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# Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that

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Intern
Joined: 19 May 2019
Posts: 16
Re: Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2019, 22:28
GMATNinja wrote:
I always like to start with the most straightforward, mechanical stuff -- and in this case, the word "and" jumps off the page at me. Looks like a nice parallelism issue.

Quote:
Critical-thinking instruction is predicted on two assumptions: that there are clearly identifiable thinking skills that students can be taught to recognize...

So here we have the first assumption, written in a "that + clause" format. Great, so we'll need a similar format -- "that + clause" -- after the "and" to complete the parallel structure.

Quote:
A. if recognized and applied, students
B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students
C. if students recognize and apply them, that they

Unlike (D) and (E), none of these three options begin with "that + clause", so we can eliminate (A), (B), and (C). Plus, (A) is illogical: it seems to be telling us that the students are recognized and applied.

And for whatever it's worth, I'm not crazy about the pronouns in (C), either: "them" and "they" are right next to each other, but refer to different antecedents. That's not the end of the world, but it's not ideal.

On to (D) and (E):

Quote:
D. that if recognized and applied, students
E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they

(D) has exactly the same meaning issue as (A): if we think about (D) strictly and literally, it seems to be saying that students are "recognized and applied", and that doesn't make sense.

So I hope you like (E)! The parallelism is solid, and (E) also fixes the pronoun issue that we saw in (C): "them" has been replaced with "these skills", and that makes the sentence a little bit cleaner.

HI GMAT NINJA,

In option E, they refers to students but my doubt is will it refer to skills.
Since they refers to plural pronoun so there is a chance to refer skills also.

can you help me on this when and how to avoid such ambiguity cases. Because of this ambiguity i have opted for option D.
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Re: Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2019, 19:06
Sandeep2212 wrote:
HI GMAT NINJA,

In option E, they refers to students but my doubt is will it refer to skills.
Since they refers to plural pronoun so there is a chance to refer skills also.

can you help me on this when and how to avoid such ambiguity cases. Because of this ambiguity i have opted for option D.

As discussed in this video, pronoun ambiguity isn't an absolute rule on the GMAT.

As stated in this post, if the ONLY difference between two answer choices is that one has an ambiguous pronoun and the other does not, then you'd obviously prefer the answer choice without pronoun ambiguity. But in plenty of official questions, the correct answer might technically have some pronoun ambiguity -- it's just that the other answer choices would have WORSE errors in that scenario.

In choice (E), we technically have two possible antecedents:

• "if students recognize and apply these skills, the skills will become more effective thinkers." - This doesn't make any sense. "Skills" themselves cannot think or become more effective thinkers.
• "if students recognize and apply these skills, the students will become more effective thinkers." - This makes perfect sense! "Students" themselves can certainly think and become more effective thinkers.

Is there some pronoun ambiguity? Sure... but given the context, the intended meaning is perfectly clear.

Meanwhile, choice (D) has the meaning issues discussed in this post, and those issues are much worse than some not-so-ambiguous pronoun ambiguity.

I hope this helps!
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Intern
Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Re: Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that  [#permalink]

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05 May 2020, 02:04
GMATNinja wrote:
I always like to start with the most straightforward, mechanical stuff -- and in this case, the word "and" jumps off the page at me. Looks like a nice parallelism issue.

Quote:
Critical-thinking instruction is predicted on two assumptions: that there are clearly identifiable thinking skills that students can be taught to recognize...

So here we have the first assumption, written in a "that + clause" format. Great, so we'll need a similar format -- "that + clause" -- after the "and" to complete the parallel structure.

Quote:
A. if recognized and applied, students
B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students
C. if students recognize and apply them, that they

Unlike (D) and (E), none of these three options begin with "that + clause", so we can eliminate (A), (B), and (C). Plus, (A) is illogical: it seems to be telling us that the students are recognized and applied.

And for whatever it's worth, I'm not crazy about the pronouns in (C), either: "them" and "they" are right next to each other, but refer to different antecedents. That's not the end of the world, but it's not ideal.

On to (D) and (E):

Quote:
D. that if recognized and applied, students
E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they

(D) has exactly the same meaning issue as (A): if we think about (D) strictly and literally, it seems to be saying that students are "recognized and applied", and that doesn't make sense.

So I hope you like (E)! The parallelism is solid, and (E) also fixes the pronoun issue that we saw in (C): "them" has been replaced with "these skills", and that makes the sentence a little bit cleaner.

Can we say that option A has a conditional verb issue, which is fixed by option E, rather option E makes the conditional more cleaner. For example, If students recognize and apply (present tense)..., they will (future tense), an acceptable construction.
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Joined: 11 Aug 2017
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Re: Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that  [#permalink]

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28 May 2020, 11:24
Hi Experts,

I eliminated option D because recognized and applied are in the past tense and what follows after the comma is in the future tense. So, it is not following the basic structure of the conditional statement. Whereas option E has fixed that error by using the if statement in present tense. Please let me know if this is the right understanding. If not, what is the correct reason?
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Joined: 05 Jan 2019
Posts: 557
Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that  [#permalink]

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28 May 2020, 17:03
Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that there are clearly identifiable thinking skills that students can be taught to recognize and apply appropriately, and if recognized and applied, students will become more effective thinkers.

(A) if recognized and applied, students - parallelism error. Hence, eliminate (A)

(B) if these skills are recognized and applied, that students - parallelism error. Hence, eliminate (B)

(C) if students recognize and apply them, that they - parallelism error. Hence, eliminate (C)

(D) that if recognized and applied, students - this literally implies that it is the students that is 'recognized' and 'applied'. This implication does not make any sense. Hence, eliminate (D)

(E) that if students recognize and apply these skills, they - (E) conveys the meaning in a concise manner and has no error in it. Hence, (E) is the right answer choice.
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Status: GMAT and GRE tutors
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Re: Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that  [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2020, 13:43
monuagarwal1009 wrote:
Hi Experts,

I eliminated option D because recognized and applied are in the past tense and what follows after the comma is in the future tense. So, it is not following the basic structure of the conditional statement. Whereas option E has fixed that error by using the if statement in present tense. Please let me know if this is the right understanding. If not, what is the correct reason?

The bigger problem with choice (D) is the meaning issue described in this post. Let us know if that doesn't answer your question!
_________________
GMAT/GRE tutors @ www.gmatninja.com (we're hiring!) | GMAT Club Verbal Expert | YouTube | Blog | Bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

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SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for \$29.99 | Time management on verbal

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.
Re: Critical-thinking instruction is predicated on two assumptions: that   [#permalink] 08 Jun 2020, 13:43

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