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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick

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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 10:44
generis VeritasKarishma GMATNinja AjiteshArun egmat

I know that verb-ed modifiers modify the noun and here Watson and Crick are the noun.

Don't you think when you read option E, you feel the sentence is a run on?

Kindly help.

Read the text below using the option E.

In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick, elaborated on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.
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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 12:10
arpitkansal wrote:
generis can you explain why "c" in not the correct choice?

arpitkansal - so sorry! I missed this tag.
If I do not answer within 48-72 hours (we have a lot of questions :) ) please, PM me. :)

arpitkansal , JS1290 , AishwaryaV12 , Leonaann , 2asc , and applebear -

I hope that the analysis below helps. You can find it HERE.

Again, apologies.
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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 12:11
josico111 wrote:
Very subtle question. To decide between A and E:

WC accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.

Now, we are at a seperation point. If the act of modeling were elaborating the failed theorems, -ing would be correct. but from the meaning this is not the case. First, they did something (elaborated on the failed theorems), then by doing it (elaborating) they were able to accurately model the DNA.

Therefore, we need to modify WC, not the act of modeling the DNA. -ing modifies the clause. -ed modifies the preceding noun. Answer E.

josico111 , I know that this rule is taught by at least one major test prep company.

True: comma + verbING usually modifies the previous clause.
Not always.

comma + ING can modify an immediately preceding noun(s) or noun phrase, the subject of the previous clause (rare),
or the entire clause.

[spoiler alert: part of reasoning behind a correct answer to official question revealed]

OG VR 2019 contains a problem in which comma + ING

modifies the immediately preceding noun—and only the noun.

You can find that very recent problem HERE.

Takeaway: comma + ING can modify the previous clause or an immediately preceding noun.

Further, what do you do about the incorrect construction of (E)?

Answer A is correct.

In addition to the official example cited, see also Quirk et al. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. (2010 [1985)). §17.34

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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 12:11
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yuktipoddar wrote:
In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick, elaborating on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.

(A) elaborating on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,
(B) elaborating on other scientists’ theories failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,
(C) elaborating on other scientists’ theories which have failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,
(D) elaborated on other scientists’ theories which fail to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,
(E) elaborated on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,
warrior1991 wrote:
generis VeritasKarishma GMATNinja AjiteshArun egmat
I know that verb-ed modifiers modify the noun and here Watson and Crick are the noun.

Don't you think when you read option E, you feel the sentence is a run on?

Kindly help.

Read the text below using the option E.

In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick, elaborated on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.

warrior1991 - you are correct that
• Option E is wrong

-- elaborated acts as a verb, not a participle
-- (E) sticks incorrectly sticks two verb phrases together with a comma but no conjunction
-- so the comma after elaborated . . .entirety is fatal.
-- The comma after Watson and Crick is also fatal.

The word AND without a comma should follow elaborated...entirety (see below)

Let's look at (E) as it stands:

In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick, elaborated on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety, accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.

Ignore the introductory prepositional phrase.
Watson and Crick , elaborated on other ABCs' work which had failed to explain XYZs in their entirety, accurately modeled the 123.

Wrong: Subject + elaborated on + COMMA + modeled

Here is a shorter example with identical structure.
Wrong: Karen, elaborated on her theory, modeled the atom correctly.

Corrected: Subject + elaborated on + AND + modeled (NO comma)
Correct: Karen elaborated on her theory and modeled the atom correctly.

Compare the two short example sentences.
It should be easier to see that (E)'s construction is wrong.

If option (E) is supposed to be a compound predicate (two verb phrases, i.e., two things that Watson and Crick did),
then it needs a comma + and after the "elaborated" phrase.

In that case, the comma after Watson and Crick is not justified.

The structure of (E) should be:

In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick elaborated on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety and accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.

• Option A is correct.

As far as meaning, logic, and sentence structure, (A) makes a lot more sense.
"elaborating" describes Watson and Crick in a way that elaborated cannot.

Jargon: the whole __ING phrase is called a reduced relative clause.
We could write
. . . Watson and Crick, who were elaborating on other scientists' theories that had failed to explain...

That construction makes sense.
It contains a relative clause. Who is the relative pronoun. Were is the verb in the relative clause, which describes Watson and Crick. In English, some clauses can be shortened, as is the case here.

We can "reduce" the relative clause who were elaborating on...
We just remove the who and the were.
Result: elaborating on other scientists'...

-- in the same way as the UNreduced relative clause does, the reduced clause still describes / modifies the nouns -- in this case, Watson and Crick

Option A, as it stands:
In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick, elaborating on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.

This structure in (A) is clear in meaning and logic.
It is also grammatically correct.

We can also check by shortening the sentence, this way:

Watson and Crick, elaborating on ABCs' incomplete theories, accurately modeled the XYZ.
Correct: Subject + comma + modifier + verb.

This OA [of (E)] is wrong.
I will change it to option (A).

I hope that analysis helps.

*we could NOT reduce what would be a relative clause containing elaborated, which could be written who had elaborated. We cannot reduce that relative clause in order to make elaborated a direct modifier of the two scientists because ... The past participle and the past tense verb are identical. elaborated is not acting as a modifying participle in this case.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 12:23
Mudit27021988 wrote:
The difference between A and E is very suttle. If this question were without ",+ING" then would the modification be correct?

Many of us might think that it will be correct since now it is modifying preceding noun.

Honestly. Going with the meaning, I do not see any difference between the two. If using -ed , we should use it without a "comma" that is as a verb to say W&C elaborated and modelled correctly.

If the sentence is to explain how they modelled it taking different factors into consideration , then the use of ING or "comma + ING" should be correct. Idon't think it is right to reject an answer choice because of a comma splice, unless it is impacting the intended meaning, which in this case stays intact.

Posted from my mobile device

Hi Mudit27021988 , this question's original OE was confusing.

Regarding the highlighted part, you should always reject an answer that is a comma splice.
A comma splice is wrong 100% of the time. No exceptions. :)
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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 13:19
medus18 wrote:
"Which" begins a non essential modifier and there should be "," before it. Is that right?

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medus18 , yes.

On the GMAT, which begins a non-essential modifier and should be set off by a comma or by commas.

Occasionally you will see "of which" without commas, but that construct is different.

This source has a habit of using the British English approach, but that approach is not
the way that GMAT tests the issue.

British English: which and that are interchangeable
U.S. English: a debate, although most dictionaries note that formal U.S. writing experts require that for essential modifiers
On the GMAT and in many conventional grammarians' minds: that and which are not interchangeable.
that is for essential modifiers
which is for non-essential modifiers

All of the options in this question contain the same error,
so we can say that (A) is the best of the lot.

If the GMAT authors suddenly decide that which can take the place of that,
the authors almost certainly will not give you a choice.

They, too, will put which in all the answer choices.
I do not believe that such a change is coming anytime soon.

Hope that helps.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 18:27
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Hi generis

Got it finally! thanks a ton :)
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 20:30
warrior1991 wrote:
generis VeritasKarishma GMATNinja AjiteshArun egmat

I know that verb-ed modifiers modify the noun and here Watson and Crick are the noun.

Don't you think when you read option E, you feel the sentence is a run on?

Kindly help.

Read the text below using the option E.

In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick, elaborated on other scientists’ theories which had failed to explain the nucleotide structures and pairings in their entirety,accurately modeled the double-helix DNA.
Hi warrior1991,

generis is right: there are plenty of decision points around elaborated.
1. If elaborated is a modifier, the meaning is wrong.
2. If elaborated is a verb, there should be an and before accurately modeled and there should be no comma after Crick.
3. If elaborated is a verb, the meaning is not very clear. Did they do two separate things (elaborated and modeled)?

However, we are not looking at a run-on (a run-on involves at least two clauses). Also, have you been told that "-ed modifiers" can modify only nouns? If yes, that is not correct.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 23:37
I am still confused why ing modifier will not be accepted here...Can someone please clarify..
Thanks
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2019, 19:00
AjiteshArun Yes, I knew that '-ed' modifiers only modify the noun. But thanks for bringing this to light.

generis As usual, thank you for a fast and comprehensive response.
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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2019, 19:48
Debashis Roy wrote:
I am still confused why ing modifier will not be accepted here...Can someone please clarify..
Thanks

Debashis Roy - on the first page of the thread, other people
incorrectly rejected the ING modifier because
1) the OA was incorrectly listed as (E) rather than (A);

2) posters were trying to justify the [then incorrect] official answer; and

3) in their attempts to justify (E), posters used a very common misconception to justify (E).

People have been taught incorrectly that

comma + present participle phrase
can modify only a previous clause, not a noun.

They also incorrectly believe that only
comma + verbED
can modify a noun.

Those beliefs reflect at least one major prep company's approach, and apparently, Princeton's too.

The posters on the first page of the thread were repeating
inaccurate information in part because they had an inaccurate OA.

For their sake, I noted in this post above, that

comma + verbING can modify the immediately preceding noun.
It makes sense to you. It did not make sense to them when the OA was incorrectly listed as (E).

I hope that the earlier debate is now clear.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2019, 23:29
generis
Thanks I got it...I also selected A as the correct choice since E doesnt make sense in its structure
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In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2019, 23:36
Debashis Roy wrote:
generis
Thanks I got it...I also selected A as the correct choice since E doesnt make sense in its structure

Debashis Roy , I know that you understand which answer is correct.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but you seemed to be wondering
why many others were not choosing as you did and
what all the hullabaloo was about.

I thought when you wrote, "Please clarify,"
you were asking for an explanation of much debate surrounding
what seemed to you to be a straightforward issue.

So I gave you the explanation that I thought you asked for.

If I misunderstood your question, please rephrase it.
I'll amend my answer above to make sure that it looks as if I am speaking of others. Regards.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2019, 23:47
generis

You got me perfectly! I was indeed confused seeing so many responses in favour of E...and you have clarified the matter regarding the wrongly listed correct answer...I appreciate your help..
Thanks again and cheers!
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New post 30 Apr 2019, 11:46
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Debashis Roy wrote:
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja
I am confused how choice E even makes sense?....They elaborated X,accurately modelled Y...cannot be the correct form..Choice A is much better in sense...

Please shed your thoughts


The correct answer is A, not E. Is it possible that they changed the key? Anyway, E doesn't make sense. If E were to be right answer, it would need a conjunction to put elaborately and accurately modelled in parallel. Because it is not, the answer is A - the modifier provides extra information - what they did en route to modelling the DNA.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2019, 08:27
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I have a question regarding the absence of 'comma' before 'which'?.
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2019, 19:55
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rizadhph wrote:
I have a question regarding the absence of 'comma' before 'which'?.
Some people feel comfortable using a which the way they would use a that (without a comma). On the other hand, this is not an official question, so if you wanted to ask whether this usage is correct, the answer is that we can't be sure that it is correct.

For what it's worth, I'd look at something like this as a warning sign, not an "absolute".
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Re: In a cardboard representation of nucleotide subunits, Watson and Crick   [#permalink] 11 Aug 2019, 19:55

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