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Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged

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Re: Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2020, 01:16
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

AdityaHongunti wrote:
Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged the early warning system’s reports of an incoming nuclear missile on September 26, 1983, to be false and disobeyed orders from his superiors to retaliate, Russia and the United States would likely have entered a large-scale nuclear war.


A. Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged the early warning system’s reports of an incoming nuclear missile on September 26, 1983, to be false and disobeyed orders from his superiors to retaliate, Russia and the United States would likely have entered a large-scale nuclear war.


B. If Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov had not correctly judged the early warning system that reported an incoming nuclear missile on September 26, 1983 to be false and then disobeyed orders from his superiors to retaliate, Russia and the United States likely would have entered a large-scale nuclear war.


C. Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov likely prevented a large-scale nuclear war between the United States and Russia on September 26, 1983 by correctly judging that the early warning system’s reports of an incoming nuclear missile were false, disobeying orders from his superiors to retaliate.


D. On September 26, 1983, Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov correctly judged that the early warning system’s reports of an incoming nuclear missile were false, disobeying orders from his superiors to retaliate and likely preventing the United States and Russia from entering a large-scale nuclear war.


E. On September 26, 1983, Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov likely prevented the United States and Russia from entering a large-scale nuclear war when he disobeyed orders from his superiors to retaliate and correctly judged that the early warning system’s reports that a nuclear missile was incoming were false.


Choice A: Option A conveys the intended meaning of the sentence. Thus, Option A is correct.

Choice B: Option B changes the meaning of this sentence; the intended meaning of the sentence is that Petrov judged the reports produced by the early warning system, but Option B implies that Petrov judged the system itself. Thus, Option B is incorrect.

Choice C: In Option C we see a meaning error caused by the phrase "disobeying orders from his superiors to retaliate."; this phrase modifies "correctly judging that the early warning system’s reports of an incoming nuclear missile were false", implying that Petrov disobeyed his superiors to judge the reports. This construction reverses the correct course of events, wherein Petrov judged the reports to be incorrect and then disobeyed further orders from his superiors. Thus, Option C is incorrect.

Choice D: Option D repeats the modifier errors committed by Option C. Furthermore, Option D also incorrectly links "preventing large-scale nuclear war..." to the action of judging the reports rather than "disobeying orders to retaliate"; in this manner, Option D further distorts the intended meaning of the sentence. Thus, Option D is incorrect.

Choice E: Option E alters the intended meaning of the sentence by reversing the order of clauses; this answer choice incorrectly implies that Petrov's judgment of the reports occurred after he disobeyed orders. Thus, Option E is incorrect.

Hence, A is the best answer choice.

It should be noted here that, in such a sentence we do not require specific markers for subsequent actions, as it is clear from the context what the order of events is.

All the best!
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Re: Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2020, 11:34
Hi experts,egmat
Please could you explain why choice C is incorrect?

C. Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov likely prevented a large-scale nuclear war between the United States and Russia on September 26, 1983 by correctly judging that the early warning system???s reports of an incoming nuclear missile were false, disobeying orders from his superiors to retaliate.

As per the meaning, Stanislav Petrov prevented the war? How did he do so? By disobeying orders from his superiors to retaliate. Since a Verb-ing modifier can modify a preceding clause by describing the 'how' aspect I do not see an error with the verb-ing usage here.

One reason I could think of one reason to eliminate this choice:the use of likely prevented. The war was likely but the prevention was sure-shot.(since he did prevent it). Is my understanding correct?
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Re: Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged   [#permalink] 19 May 2020, 11:34

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Had Russian lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov not correctly judged

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