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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of

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Project SC Butler: Day 127 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,

B) An atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron,

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them,

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,


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New post 20 Jun 2019, 00:09
OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Day 127 Sentence Correction (SC1)



Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


A) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,

B) An atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron,

C) Atoms, the smallest unit f matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,

****
The sentence means that an atom
-- is the smallest unit of matter and
-- has an equal number of protons and electrons
BUT when the atom either loses or gains a single electron
-- the atom becomes an ion
The sentence ends with a dispensable appositive that describes an ion: a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond

***
• Split #1: Pronoun/antecedent agreement

It in the non-underlined portion lets us know that the subject is singular.
IT requires the singular ATOM as its antecedent.

I did not mark the plural verb ARE with red because are agrees with atoms and I did not want to suggest that atoms disagreed with are.

Options A, C, and D incorrectly use atoms, plural.

Eliminate A, C, and D

• Additional problems with A, C, and D

The electron does not become an ion. The atom becomes an ion.
Options A and D create a very subtle meaning issue.
I would not use this issue as a first basis upon which to eliminate an answer.

Suppose, though, that option A were written this way:

An atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.

Compare to option B.
No contest. B wins. In my hypothetical option A, it seems as though the electron becomes the ion.
The electron does not become the ion. The atom becomes the ion.

Option C - from them
The phrase is awkward, but the phrase does intervene to head off the meaning problem I just discussed.
Even if the sentence were okay otherwise, B does a better job at letting us know which thing becomes an ion.

• Split #2: Clarity vs. The Missing Verb or Unnecessary Pronoun or Babble

We are down to options B and E.
Sometimes options are laughably bad, as is E in this question.

warrior1991 's comment about option E made me laugh: "This sounds creepy." :lol: :lol: :lol:
Believe me, you will find a sentence or two in which that thought ought to enter your mind.

Quote:
If you read the complete sentence, the construct is awkward. This sounds creepy.A run on as well. Read below.
Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


I quote the entire comment because he's right: describing an error may not be easy, but we can both insert the option into the sentence and compare that construction to (B); even if we cannot quite say what is wrong with (E), we can say, "B is better and E is worse. Bye E. The end."

Option E contains one of these errors
1) if we say that the first part of the sentence ends with "gained," then atom lacks a verb.
2) we could also say that IT comes between the subject, atom, and the verb, becomes, in which case we have an unnecessary pronoun
3) a sentence structure that is not nearly as clear as that in (B)

Answer B

COMMENTS

firas92 , you also made me laugh, grousing (or wondering) about what were indeed typos that I've corrected.

Although this question is unusually easy, every post contains some piece of advice or an approach or a comment that will apply to similar but harder questions.

These answers are very good to superb. Good work. Kudos to all.
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 00:38
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generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 127 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,

B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them,

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,


Meaning: Atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons. When the atom single looses or gains a single electron - the atom becomes an ion which can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, It in the non-underlined portion refers to electron as atoms-plural.

B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron. Correct, it here logically refers to atom

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them, Same error as A

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained, Same error as A

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained, Fragment no verb for atom
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 00:47
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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.

The presence of 'it' right after the underlined portion and the usage of "the smallest unit" suggests that the subject must be singular. Therefore, we can eliminate all options that use 'Atoms'

A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,
Subject is plural - Eliminate

B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.
Seems right - considering that the caps error and full stop are typos!

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them,
Subject is plural - Eliminate

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,
Subject is plural - Eliminate

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,
Awkward wording and distorted meaning - Eliminate

Answer is (B)
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 00:55
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generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 127 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


Sentence structure
Subject - Verb - Contrast:
    An atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but
        if the atom loses or gains a single electron,
      it( the atom ) becomes an ion,
        a charged particle that( a charged particle ) can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond. - Noun + Noun modifier
Issues:
    The non-underlined portion asserts "It" - a singular entity that refers to Atom.
    Thus, all plural forms of atoms MUST be discarded.
    A, C and D - Pronoun disagreement

Answer choice analysis:

    A) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,
      - Pronoun disagreement

    B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.
      - Nice and easy. B is the champ!

    C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them,
      - Pronoun disagreement

    D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,
      - Pronoun disagreement

    E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,
      Though E corrects the Pronoun-disagreement issue, the sentence structure is inherently flawed.
      E lacks a verb for the subject( an atom).

TakeAway:
    Always READ the entire sentence.

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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 00:56
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Quote:
Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


Never ignore the non-underlined part. Many answers can be drawn after reading the non-underlined part thoroughly. The same goes for this question as well

It becomes an ion ---The it is referring to the atom . But atom is presented in plural form. Therefore we know the S-V agreement is an issue here.

Let's go over the options.

Quote:
A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,

S-V agreement violated. Therefore incorrect.

Quote:
B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.

Good . S-V agreement reached and also the it is replaced with atom. Correct


Quote:
C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them,

S-V agreement violated. Therefore incorrect.

Quote:
D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,

S-V agreement violated. Therefore incorrect.


Quote:
E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,

If you read the complete sentence, the construct is awkward. This sounds creepy.A run on as well. Read below.
Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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My answer is B. It took me 1 minute and 14 seconds to narrow it down to B via POE.

Issue with A: In reading the original sentence, I did notice that, after the underlined portion, the author uses "it" in ”it becomes an ion“. Since we cannot touch that part, the underlined portion should use singular "atom" as antecedent for "it". A is out.
Issue with C: Same as A
Issue with D: Same as A / C.
Issue with E: E results in a fragment instead of a sentence.
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


Focus on the construction and the pronoun antecedents.

Atoms--> the smallest unit of matter(Modifier atom)

Atoms are made up of--> Correct SV agreement.

it becomes an ion--> What does it refer to? Atoms? No it can't be as it is singular so it does have a correct antecedent to refer to resulting in illogical meaning.

ion -->a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond(Modifies Ion)

Choice B--> An atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.

but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.--> correct contrast and use of the atom corrects the Pronoun agreement error.

IMHO B
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 05:11
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generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 127 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,

B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron.

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them,

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained,



Error analysis :
Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.
It here refers to atoms . So we will have to change the underlined sentence as per the antecedent to correct SV pair/pronoun error. .

A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained,-wrong

As per the antecedent we need a single atom in the sentence

B) an atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron. -Correct
No antecedent error, NO SV error , conveys correct meaning

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them, - wrong
As per the antecedent we need a single atom in the sentence , in this option atoms is precedent.

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained,-wrong
Wrong for the same precedent reason

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained, -wrong
Main verb atom is kept in between comma . It results in sentence structure error even though SV pair error is corrected .
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Re: Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 06:09
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"It" in non-underlined portion is pointing toward Atom, So we can remove option containing Atoms.

Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, it becomes an ion, a charged particle that can combine with other ions to form an electrovalent bond.


A)Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained, -- Subject verb agreement is not maintained. It in non underlined portion require a singular subject. Eliminate.

B) An atom, the smallest unit of matter, is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if the atom loses or gains a single electron. -- Our Answer

C) Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, but if a single electron is lost or gained from them, -- Again S-V agreement error gained from them again make it like that atom is the one losing a electron. Eliminate.

D) The smallest unit of matter, atoms are made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, and when a single electron is lost or gained, -- S-V agreement. Eliminate

E) Made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, an atom, the smallest unit of matter, until a single electron is lost or gained, -- Sentence doesn't contains any verb. Eliminate
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Atoms, the smallest unit of matter, are made up of an equal number of  [#permalink]

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