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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 1: Sentence Correction

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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 B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students C. if students recognize and apply them, that they D. that if recognized and applied, students E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

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.
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Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja and @GMATNinjaTwo in your post.

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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01 May 2017, 09:38

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Is there a typo. "and" should be excluded from the underlined part.

IMO: E To maintain parallelism: Two assumptions: that X and that Y. E is more elegant between D and E since it clearly shows that if skills are applied then outcome. Also, construction: If <present>, then <future> is correct in E

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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02 May 2017, 09:51

E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they

how do we rule out that 'they' after comma doesn't refer to skills? we may say due to meaning. However, I always find it difficult to make such decisions when it comes to pick between meaning of a sentence and a rule. Could any expert please help how do we approach such scenarios with examples.Please!

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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02 May 2017, 10:23

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ManSab wrote:

E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they

how do we rule out that 'they' after comma doesn't refer to skills? we may say due to meaning. However, I always find it difficult to make such decisions when it comes to pick between meaning of a sentence and a rule. Could any expert please help how do we approach such scenarios with examples.Please!

Hi ManSab, you are right. Technically speaking, they is an ambiguous pronoun, since it has two eligible antecedents: students and skills.

In such cases, the pronoun subject (in this case they) can be presumed to refer to noun subject (in this case students) of another clause.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses the usage of ambiguous pronouns, its application and examples in significant detail. Have attached the corresponding section of the book, for your reference.

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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02 May 2017, 11:53

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Hi Ashish.. thanks much! with your 3-step ambiguous pronoun framework, choice E makes perfect sense. 1- 'They' refers to subject pronoun 'students'. 2- 'They' logically refers to 'students'. 3- Structural and logical pronoun are same - usage of pronoun 'they' is correct.

I am now going to find some difficult examples on this subject...

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 10:41

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 Gmatninja, My reasons for elimination of options A through C are in line with yours (due to parallelism issue.) I selected E for a different reason in first reading. Usage of pronoun makes language subtle than repetition of noun. I have an interesting take on option D though. Are recognized and applied verb-ed modifiers which modify students? I didn't catch meaning error that skills needed to be recognized and applied until I read your post. As a rule, verb-ed modifier modifies immediate noun placed next, irrespective of placement of coma. Am I correct? WR, Arpit
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Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 14:05

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Top Contributor

D. that if recognized and applied, students

D's main problem arises from a dangling modification. As such in D, the modifier, if recognized and applied, modifies the students, which is absurd. The genuine modified noun 'skills' is totally absent in the complex sentence. We have to bring the truly modified noun from outside. Therefore, D is defective in grammar.

Coming to E's supposed ambiguity, there is a simple rule of replacement to ascertain the true pronoun reference whether skills or students.

E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they will become better thinkers

1. that if students recognize and apply these skills, (they) skills will become better thinkers. 2. that if students recognize and apply these skills, (they) students will become better thinkers. Now it might be clear which the genuine referent of 'they' is. In matters of pronoun reference, logic is the Supreme Court.
_________________

Can you solve at least some SC questions without delving into the initial statement?

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 02:21

Critical-thinking instruction is predicted 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 B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students C. if students recognize and apply them, that they D. that if recognized and applied, students --> what recognized and applied? E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they
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Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 07:24

Imo E Here we have to maintain parallelism between the highlighted part 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. E rightly does that that if students recognize and apply these skills, they But still i am not 100% confident about my knowledge of that in SC . Can someone explain in detail uses of that. Thanks in advance
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Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 23:00

Critical-thinking instruction is predicted 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 issue - we need that after and B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students - Parallelism issue - we need that after and C. if students recognize and apply them, that they - Parallelism issue - we need that after and D. that if recognized and applied, students - illogical meaning - it suggests that that students are "recognized and applied", and that doesn't make sense. E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they - correct

Answer E
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Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2017, 20:40

Critical-thinking instruction is predicted on two assumptions: that there are clearly identifiable thinking skills that students can be taught to recognize and apply appropriately, andif recognized and applied, students will become more effective thinkers.

A. ifrecognized and applied, students B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students C. if students recognize and apply them, that they D. that if recognized and applied, students E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they _________________

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one - Bruce Lee

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2017, 08:53

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 2 predication : That X & That Y ; parallelism issue - Incorrect B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students Same as A : Incorrect C. if students recognize and apply them, that they Same as A : Incorrect D. that if recognized and applied, students If (past tense) , Then (past tense or would) : Incorrect E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they correct structure "2 predication : That X & That Y" & correct if..then construction - Correct

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2017, 08:55

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 2 predication : That X & That Y ; parallelism issue - Incorrect B. if these skills are recognized and applied, that students Same as A : Incorrect C. if students recognize and apply them, that they Same as A : Incorrect D. that if recognized and applied, students If (past tense) , Then (past tense or would) : Incorrect E. that if students recognize and apply these skills, they correct structure "2 predication : That X & That Y" & correct if..then construction - Correct

Re: QOTD: Critical-thinking instruction is predicted [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2017, 00:24

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 GmatNinja, I have a query with option E- don't you think that they is redundant here. The structure could be- if students recognize and apply these skills, will become ....

option E- that if students recognize and apply these skills, they

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