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# China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s

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China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2017, 19:54
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China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has waned in favor of burgeoning solar and wind industries.

A. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

B. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but their interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations have

C. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

D. long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations

E. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2017, 08:09
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Actually... I'm pretty sure that (A) would be acceptable on the GMAT. And there's nothing wrong with (C), either.

Before I continue, my usual disclaimer: it is unbelievably difficult to write great, GMAT-style verbal questions. The GMAT spends somewhere between \$1500 and \$3000 developing each question, and I'm totally cool with the fact that test-prep companies (mine included!) will never be able to compete with that.

Disclaimer #2: I'm about to describe a pretty arcane little exception to the GMAT's pronoun "rules", so if you're still struggling with the fundamentals, this one might not be for you.

Many of you have a perfectly reasonable instinct to conclude that the "its" is ambiguous, because it could, at least in theory, refer to any number of singular nouns here: energy, source, network, or China's. That seems ambiguous, right?

But consider this case:

• Cucumbers cost more than tomatoes in grocery stores in western states, and they also taste like chalk.

"They" could refer to any number of things (cucumbers, tomatoes, stores, or states), right? So it's ambiguous, right?

Not so fast. On the GMAT, if a sentence has more than one clause (dependent or independent), then the grammatical subject of the second clause can unambiguously refer to the grammatical subject of the first clause. Here's that same sentence again, with the subjects highlighted:

• Cucumbers cost more than tomatoes in grocery stores in western states, and they also taste like chalk.

So the "they" would NOT be considered ambiguous in this case on the GMAT. Here's another example of the same concept on an official question: https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-some-spec ... 36080.html

And here's the original question again, with the grammatical subjects highlighted:

Quote:
China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has waned in favor of burgeoning solar and wind industries.

To be fair, there's some grey area in this case, since "China's" and "its" are both possessive. But since both "China's" and "its" are part of the subjects of their respective clauses, I wouldn't automatically assume that the pronoun is wrong.

Bottom line: just be a little bit careful with the "subject to subject" pronoun exception when you're doing official questions.
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2017, 06:43
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China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has waned in favor of burgeoning solar and wind industries.

A. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has (Its has no clear referent)

B. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but their interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations have (usage of their is ambiguous)

C. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has (Correct)

D. long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations (Same as A)

Kudos please if you like my explanation!

E. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has (Singular verb is required)
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2017, 10:13
Can someone explain why no article is needed for "interest" in C?
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2017, 10:33
beyondgame30
In this case, a pronoun before interest would make the sentence ambiguous or vague.
When there is an empty pronoun, it is always wrong in the GMAT. I hope this helps.
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2017, 11:36
C, network is singular so "has" is correct split / "its" is a bit unclear

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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2017, 15:15
Is it because interest is an unaccountable noun in C, so it doesn't need an article of "an". I am struggled to know when a noun needs an article or pronoun, such as a, the, and its, and when one doesn't. Could you please explain a little more? Thank you!

matthewsmith_89 wrote:
In this case, a pronoun before interest would make the sentence ambiguous or vague.
When there is an empty pronoun, it is always wrong in the GMAT. I hope this helps.
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2017, 10:53
1
beyondgame30 wrote:
Can someone explain why no article is needed for "interest" in C?

Because we can say this in the simple way .
"China's food is very good, but weather is bad."

similarly in above question,we do not need any article/noun after but.
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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11 Apr 2017, 20:46
Can Anyone tell what is wrong with "it" in sentence A.What else it is referring other than China?
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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11 Apr 2017, 21:29
[quote="ziyuen"]China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has waned in favor of burgeoning solar and wind industries.

A. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

B. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but their interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations have

C. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

D. long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations

E. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

.it seems as "China’s vast network of dams" is the subject for the 2nd part of sentence..... that is illogical...
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2017, 00:58
Can country's be antecedent of its in A?

China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but country’s interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has waned in favor of burgeoning solar and wind industries.
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2017, 02:07
Hello GMATNinja,

I also marked A as the answer, considering 'its' is referring back to "China's" but looks like there is a lot of confusion here. Your comments prove that my point is valid.

Can you please suggest what should I mark for this question?

I am not clear on the last lines you mentioned for this question in your post.

"To be fair, there's some grey area in this case, since "China's" and "its" are both possessive. But since both "China's" and "its" are part of the subjects of their respective clauses, I wouldn't automatically assume that the pronoun is wrong. "
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2017, 14:36
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Top Contributor
Quote:
I also marked A as the answer, considering 'its' is referring back to "China's" but looks like there is a lot of confusion here. Your comments prove that my point is valid.

Yeah, the original question is a little bit flawed, so don't worry too much about it. As long as you marked (A) or (C) here, you're fine, and I wouldn't recommend spending much more time on this specific example.

I think the most important takeaway from my post is that the GMAT makes a very clear exception to pronoun ambiguity "rules", as described in the cucumber example. That's an issue that you'll see in a decent number of official GMAT questions.

Quote:
I am not clear on the last lines you mentioned for this question in your post.

"To be fair, there's some grey area in this case, since "China's" and "its" are both possessive. But since both "China's" and "its" are part of the subjects of their respective clauses, I wouldn't automatically assume that the pronoun is wrong. "

In my last few lines of the post, I simply meant that the question in this thread isn't exactly the same as the cucumber example, because "China's" (subject of the first clause) and "its" (beginning of the subject of the second clause) are both possessive -- and I've never seen an official GMAT question that looks quite like this. As long as you understand the cucumber example, that's the important part.

Sorry for the confusion!
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2017, 00:28
GMATNinja wrote:
In my last few lines of the post, I simply meant that the question in this thread isn't exactly the same as the cucumber example, because "China's" (subject of the first clause) and "its" (beginning of the subject of the second clause) are both possessive -- and I've never seen an official GMAT question that looks quite like this. As long as you understand the cucumber example, that's the important part.

Sorry for the confusion!

Hi Charles,

Do you consider the following is correct and ha no ambiguity? Is this GMAT style? have you encountered any OG question like this?

Napoleon's plan was great but his tactics were obsolete.

thanks
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2017, 04:24
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
I also marked A as the answer, considering 'its' is referring back to "China's" but looks like there is a lot of confusion here. Your comments prove that my point is valid.

Yeah, the original question is a little bit flawed, so don't worry too much about it. As long as you marked (A) or (C) here, you're fine, and I wouldn't recommend spending much more time on this specific example.

I think the most important takeaway from my post is that the GMAT makes a very clear exception to pronoun ambiguity "rules", as described in the cucumber example. That's an issue that you'll see in a decent number of official GMAT questions.

Quote:
I am not clear on the last lines you mentioned for this question in your post.

"To be fair, there's some grey area in this case, since "China's" and "its" are both possessive. But since both "China's" and "its" are part of the subjects of their respective clauses, I wouldn't automatically assume that the pronoun is wrong. "

In my last few lines of the post, I simply meant that the question in this thread isn't exactly the same as the cucumber example, because "China's" (subject of the first clause) and "its" (beginning of the subject of the second clause) are both possessive -- and I've never seen an official GMAT question that looks quite like this. As long as you understand the cucumber example, that's the important part.

Sorry for the confusion!

Thank you for the explanation. Apart from the fact that the "its" and "China's" are in subject position, (from one of the previous explanation by Verbal expert - don't remember the question) the possessive pronoun can refer back to the noun in possessive form. Is that valid?
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2017, 05:04
warriorguy wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
I also marked A as the answer, considering 'its' is referring back to "China's" but looks like there is a lot of confusion here. Your comments prove that my point is valid.

Yeah, the original question is a little bit flawed, so don't worry too much about it. As long as you marked (A) or (C) here, you're fine, and I wouldn't recommend spending much more time on this specific example.

I think the most important takeaway from my post is that the GMAT makes a very clear exception to pronoun ambiguity "rules", as described in the cucumber example. That's an issue that you'll see in a decent number of official GMAT questions.

Quote:
I am not clear on the last lines you mentioned for this question in your post.

"To be fair, there's some grey area in this case, since "China's" and "its" are both possessive. But since both "China's" and "its" are part of the subjects of their respective clauses, I wouldn't automatically assume that the pronoun is wrong. "

In my last few lines of the post, I simply meant that the question in this thread isn't exactly the same as the cucumber example, because "China's" (subject of the first clause) and "its" (beginning of the subject of the second clause) are both possessive -- and I've never seen an official GMAT question that looks quite like this. As long as you understand the cucumber example, that's the important part.

Sorry for the confusion!

Thank you for the explanation. Apart from the fact that the "its" and "China's" are in subject position, (from one of the previous explanation by Verbal expert - don't remember the question) the possessive pronoun can refer back to the noun in possessive form. Is that valid?

I think you mean the post in the following example:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/http-magoosh ... 14976.html
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2017, 10:38
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2
Quote:
Do you consider the following is correct and ha no ambiguity? Is this GMAT style? have you encountered any OG question like this?

Napoleon's plan was great but his tactics were obsolete.

Yup, this would be completely acceptable on the GMAT. "Napoleon's" is the only plausible referent for "his", so you're all good. And sure, you see possessive pronouns (usually "its" and "their") on the GMAT quite a bit, so it's definitely possible that you'll see this sort of thing.

Quote:
Thank you for the explanation. Apart from the fact that the "its" and "China's" are in subject position, (from one of the previous explanation by Verbal expert - don't remember the question) the possessive pronoun can refer back to the noun in possessive form. Is that valid?

And yes, a possessive pronoun can refer back to the noun in possessive form.
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2018, 22:15
Experts mikemcgarry sayantanc2k please guide for this question. I am not able to deduce why is Option A incorrect. In Option A its which is a possessive pronoun is referring to China's which makes complete sense to me
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2018, 18:59
vasuca10 wrote:
Experts mikemcgarry sayantanc2k please guide for this question. I am not able to deduce why is Option A incorrect. In Option A its which is a possessive pronoun is referring to China's which makes complete sense to me

The pronoun isn't necessarily wrong, as described here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/china-s-vast ... l#p1835812. Also, check out that post for more on why you might not want to worry too much about this question in general.

I hope this helps!
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Re: China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary s  [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2018, 07:30
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hazelnut wrote:
China’s vast network of dams has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has waned in favor of burgeoning solar and wind industries.

A. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

B. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but their interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations have

C. has long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

D. long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but its interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations

E. have long stood as the country’s primary source of renewable energy, but interest in building more large hydroelectric generating stations has

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:

Two decision points should stand out to you here: the singular/plural decision between "has" and "have" at the beginning of the sentence, and the pronoun decision (its vs. their vs. omit) after the word "but." One helpful piece of advice: when you're given a choice to omit a pronoun on the GMAT, the omitted version often cleans up a pronoun reference error. As such, this should be a primary decision point for you. Here, the subject of the sentence is "network" (China's network of dams), and so "its" as a pronoun would refer back to the network. Since the network isn't what would have interest in building more (that should be "China"), the inclusion of a pronoun is illogical. Therefore you should debate between C and E, each of which omits the pronoun.

From there, look at the "have" vs. "has" decision. Again, the subject is "network" - which is singular - so "has" is the proper verb, and the correct answer is C.
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