structure
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which -The red part is being represented as non-essential information
(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which -incorrect
(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos -Awkward construction
(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that -Awkward construction
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 01 Aug 2017, 23:08
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IMO A as well.

The answer statement and the independent clause starts with fortunately.
A) fortunately- neutrinos are harmless---- that are produced in nuclear reactions -that interact weakly with matter.

Looks alright, Let's hold this for now.

B) fortunately neutrinos (ignore the non restrictive modifier) are elementary particles

--> nothing fortunate about them being elementary particles, also which should be preceded by noun and "and which" isn't parallel to previous clause "neutrinos are elementary particles".WRONG

C) again parallelism issue same as in B. WRONG

"And" before which is redundant, "and which" should be replaced by restrictive modifier "that".

D) the sentence structure implies these harmless elementary particles and neutrinos are separate things. Wrong .

E)fortunately these elementary particles are neutrinos that interact very weakly with matter. (Ignore non-restrictive modifier)

Implies the fortunate thing is that these particles are neutrinos -when the sentence should factor that the fortunate thing is that "neutrinos are harmless elementary particles" - emphasis needed on harmlessness of the particles. WRONG


Based on elimination, A is my correct answer.


Please feel free to correct my reasoning. Thanks.



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Originally posted by GmatBawse on 01 Aug 2017, 11:16.
Last edited by GmatBawse on 01 Aug 2017, 23:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 13:19
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maypardeep wrote:
Is it c, eliminate A & E 'that' is singular can not refer to plural neutrinos. Between B, C and D I chose C

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Hello maypardeep,

I just want to let you know that your reason to reject Choice A and E is not correct.

In both these choices, that has been used as a relative pronoun modifier that modifies the preceding noun entity. When used a noun modifier, that can refer to both singular and plural noun entities.

For example:

This bouquet of flowers that are so rich in color is beautiful.

This bouquet of flowers that is partially wrapped in red wrapping paper is beautiful.

When that is used as just a pronoun, then it refers to only singular noun entities.

For example:

My car is older than that of my sister.

In Choice A and E, that has been used as a noun modifier and hence can very well refer to plural noun entity neutrinos.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 16:54
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As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.


(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that ---- maintains 'that' parallelism and the correct choice.

(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which --- 1. The missing of the comma before 'which' renders the choice ineligible. 2. You may observe, the second part is a relative clause connected by an 'and' and therefore the structure is un//.

(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which ------- 1. The missing of the comma before 'which' renders the choice ineligible. 2. The same error as in B

(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos --- no connect between the neutrinos and these elementary particles in the second IC.

(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that ---' are neutrinos that' is redundant.

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