OFFICIAL EXPLANATIONProject SC Butler: Sentence Correction (SC1)
For SC butler Questions Click HereQuote:
Compared to high school students, who readily understand the numerous theorems of Geometry, most of the theorems of Number Theory are sophisticated, with those with advanced degrees in mathematics only understanding them.
A) Compared to high school students, who readily understand the numerous theorems of Geometry, most of the theorems of Number Theory are sophisticated, with those with advanced degrees in mathematics only understanding them.
B) In contrast to the numerous theorems of Geometry readily accessible to high school students, most of the theorems of Number Theory are so sophisticated that only those with advanced degrees in mathematics can understand them.
C) Compared with the numerous theorems of Geometry, which are readily accessible to high school students, Number Theory has theorems so sophisticated that only those with advanced degrees in mathematics can understand them.
D) Compared to Geometry, numerous theorems of which are readily accessible to high school students, Number Theory has theorems so sophisticated as those with advanced degrees in mathematics only understanding them.
E) Compared to Geometry, which has numerous theorems that are readily accessible to high school students, Number Theory , which has many theorems that are so sophisticated that only those with advanced degrees in mathematics can understand them [[VERB?].
Official Explanation Magoosh:
• Split #1— the comparison: what, exactly, is being compared?(A) compares students to theorems = incorrect
(B) compares theorems to theorems = correct
(C) compares theorems to branch of math = incorrect
(D) compares branch of math to branch of math = correct
(E) compares branch of math to branch of math = correct
Eliminate options A and C.
• Split #2: idiom of consequence. The correct idiom is "so sophisticated that"—we need the word "that" as part of this [construction].
Choice (A) omits both the "so" and the "that," and choice (D) omits the "that."
Both are incorrect.
Eliminate A and D.
• Split #3: the missing verb mistake. Choice (E) has the form "compared to Geometry [noun modifier], Number Theory [noun modifier]."
Presumably,
Number Theory is meant to be the main subject of the sentence, but this subject has no verb.
Choice (E) makes the classic "missing verb mistake" and is therefore not a sentence at all.
Eliminate E.
• Split #4: placement of the word "only." This error is a common "Logical Predication" mistake.
The limitation implied by the word "only" is meant to apply to those who understand Number Theory—a relatively small group, compared to those who understand Geometry.
The correct target of "only" is the pronoun
those.
Choice (A) & (D) incorrectly use the word "only" to modify "understanding," as if we want these mathematicians to do some action more significant than merely "understanding"—that's not the meaning of the sentence! Those two choices are incorrect.
Eliminate A and D.
The only possible answer is choice (B)NOTES[Although I made minor corrections in the
Magoosh OE above, these "Notes" are not part of the
Magoosh OE.]
• TWO TAKEAWAYSkungfury42 , you wrote
Quote:
Some doubts:
I have concerns over the use of "those" in B which I think ambiguously refers to "theorems of Number Theory" instead of "the set of people with advanced degrees".
However this has been repeated across all options so I probably think there's a gap in my understanding, can anyone please help clarify?
The first takeaway addresses your doubt.
→ → Takeaway #1: the word
those can be used as a standalone pronoun to mean "people" [who do certain things or who have certain characteristics].
Lao-tzu:
Those who know do not tell; those who tell do not know.Gerald Popek:
Science is supposedly the method by which we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. In computer science, we are all standing on each others' feet.→ → Takeaway #2: recognize a reduced relative clause (also called a "reduced adjective clause")
Do not let this terminology scare you.
In fact, I don't care whether you know the name of this construction, but especially if you are not a native speaker, you need to be able to spot a reduced relative clause.
In option B, we see, " In contrast to the numerous theorems of Geometry
readily accessible . . ."
Readily accessible is a reduced relative clause and an adjective that describes
Geometry.
We start with a "regular" relative clause
Option B) In contrast to the numerous theorems of Geometry
that are readily accessibleThen we create a ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓
Reduced relative clause
1) remove the relative pronoun (
that)
2) remove the "to be" verb (
are)
3) leave the adjective phrase (
readily accessible)
A regular relative clause and a reduced relative clause mean exactly the same thing, but the latter can be difficult to spot.
So these two are equal:
. . . theorems of Geometry
that are readily accessible to high school students = . . . theorems of Geometry
readily accessible to high school students
Recognizing these reduced clauses may become more difficult when a past participle (a verbED) is involved, because past participles and past tenses of verbs are often identical.
The man feared by the wisest Germans was Goebbels.
The man [who was] feared by the wisest Germans was Goebbels.
COMMENTSI am pleased to see a representative pool of posters, all of whom explain just a bit differently, all of whom are developing a distinctive "voice," and all of whom did a very good job at explaining this question.
Well done.