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By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and

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By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 281
Page: 270

By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.

(A) By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him

(B) In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him

(C) Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able

(D) Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able

(E) By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798

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Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 21 Jun 2016, 15:10.
Last edited by hazelnut on 28 Nov 2017, 22:04, edited 3 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2016, 16:34
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AbdurRakib wrote:
By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.


A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able
D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able
E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798


Please explain


OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 281)

Dear AbdurRakib,
I'm happy to respond.

Choice (A) & (B) have a classic modifier mistake.
By devising . . . and employing . . . Henry Cavendish’s apparatus . . .
The apparatus was not doing the devising and planning. The man Henry Cavendish was the actor here, but because this actor is in the possessive, the modifier cannot target him. Both (A) and (B) make this mistake.

Choice is false parallelism: grammatically, the parallelism is perfect, but parallelism is not primarily a grammatical structure: it is primarily a logical structure. Choice (C) puts three things mechanically in parallel so that we lose any sense of the logical relation of the events, what things allowed what other things to happen. All that meaning is lost, so (C) is wrong.

Choice (D) has a glaring parallelism error: "Having devised . . . employment . . ." A perfect participle in parallel with a noun: a complete trainwreck in terms of the grammar of parallelism.

That leaves (E). Fortunately, (E) is a masterpiece: perfect parallelism (By devising . . . and employing . . . ) , and these correctly modify the man himself, Henry Cavendish. The phrasing demonstrates the logical connection of the events by the using the "by" prepositional phrases. It is grammatically correct and rhetorically successful---a sentence almost as elegant as Cavendish's measurements!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 20:46
mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.


A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able
D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able
E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798


Please explain


OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 281)

Dear AbdurRakib,
I'm happy to respond.

Choice (A) & (B) have a classic modifier mistake.
By devising . . . and employing . . . Henry Cavendish’s apparatus . . .
The apparatus was not doing the devising and planning. The man Henry Cavendish was the actor here, but because this actor is in the possessive, the modifier cannot target him. Both (A) and (B) make this mistake.

Choice is false parallelism: grammatically, the parallelism is perfect, but parallelism is not primarily a grammatical structure: it is primarily a logical structure. Choice (C) puts three things mechanically in parallel so that we lose any sense of the logical relation of the events, what things allowed what other things to happen. All that meaning is lost, so (C) is wrong.

Choice (D) has a glaring parallelism error: "Having devised . . . employment . . ." A perfect participle in parallel with a noun: a complete trainwreck in terms of the grammar of parallelism.

That leaves (E). Fortunately, (E) is a masterpiece: perfect parallelism (By devising . . . and employing . . . ) , and these correctly modify the man himself, Henry Cavendish. The phrasing demonstrates the logical connection of the events by the using the "by" prepositional phrases. It is grammatically correct and rhetorically successful---a sentence almost as elegant as Cavendish's measurements!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Dear Mike, I selected E using POE but my question is.....is it okay to have a split in able + to?

For e.g.:
Ver#1: After trying for several years, Sam was able to pass the GMAT in 2016

Ver#2: After trying for several years, Sam was able in 2016 to pass the GMAT.

Is is valid? "Sam was able in 2016 to pass the GMAT" ?
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 15:37
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royrijit1 wrote:
Dear Mike, I selected E using POE but my question is.....is it okay to have a split in able + to?

For e.g.:
Ver#1: After trying for several years, Sam was able to pass the GMAT in 2016

Ver#2: After trying for several years, Sam was able in 2016 to pass the GMAT.

Is is valid? "Sam was able in 2016 to pass the GMAT" ?

Dear royrijit1,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, not only is it allowable to split the idiom able . . . to do X---in fact, splitting it is one of the GMAT's favorite tricks.

In your examples, both versions are idiomatically correct, but Version #2 sounds awkward. It sounds much more natural to communicate this particular information using version one. Splitting the idiom is perfectly fine: this just isn't a very good example. It sounds much more natural in the phrasing of (E) here. Here's another example, in GMAT-like sentence.

The structure of the fugue, which came completely naturally to J.S. Bach, utterly eluded Beethoven early in his career, but Beethoven was able, after years of determined efforts, to produce virtuoso fugues in each of his final five piano sonatas.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2016, 20:52
Should " in 1797–1798" be set off by commas to make it non-essential modifier? Otherwise, it sounds awkward. Doesn't it? Could someone please clarify? Thanks!
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2016, 15:22
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manhasnoname wrote:
Should " in 1797–1798" be set off by commas to make it non-essential modifier? Otherwise, it sounds awkward. Doesn't it? Could someone please clarify? Thanks!

Dear manhasnoname,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, the entire issue of "essential" vs. "non-essential" modifiers applies only to noun modifiers. The Touch Rule also applies only to noun modifiers.

Verb modifiers are a completely different world. It doesn't make sense to talk about an "essential" or "non-essential" verb modifier, and placement of verb modifiers is considerably freer than that of noun modifiers.

The preposition "in 1797-1798" is a verb modifier. It is an adverbial phrase, playing the role of an adverb. It is fine in (E), not set off by commas. As a verb modifier, it is neither "essential" nor "non-essential." There is absolutely no problem with its placement or use in (E), the OA.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 08:34
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By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.

Issues: Parallelism | Modifier | Construction

Analysis:
1. The sentence talks about how Henry Cavendish was able to at a figure. Hence, the actions "devising" and "employing" should point to correct noun i.e. Henry Cavendish and not "Henry Cavendish's apparatus" because "apparatus" can not perform those actions. Also, "Henry Cavendish" should immidiately follow the modifier "By devising...,"
2. In the clause "By devising..." there are two sub-clauses for the two actions i.e. "By devising.. and employing...". The correct chioce should have those actions in parallel.


A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
- "Henry Cavendish’s apparatus" creates meaning issue with modifier that precedes it
- "him" does not have an antecedent.


B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him\
- "In 1797–1798" is mis-placed
- "Henry Cavendish’s apparatus" creates meaning issue with modifier that precedes it


C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able
- Meaning issue with the option. (Looses the causality between the two parts of the sentence)

D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able
- "Having devised... and employment..." has parallelism issue

E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798

Answer: E.
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2017, 05:51
mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.


A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able
D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able
E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798


Please explain


OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 281)

Dear AbdurRakib,
I'm happy to respond.

Choice (A) & (B) have a classic modifier mistake.
By devising . . . and employing . . . Henry Cavendish’s apparatus . . .
The apparatus was not doing the devising and planning. The man Henry Cavendish was the actor here, but because this actor is in the possessive, the modifier cannot target him. Both (A) and (B) make this mistake.

Choice is false parallelism: grammatically, the parallelism is perfect, but parallelism is not primarily a grammatical structure: it is primarily a logical structure. Choice (C) puts three things mechanically in parallel so that we lose any sense of the logical relation of the events, what things allowed what other things to happen. All that meaning is lost, so (C) is wrong.

Choice (D) has a glaring parallelism error: "Having devised . . . employment . . ." A perfect participle in parallel with a noun: a complete trainwreck in terms of the grammar of parallelism.

That leaves (E). Fortunately, (E) is a masterpiece: perfect parallelism (By devising . . . and employing . . . ) , and these correctly modify the man himself, Henry Cavendish. The phrasing demonstrates the logical connection of the events by the using the "by" prepositional phrases. It is grammatically correct and rhetorically successful---a sentence almost as elegant as Cavendish's measurements!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)

sir I am generally confused with usage of having and consider the same as wrong but in option D if both parallelism had a structure of: having devised and having employed would it have been correct
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2017, 08:57
mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.


A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able
D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able
E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798


Please explain


OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 281)

Dear AbdurRakib,
I'm happy to respond.

Choice (A) & (B) have a classic modifier mistake.
By devising . . . and employing . . . Henry Cavendish’s apparatus . . .
The apparatus was not doing the devising and planning. The man Henry Cavendish was the actor here, but because this actor is in the possessive, the modifier cannot target him. Both (A) and (B) make this mistake.

Choice is false parallelism: grammatically, the parallelism is perfect, but parallelism is not primarily a grammatical structure: it is primarily a logical structure. Choice (C) puts three things mechanically in parallel so that we lose any sense of the logical relation of the events, what things allowed what other things to happen. All that meaning is lost, so (C) is wrong.

Choice (D) has a glaring parallelism error: "Having devised . . . employment . . ." A perfect participle in parallel with a noun: a complete trainwreck in terms of the grammar of parallelism.

That leaves (E). Fortunately, (E) is a masterpiece: perfect parallelism (By devising . . . and employing . . . ) , and these correctly modify the man himself, Henry Cavendish. The phrasing demonstrates the logical connection of the events by the using the "by" prepositional phrases. It is grammatically correct and rhetorically successful---a sentence almost as elegant as Cavendish's measurements!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)





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

Very well Explain Buddy.. But I have a doubt and because of this, I have directly eliminated option E.
" Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798 " is this the correct wording??? "Was able in this to this " It seems its not concise and that's why i Chose C.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2017, 10:11
2
oishik2910 wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.


A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him
C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able
D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able
E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798

sir I am generally confused with usage of having and consider the same as wrong but in option D if both parallelism had a structure of: having devised and having employed would it have been correct

Dear oishik2910,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, if you want the attention of another member on GC, it's best to use the "mention this user" feature.

Also, you would make your questions much clearer and less of a challenge to interpret if you used quote marks (and preferably color) to set off your words from what you are quoting. For example,
You wrote: "sir I am generally confused with usage of having and consider the same as wrong but in option D if both parallelism had a structure of: having devised and having employed would it have been correct"
I suggest: "sir I am generally confused with usage of "having" and consider the same as wrong but in option D if both parallelism had a structure of: "having devised" and "having employed" would it have been correct."
The quote marks are necessary for clarity. The color adds additional clarity.

Here is the version you suggest:
Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and having employed uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able . . .
This is 100% grammatically correct, but it is still awful. Rhetorically, this sounds too stilted and hyper-formal--it doesn't sound natural at all. No native speaker would say this.

Remember that the GMAT SC is not simply a test of grammar. On the GMAT SC, grammar & logic & rhetoric all work together to bring forth meaning.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2017, 10:19
kawaljeet wrote:
Very well Explain Buddy.. But I have a doubt and because of this, I have directly eliminated option E.
" Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798 " is this the correct wording??? "Was able in this to this " It seems its not concise and that's why i Chose C.

Thanks in advance.

Dear kawaljeet,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The short answer is: yes, that's perfectly fine. The prepositional phrase "in 1797-1798" is a verb modifier, an adverbial modifier. Unlike noun modifiers, adverbial modifiers are much freer in the rules about their placement. It's perfectly fine to put this modifier between "able" and "to arrive." In fact, this is a sophisticated structure that is slightly rarer, and these facts can make it particularly challenging for non-native speakers to accept.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2017, 10:26
mikemcgarry
What all would comprise rhetoric? Since rhetoric is important would there be certain conventions to keep in mind in order to make sure the sentence is rhetorically correct in addition to being correct in terms of grammar and logic?

Thanks
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2017, 14:38
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Bounce1987 wrote:
mikemcgarry
What all would comprise rhetoric? Since rhetoric is important would there be certain conventions to keep in mind in order to make sure the sentence is rhetorically correct in addition to being correct in terms of grammar and logic?

Thanks

Dear Bounce1987,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

For starters, I will recommend this blog article:
Rhetorical Construction on the GMAT Sentence Correction

A sentence is rhetorically effective if it is clear, direct, powerful, and persuasive. If a sentence is too wordy, that's a rhetorical issue. If the sentence is neither direct nor forceful, that's a rhetorical problem. For example, does the sentence make the focus the subject and does it locate the main activity in the main verb? Having the action as a verb vs. a noun is often a rhetorical issue. Is the focus-noun the subject or hidden in a prepositional phrase? Also, verbs in the passive voice are 100% grammatically correct but often present rhetorical issues. Another issue, in a list, is: what governs the order of the list? Is it logical? chronological? or just random? Random organization is not rhetorically sound. Finally, there's that very hard-to-articulate realm of rhetoric—whether something would sound "natural" or "awkward" to a native speaker. This is particularly tricky: on the harder SC, the GMAT loves to create incorrect answer choices that are 100% grammatically correct but some combination that no native speaker ever would say.

The best way to improve one's understanding of rhetoric is to make a habit of doing challenging reading every day.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 03:57
By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.

(A) By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him - wrong subject after comma

(B) In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him - same error as A

(C) Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able - not parallel

(D) Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able - not parallel

(E) By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798 - correct
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Re: By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and &nbs [#permalink] 05 Sep 2018, 03:57
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