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For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official

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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2019, 07:28
Hi GMATNinja is it okay to reject E, because 'it' has no clear referent?
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 03:25
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Manat wrote:
Hi GMATNinja is it okay to reject E, because 'it' has no clear referent?

In general, you want to try to avoid eliminating an answer choice solely because a pronoun is ambiguous, since pronoun ambiguity is not an absolute rule. (More on that in this video.) But if a pronoun has no logical referent at all, then you can eliminate that answer choice with confidence.

Take another look at (E): "For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are officially a minority in California amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from what it was a decade ago by nearly three-quarters." First, "it" seems to refer to the noun phrase "half the population." If we substitute the referent in place of the pronoun, we get the notion that half the population is down from what half the population was a decade ago. That makes no sense.

Even worse, if we argue that "it" refers to the "population," the meaning seems to be that the non-Hispanic white population was reduced by three-quarters. The author isn't saying that 75% of the white population was wiped out! Rather, we want to communicate the idea that the fraction of the population comprised by non-Hispanic Whites went from three quarters to a little less than a half, as (D) suggests.

Takeaway: it's not necessarily a crime to have an ambiguous pronoun, but there has to be something the pronoun can logically refer to. If there isn't, we can confidently eliminate the option in question.

I hope that helps!
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 02:13
I do not agree that in choice A, "which" modifies "california" and so, is wrong. in many og question, 'which" can jump over a noun modifier to modify a far noun. so, "which' can jump over "in california" to modify "minority". this is good

why is choice A wrong? pls help
thanks
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 04:31
thangvietnam

To your question regarding if "in california" is adjectevial or adverbial preposition.

I believe since "in california" is adverbial preposition, it can jump over.

I understand your question regarding that it can also be adjectivial prepositon.

Here is an example:
Ex 1 - The book on the table is well regarded
Here "on the table" is adjective because it is that specific book we are talking about

Ex2 - The book is on the table
Here "on the table" is adverbial phrase. It describes "where" the book is currently

Now into the question.

Ex1 - Non-Hispanic Whites are officially a minority in California
Here I would argue "in california" is adverbial phrase because moving "in california" to the beggining of the sentence won't change the meaning

Ex2 - Non-Hispanic Whites in California went to the store.
Here "in california" specifically needs to modify non-hispanic whites so it is adjective prepositional phrase. Moving "in california" further away from the noun changes the meaning.

Please let me know if I am wrong. I am learning about how modifiers can jump over prepositional phrases
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 07:20
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Some good points are being made in this thread about how modifiers can describe either nouns or noun phrases. The most common application of this on the GMAT is with prepositional phrases and noun-specific modifiers:

noun + prepositional phrase (preposition + noun) + relative clause/appositive

We normally think of relative clauses ("wh-" and "that) and appositives (noun phrases) as modifying the closest noun, but they can also modify an entire noun phrase. In other words, they can describe the noun from the prepositional phrase OR the noun the prepositional phrase describes.

There's a lot of discussion going on about whether or not "a minority in California" is a noun phrase, and whether or not the relative clause in A and B can describe "a minority" as well as California. However, it doesn't matter for this problem. Do we want to say that "a minority" is a little less than 1/2 the population of the state, but it used to be 3/4 the population of the state? That doesn't make sense — how could "a minority" have been 3/4 the population of the state? That's the opposite of what minority means! So the relative clause shouldn't describe either "California" or "a minority".

To make this sentence logical, we want to say that "non-Hispanic whites" make up a little less than 1/2 the population of the state, but used to make up 3/4 the population of the state. "Non-Hispanic whites" are separated from the relative clause by a verb "are), so there's no way they're part of a noun phrase the relative clause could modify. In fact, "Non-Hispanic whites" is the subject of the sentence. Thus, we don't want a relative clause — we want a participial phrase ("-ing" or -"ed") because it can modify the subject of the sentence.

It's important to know the subtleties of modifier rules, but it's just as important to think about meaning. Be sure to figure out what you think the sentence should say before getting too lost in the weeds of complicated grammatical issues.
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2019, 02:25
pls, permit me posting one time more.
back to why choice a is wrong.

"a" is a indefinite article. this kind of article show two things
the first thing is "any noun of the kind". for example, a dog barks.
the second thing is "a certain noun of the kind". for example, a dog is barking at the door.

so, choice a can be one of the 2 possibilites and, is

any minority in california, which amount to less than half of the population.

this is absurd . choice a is wrong.

a second point i want to make.

we see that on many sc problems, gmat change adverbial relation, as that in choice d, into non defining adjectival relation, as that in choice a.
adverbial relation is normally right because 2 ideas are in adverbial relation, one action modifying another.

non defining adjectival relation is normally wrong because one idea become non defining adjectival. the meaning of the sentence with adjectival phrase is not as full as that of sentence with adverbial phrase.

am i right?
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2020, 21:42
akashgupta wrote:
Guys,

There is nothing called wordy in SC. These are all misleading statements.

We all know why we dont choose A B or C. Between D and E. We choose D because E changes the meaning of the sentence. If you look closely, E says it has come down by three quarters where as it should be down from nearly three quarters since it has been compared to one half.

Does that make sense?

Thanks,
Akash


Great points!! Questions like these mostly come down to 2-3 answers and then narrowing down from the remaining options in the fastest way helps.
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For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2020, 12:10
egmat wrote:
nishatfarhat87 wrote:
For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are officially a minority in California, which amounts to a little less than half the population of the state, down from nearly three-quarters only a decade ago.

A. which amounts to a little less than half the population of the state, down from nearly three-quarters only a decade ago

B. which amounts to a little less than half the population of the state, down from a decade ago, when it was nearly three-quarters

C. and that amounts to a little less than half the population of the state, down from a decade ago, when they were nearly three-quarters

D. amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from nearly three-quarters a decade ago

E. amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from what it was a decade ago by nearly three-quarters



Please confirm if my analysis of other options is correct:
a and b. As you mentioned because A and B have which and it modifies California therefore it is incorrect. Also, in B the phrase down from a decade ago changes the meaning hence incorrect.
c. 2 errors. It removes the causality and places them as 2 diffrent clauses giving equal weightage. Also, similarly the phrase down from a decade ago changes the meaning
e. down from what it was a decade ago by nearly three-quarters. Here it has no antecedent. This is wordy and unclear.

Please confirm if I am right.



Hi Nishat,

Yes, for most part, your analysis is correct. In choice C, usage of that is incorrect as that cannot refer to a clause. So I would not say that this choice removes the causality. I would say that this choice presents the causality in an ungrammatical manner.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


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Could you please let me know why option 'E amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from what it was a decade ago by nearly three-quarters' is incorrect.
Is it because its wordier than option D or does it change the meaning? In case it is changing the meaning, then how is it doing so?

I get the issue with option E, it changes the intended meaning.
According to the sentence: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are officially a minority in California, which amounts to a little less than half the population of the state, down from nearly three-quarters only a decade ago.

We can infer the population of non-Hispanic Whites is now less than 50% of the population of California whereas it used to be 75% of the population a decade.
Option D: amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from nearly three-quarters a decade ago keeps the meaning intact whereas

Option E : amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from what it was a decade ago by nearly three-quarters distorts the meaning, as now it means that the population has decreased by 75% of what it used to be a decade ago. This is not the intended meaning of the original sentence.

Hence, we can reject option E and continue with option D.
Please let me know if my understanding is correct.
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