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# Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava

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Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2009, 17:09
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Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting through volcanoes, but they now know that it is continuously created by the heat of the radioactivity deep inside the planet.
A. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting
B. had been an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days and sporadically erupted
C. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted
D. would be an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days that sporadically erupted
E. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, having sporadically erupted
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2009, 17:14
A. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting modifier problem sporadically erupting modifies Earth`s earliest days.
B. had been an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days and sporadically erupted
C. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted same problem as A
D. would be an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days that sporadically erupted not sure with D but i guess D also have modifier problem
E. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, having sporadically erupted modifier problem

I think its B
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2009, 20:31
between B & D
I will go with D. OA please
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2009, 14:16
The OA is A

B suffers from parallelism problems, as it uses the verbs "had been" and "erupted"

A does not have a modifier problem. "Sporadically erupting" is clearly modifying molten rock.
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2009, 23:30
^^OA is already given.. It is A
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2010, 04:37
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Eliminated b,d,e.

Between A and C.

Explanation from MGMAT:

The "ing" ending of erupting essentially allows this modifier to modify an entire clause instead of just the immediately preceding noun (which is the case, for example, in answer choice C - the "which" makes it a noun modifier and it would have to modify "days"). Which, who, where - all of those indicate noun modifiers (and noun modifiers, by definition, have to touch the noun they modify).

therefore A
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2012, 16:13
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My thoughts..

Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting through volcanoes, but they now know that it is continuously created by the heat of the radioactivity deep inside the planet.

A. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting - perfect & parallel
B. had been an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days and sporadically erupted - had been is unnecessary, you need simple past tense.
C. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted - "which" incorrectly modifies "days" but we are attempting to modify molten rock
D. would be an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days that sporadically erupted - "would be" is incorrect here. Wrong tense. They actually BELIEVED it was a molten rock, not that it "would be". Grammar & understanding the passage helps eliminate this.
E. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, having sporadically erupted - "having" is unnecessary. It also changes the meaning slightly.
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2013, 10:22
I have one query regarding possessive noun, here it;s mentioned as- remnant of Earth's earliest days, how can we say remnant of earth's.., someone please explain.
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2013, 10:27
veenu08 wrote:
I have one query regarding possessive noun, here it;s mentioned as- remnant of Earth's earliest days, how can we say remnant of earth's.., someone please explain.

Hi Veenu,

You need to look at the full phrase. Without going into the grammar - it is saying "remnant of the earliest days of earth" = "remnant of EARTH's earliest days". So the possessive is talking about "earliest days". Earth, the planet, doesn't actually exist in that part of the sentence.

Does that help?
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2013, 10:43
As per my understanding it is the remnant of earth of early days, but here its giving me the notion that it is the remnant of early days (which makes the sentence sounds weird).

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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2013, 10:51
veenu08 wrote:
As per my understanding it is the remnant of earth of early days, but here its giving me the notion that it is the remnant of early days (which makes the sentence sounds weird).

Remnant of earth of early days is incorrect I would say. Because you're being ambiguous if you say that. You're specifically talking about THE EARLY DAYS of EARTH. This translates directly into Earth's early days. Throwing remnant in there: Remnant of Earth's early days. This means the: remains of the early days of earth.

You also need to look at the full sentence if you're having trouble understanding - what is it saying? It is saying that Scientists thought the lava is left over from the earliest days of earth, sporadically erupting through volcanoes. Scientists now know that the lava is not from the earliest days of earth, as it is constantly being made deep inside the planet. The most efficient way to say this is as seen in the correct answer
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2013, 00:25
Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting through volcanoes

when we use ing modifiers with comma, as far as I know it is either giving additional information or result of the preceding clause.

Here, the preceding clause is Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days. Am I wrong? Hence, it is modifing geologists not molten rock.

I would really appreciate if you could share your views.
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2013, 00:42
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@hfirat - we have a subordinator -that- which begins a new clause .The subject of this clause is molten rock.Hence the erupting is modifying the rock. Hope this helps
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2013, 00:35
Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting through volcanoes, but they now know that it is continuously created by the heat of the radioactivity deep inside the planet.
A. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting - Correct, the modifier modifies the subject of the preceding clause "lava". My understanding is that this is the rule for participle modifiers..
B. had been an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days and sporadically erupted - Present perfect tense is not required.
C. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted - problem with the "which" attached to the noun phrase in an incorrect manner
D. would be an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days that sporadically erupted - Subjunctive is not needed
E. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, having sporadically erupted - use of having means the sporadic eruption caused the Geologists to think.
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2013, 05:37
I am confused with option C
OG 13 , Q. 29 is an example in which the relative pronoun "which" isn't touching the noun it is meant to modify .
C.was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted
in this case ,if which refers to the underground remnant will the sentence be correct.
Also ,in which cases can one apply this exception to the touch rule
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2013, 05:42
alwaysudit wrote:
I am confused with option C
OG 13 , Q. 29 is an example in which the relative pronoun "which" isn't touching the noun it is meant to modify .
C.was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted
in this case ,if which refers to the underground remnant will the sentence be correct.
Also ,in which cases can one apply this exception to the touch rule

Generally speaking which can refer not to the touching noun in constructs like this:

noun + modifier, which

in this case the use of which is legit. Refer here for more noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

Hope it helps
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2013, 07:41
Cantona wrote:
My thoughts..

Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting through volcanoes, but they now know that it is continuously created by the heat of the radioactivity deep inside the planet.

A. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, sporadically erupting - perfect & parallel
B. had been an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days and sporadically erupted - had been is unnecessary, you need simple past tense.
C. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, which sporadically erupted - "which" incorrectly modifies "days" but we are attempting to modify molten rock
D. would be an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days that sporadically erupted - "would be" is incorrect here. Wrong tense. They actually BELIEVED it was a molten rock, not that it "would be". Grammar & understanding the passage helps eliminate this.
E. was an underground remnant of Earth's earliest days, having sporadically erupted - "having" is unnecessary. It also changes the meaning slightly.

I am having problems with "erupting"....
This does not keep the tense of the sentence.
The sentence is in past, while "erupting" is in present tense...
No?
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2014, 19:27
I eliminated A, because the modifier "sporadically erupting" distorts the meaning by modifying the entire preceding clause. To me it implies that the beliefs of the geologists sporadically erupted instead of the lava. I chose B, because the past perfect makes clear that the lava was an underground remnant before the geologists formed their belief. Can someone explain to me where I am making a mistake?
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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2014, 13:50
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I knew that A is wrong... only C makes some sense.. wasted 2 hours in refreshing all concepts of ing modifer and relative clause modifying distant noun, gmatclub thread and following thread. Finally, I am happy because I can rely on my knowledge.

Ron said:::
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/geo ... 22-45.html

We are retiring this problem in its current form, because it has several issues.

First, as you point out, "which" is not necessarily wrong here.

Second -- and more importantly -- the ostensibly correct answer to this problem doesn't actually work.
In choice A, the modifier "sporadically erupting..." does not describe anything in the preceding part, so it doesn't make sense as a "comma + __ing" modifier (which must meaningfully describe the subject+action of the preceding sentence).
Incidentally, choice A of the Dickinson problem (OG12 #26) is wrong for exactly the same reason!

This problem is no longer in our database. It will be replaced by an updated (and fully correct) version soon.

Because the problem is no longer in the database, this thread is now retired.

Thanks.

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Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2014, 11:33
PiyushK wrote:
I knew that A is wrong... only C makes some sense.. wasted 2 hours in refreshing all concepts of ing modifer and relative clause modifying distant noun, gmatclub thread and following thread. Finally, I am happy because I can rely on my knowledge.

Ron said:::
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/geo ... 22-45.html

We are retiring this problem in its current form, because it has several issues.

First, as you point out, "which" is not necessarily wrong here.

Second -- and more importantly -- the ostensibly correct answer to this problem doesn't actually work.
In choice A, the modifier "sporadically erupting..." does not describe anything in the preceding part, so it doesn't make sense as a "comma + __ing" modifier (which must meaningfully describe the subject+action of the preceding sentence).
Incidentally, choice A of the Dickinson problem (OG12 #26) is wrong for exactly the same reason!

This problem is no longer in our database. It will be replaced by an updated (and fully correct) version soon.

Because the problem is no longer in the database, this thread is now retired.

Thanks.

Thanks for your input PiyushK. You have saved me and those who have read your post so much time by typing this comment
Re: Geologists once thought that the molten rock known as lava   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2014, 11:33

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