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# In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma

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Manager
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In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Sep 2018, 21:12
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Question Stats:

75% (01:27) correct 25% (01:24) wrong based on 2335 sessions

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In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.

A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing

B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows

C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing

D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing

E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows

Originally posted by johnycute on 02 Sep 2007, 02:25.
Last edited by Bunuel on 06 Sep 2018, 21:12, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
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Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2013, 13:43
39
19
imhimanshu wrote:
Hello Experts,
Can someone provide reasoning to this question. Its from GPrep.

Thanks
Himanshu

imhimanshu wrote:
Could you please provide your reasoning on Choice C as to why it is incorrect. Also, can you please elucidate a bit on the usage of When.

Dear Himanshu,

I'm happy to help.

Here's the question again:
In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing
E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows

Split #1: the mystery "they", presumably referring to people at the tobacco company. The "major tobacco company" itself is a singular collective noun, which would take a singular verb (as it does!) and a singular pronoun. This is a classic mistake pattern --- using the plural pronoun "they" for singular collective noun (a company, a country, etc.) (B) is incorrect. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/

Split #2: the "which" pronoun after the comma. What "slows" the rate of burning? This entire process --- using the extra paper that decreases the oxygen. We can use a participle to modify a clause ---- "slowing" ---- but we cannot use the relative pronoun "which" to modify a clause. See this blog for another alternative:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... te-a-word/
Here, the answers with "which slows" are incorrect --- (B) & (E) are out.

Split #3: the "and" before the "thereby" is problematic ---- it suggests this parallelism with another participle, which isn't the case. It's awkward. (D) is out.

Split #4: the beginning of the underlined sentence:
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used ... = correct --- passive verb is fine, because we care about the effect, the way the cigarettes wind up, not about who is doing this to the cigarette
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper ... --- the "they" problem discussed in Split #1
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper ... --- this has the active verb "uses" --- what "uses"? Does the "cigarette" "use" "thin "layers of extra paper"???? That is a colloquialism that would in no way be acceptable on the GMAT. This is one reason (C) is incorrect.
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used ... --- has the correct passive, but the preposition "for" is odd. The extra layers of thing paper are used "for" the cigarettes, for the sake of the cigarette?? Something is off about this wording.
E. using thin layers of extra paper ... ---- similar to (C), implies that the "cigarettes" themselves are the agents.

Split #5: to express purpose or intention, use an infinitive, "to decrease", not a preposition + gerund "in decreasing" ---- choices (B) & (E) make this mistake.

Split #6: (as requested) --- the problem with "when" --- this is subtle ---- the phrase "to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette" correctly implies that there's a lot of oxygen out there, that more of it used to enter the cigarette, and now less does. By contrast, the phrase " to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette" illogically suggests that some quantity of oxygen enters the cigarette, and after it enters, somehow inside the cigarette it is decreased, as if there is some magical transmutation of the elements that takes place, so that oxygen that has already entered the cigarette becomes something other than oxygen, so that the amount of the oxygen that already has entered the cigarette is decreased. This is a huge and subtle logical problem with (C).

For all these reasons, the only possible answer is (A), the OA. This is a good challenging question --- typical of the high standards of the GMAT.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

##### General Discussion
Manager
Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 109
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2007, 05:55
2
I will stick with A here.
B and E are out becasue of which clause, here it refers to cigarette whereas it needs to refer to extra paper.
C is out due to clause "when it enters .... this looks awkward.
D is wrong becasue of "and" in "and thereby". I believe that thereby is introducing a subordinate clause so we dont need any conjunction here.
Senior Manager
Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 258
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2013, 18:01
Hello Experts,
Can someone provide reasoning to this question. Its from GPrep.

Thanks
Himanshu
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Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2013, 06:07
23
5
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing --- good modification; correct choice

B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows ---- ‘they’ is a problematic pronoun here- there is no appropriate plural subject to standby for the 'they'. In addition which slows modifies cigarette --

C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing --- cigarette that uses thin layers. Can cigarette use papers?

D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing --- and thereby slowing -- mars //ism. Thereby slowing is a phrase while on the other side of ‘and’ is a clause; in addition, for which is unidiomatic in the context.

E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows --- which slows modifies cigarette. Wrong
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011
Posts: 321
Location: United States
WE: Corporate Finance (Manufacturing)
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2014, 17:36
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing OK - The trap perhaps is "in which" relative pronoun phrase instead of "that" relative pronoun; "in which" = "that".
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows "They" has not logical referent; "which slows" modifies cigarette and not the entire clause so as to indicate a cause and effect relationship.
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing "that uses..." contains many phrases and can be more concise with a subordinate clause (instead of a only relative pronoun); prepositions such as "before" or "after" describes better than "when" relative pronoun; perhaps "when" is even used incorrectly. (Thanks to Mike; we know it is. Thanks Mike!)
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing Testing-marketing is not done "for" thin paper, but rather test-marketing is done for a cigarettes "in which..."
E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows If a subordinate clause is available, use it instead of a list of prepositions; "which shows" improperly modifies the cigarette.
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Joined: 14 Apr 2015
Posts: 14
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2015, 04:49
mikemcgarry wrote:
imhimanshu wrote:
Hello Experts,
Can someone provide reasoning to this question. Its from GPrep.

Thanks
Himanshu

imhimanshu wrote:
Could you please provide your reasoning on Choice C as to why it is incorrect. Also, can you please elucidate a bit on the usage of When.

Dear Himanshu,

I'm happy to help.

Here's the question again:
In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing
E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows

Split #1: the mystery "they", presumably referring to people at the tobacco company. The "major tobacco company" itself is a singular collective noun, which would take a singular verb (as it does!) and a singular pronoun. This is a classic mistake pattern --- using the plural pronoun "they" for singular collective noun (a company, a country, etc.) (B) is incorrect. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/

Split #2: the "which" pronoun after the comma. What "slows" the rate of burning? This entire process --- using the extra paper that decreases the oxygen. We can use a participle to modify a clause ---- "slowing" ---- but we cannot use the relative pronoun "which" to modify a clause. See this blog for another alternative:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... te-a-word/
Here, the answers with "which slows" are incorrect --- (B) & (E) are out.

Split #3: the "and" before the "thereby" is problematic ---- it suggests this parallelism with another participle, which isn't the case. It's awkward. (D) is out.

Split #4: the beginning of the underlined sentence:
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used ... = correct --- passive verb is fine, because we care about the effect, the way the cigarettes wind up, not about who is doing this to the cigarette
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper ... --- the "they" problem discussed in Split #1
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper ... --- this has the active verb "uses" --- what "uses"? Does the "cigarette" "use" "thin "layers of extra paper"???? That is a colloquialism that would in no way be acceptable on the GMAT. This is one reason (C) is incorrect.
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used ... --- has the correct passive, but the preposition "for" is odd. The extra layers of thing paper are used "for" the cigarettes, for the sake of the cigarette?? Something is off about this wording.
E. using thin layers of extra paper ... ---- similar to (C), implies that the "cigarettes" themselves are the agents.

Split #5: to express purpose or intention, use an infinitive, "to decrease", not a preposition + gerund "in decreasing" ---- choices (B) & (E) make this mistake.

Split #6: (as requested) --- the problem with "when" --- this is subtle ---- the phrase "to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette" correctly implies that there's a lot of oxygen out there, that more of it used to enter the cigarette, and now less does. By contrast, the phrase " to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette" illogically suggests that some quantity of oxygen enters the cigarette, and after it enters, somehow inside the cigarette it is decreased, as if there is some magical transmutation of the elements that takes place, so that oxygen that has already entered the cigarette becomes something other than oxygen, so that the amount of the oxygen that already has entered the cigarette is decreased. This is a huge and subtle logical problem with (C).

For all these reasons, the only possible answer is (A), the OA. This is a good challenging question --- typical of the high standards of the GMAT.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hello Mike,
Is the use of comma + and in option D correct ?
Because comma + and is used to represent two independent clauses
but here second clause is actually dependent on first
Is this right ?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2015, 13:05
1
1
divya517 wrote:
Hello Mike,
Is the use of comma + and in option D correct ?
Because comma + and is used to represent two independent clauses
but here second clause is actually dependent on first
Is this right ?

Dear divya517,

I'm happy to respond. The short answer is: NO!

Here's the question again.
In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing
E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows

In (D), what follows the comma and the word "and" is NOT a clause. It's a participle, a modifier that modifies the preceding clause. Putting an "and" in front of a modifying participle, to separate it from what it modifies, is always 100% wrong.
The GMAT is challenging, causing student to study hard. = right
The GMAT is challenging, and causing student to study hard. = wrong

Does this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

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Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2016, 22:05
mikemcgarry wrote:
imhimanshu wrote:
Hello Experts,
Can someone provide reasoning to this question. Its from GPrep.

Thanks
Himanshu

imhimanshu wrote:
Could you please provide your reasoning on Choice C as to why it is incorrect. Also, can you please elucidate a bit on the usage of When.

Dear Himanshu,

I'm happy to help.

Here's the question again:
In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette, thereby slowing
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen that enters the cigarette, and thereby slowing
E. using thin layers of extra paper in decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, which slows

Split #1: the mystery "they", presumably referring to people at the tobacco company. The "major tobacco company" itself is a singular collective noun, which would take a singular verb (as it does!) and a singular pronoun. This is a classic mistake pattern --- using the plural pronoun "they" for singular collective noun (a company, a country, etc.) (B) is incorrect. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/

Split #2: the "which" pronoun after the comma. What "slows" the rate of burning? This entire process --- using the extra paper that decreases the oxygen. We can use a participle to modify a clause ---- "slowing" ---- but we cannot use the relative pronoun "which" to modify a clause. See this blog for another alternative:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... te-a-word/
Here, the answers with "which slows" are incorrect --- (B) & (E) are out.

Split #3: the "and" before the "thereby" is problematic ---- it suggests this parallelism with another participle, which isn't the case. It's awkward. (D) is out.

Split #4: the beginning of the underlined sentence:
A. in which thin layers of extra paper are used ... = correct --- passive verb is fine, because we care about the effect, the way the cigarettes wind up, not about who is doing this to the cigarette
B. in which they use thin layers of extra paper ... --- the "they" problem discussed in Split #1
C. that uses thin layers of extra paper ... --- this has the active verb "uses" --- what "uses"? Does the "cigarette" "use" "thin "layers of extra paper"???? That is a colloquialism that would in no way be acceptable on the GMAT. This is one reason (C) is incorrect.
D. for which thin layers of extra paper are used ... --- has the correct passive, but the preposition "for" is odd. The extra layers of thing paper are used "for" the cigarettes, for the sake of the cigarette?? Something is off about this wording.
E. using thin layers of extra paper ... ---- similar to (C), implies that the "cigarettes" themselves are the agents.

Split #5: to express purpose or intention, use an infinitive, "to decrease", not a preposition + gerund "in decreasing" ---- choices (B) & (E) make this mistake.

Split #6: (as requested) --- the problem with "when" --- this is subtle ---- the phrase "to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette" correctly implies that there's a lot of oxygen out there, that more of it used to enter the cigarette, and now less does. By contrast, the phrase " to decrease the amount of oxygen when it enters the cigarette" illogically suggests that some quantity of oxygen enters the cigarette, and after it enters, somehow inside the cigarette it is decreased, as if there is some magical transmutation of the elements that takes place, so that oxygen that has already entered the cigarette becomes something other than oxygen, so that the amount of the oxygen that already has entered the cigarette is decreased. This is a huge and subtle logical problem with (C).

For all these reasons, the only possible answer is (A), the OA. This is a good challenging question --- typical of the high standards of the GMAT.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hey mikemcgarry, Another great explanation.

Of course I spotted the " ,which " here.

Wanted to understand a bit about the " -ING modifiers" - If there is an "ING word" following a Noun without a COMMA, does it mean to modify the NOUN ? I have read that we need a COMMA ING word if we want to use it as a participle. Do you have any resources that will help me understand this?

Thanks
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2016, 09:41
1
AmanKidCACS wrote:
Hey mikemcgarry, Another great explanation.

Of course I spotted the " ,which " here.

Wanted to understand a bit about the " -ING modifiers" - If there is an "ING word" following a Noun without a COMMA, does it mean to modify the NOUN ? I have read that we need a COMMA ING word if we want to use it as a participle. Do you have any resources that will help me understand this?

Thanks

Dear AmanKidCACS,

I'm happy to respond.

Here's what I am going to say. It is is impossible, impossible, to attain GMAT SC mastery by assembling some ideal list of rules. The Chinese sage Laozi said: "The Way that can be put into words is not the true Way." While this might be more relevant for big questions of destiny and life meaning, there is a sense in which it says something deep about GMAT SC. There are multiple elements of SC mastery that cannot be formulated tersely as rules. For example, as I have mentioned before, apprehending the meaning of the sentence is more important than figuring out what any comma is doing.

As I believe we have discussed, whether what you are calling the "ING word" is a participle or a gerund or part of a full verb is the first issue. If it is a participle, then it's hard to deduce anything universal from the presence or absence of a comma. Context is everything!

Here's the prompt, which is the OA (A):
In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
In that sentence, we have three participles. The first, "entering," clearly modifies the noun that precedes it, "oxygen": the oxygen" is performing the action of "entering the cigarette."
The other two participles, "slowing ... and lowering" are in parallel. These modify the action of the entire clause before the comma. You see, participles can be noun-modifiers or they can be verb-modifiers--modifying the action of a verb or, essentially, the action of an entire clause, since the verb is the heart of any clause.

That's what is happening in this particular sentence, but once again, it's hard to form general rules. I would recommend that you be deeply suspicious of any GMAT prep book that is recommending a ton of rules about SC. Some books make their money by giving students what they ask for rather than what they need.

If you really are committed to improving your verbal performance on the GMAT, I would urge you to cultivate a habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score
Reading is precisely what builds intuition for the language, all those levels of understanding that are subtle & pattern-based rather than clear-cut & rule-based.

Also, I will say that I explain a tremendous amount about GMAT SC in the Magoosh lessons. Here's a free lesson:
Substantive Clauses
Here's a practice SC question:
With American cryptanalysts
When you submit your answer, the following page will have my video explanation. Each one of Magoosh's 1000+ has its own VE: this sort of immediate feedback accelerates the learning process of our students. That's where you would find a compendium of my advice on GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Intern
Joined: 06 Dec 2016
Posts: 9
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Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2017, 22:12
mikemcgarry wrote:
AmanKidCACS wrote:
Hey mikemcgarry, Another great explanation.

Of course I spotted the " ,which " here.

Wanted to understand a bit about the " -ING modifiers" - If there is an "ING word" following a Noun without a COMMA, does it mean to modify the NOUN ? I have read that we need a COMMA ING word if we want to use it as a participle. Do you have any resources that will help me understand this?

Thanks

Dear AmanKidCACS,

I'm happy to respond.

Here's what I am going to say. It is is impossible, impossible, to attain GMAT SC mastery by assembling some ideal list of rules. The Chinese sage Laozi said: "The Way that can be put into words is not the true Way." While this might be more relevant for big questions of destiny and life meaning, there is a sense in which it says something deep about GMAT SC. There are multiple elements of SC mastery that cannot be formulated tersely as rules. For example, as I have mentioned before, apprehending the meaning of the sentence is more important than figuring out what any comma is doing.

As I believe we have discussed, whether what you are calling the "ING word" is a participle or a gerund or part of a full verb is the first issue. If it is a participle, then it's hard to deduce anything universal from the presence or absence of a comma. Context is everything!

Here's the prompt, which is the OA (A):
In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a major tobacco company is test-marketing a cigarette in which thin layers of extra paper are used to decrease the amount of oxygen entering the cigarette, thereby slowing the rate at which it burns and lowering the heat it generates.
In that sentence, we have three participles. The first, "entering," clearly modifies the noun that precedes it, "oxygen": the oxygen" is performing the action of "entering the cigarette."
The other two participles, "slowing ... and lowering" are in parallel. These modify the action of the entire clause before the comma. You see, participles can be noun-modifiers or they can be verb-modifiers--modifying the action of a verb or, essentially, the action of an entire clause, since the verb is the heart of any clause.

That's what is happening in this particular sentence, but once again, it's hard to form general rules. I would recommend that you be deeply suspicious of any GMAT prep book that is recommending a ton of rules about SC. Some books make their money by giving students what they ask for rather than what they need.

If you really are committed to improving your verbal performance on the GMAT, I would urge you to cultivate a habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score
Reading is precisely what builds intuition for the language, all those levels of understanding that are subtle & pattern-based rather than clear-cut & rule-based.

Also, I will say that I explain a tremendous amount about GMAT SC in the Magoosh lessons. Here's a free lesson:
Substantive Clauses
Here's a practice SC question:
With American cryptanalysts
When you submit your answer, the following page will have my video explanation. Each one of Magoosh's 1000+ has its own VE: this sort of immediate feedback accelerates the learning process of our students. That's where you would find a compendium of my advice on GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike
I have heard and read that "comma + which" is the correct modifier usage. Then why in the correct OA, "in which" used in the beginning of the highlighted portion is correct.

SS
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2017, 09:31
2
Ssingh1807 wrote:
Hi Mike
I have heard and read that "comma + which" is the correct modifier usage. Then why in the correct OA, "in which" used in the beginning of the highlighted portion is correct.

SS

Dear Ssingh1807,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, I am going to chide you. Your question is very much characteristic of someone who has been diligent learning rules but who has done far too little reading. Learning lists of rules will not get you anywhere close to GMAT SC mastery. To learn and understand at a deep level, you need to develop a habit of reading. I recommend this blog:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

I'll briefly discuss this particular rule. If the pronoun "which" is the subject of the subordinate clause, as it often is, then most typically it would immediately follow the target noun modified by the clause. In this case, there is always a comma.
Christiaan Huygens was the first to identify the rings of Saturn, which confused Galileo, who had a less powerful telescope.
Nevertheless, sometimes in more sophisticated writing, the pronoun "which" is object of a preposition within the subordinate clause. In this case, the structure is
[target noun][preposition]"which"[subordinate clause]
I just read the book for which the professor wrote the introduction.
This is not a task of which I am capable.

There is no comma in this construction. Once again, this is a feature of particularly sophisticated and well-spoken language. Most of the American population does not speak in this way. The GMAT, though, represents a very high bar, so these forms are typical of what you could see on the GMAT SC.

I also will recommend these two blogs:
That vs. Which on the GMAT
GMAT Grammar: Vital Noun Modifiers

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

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Joined: 17 Aug 2018
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Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2018, 14:02
A seems perfect amidst all the answer choice.
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Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma  [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2018, 05:49
Hi mikemcgarry,

Can you please clarify what 'it' is referring after the underlined part. Is it referring to 'cigarette' or 'oxygen' ?
Also, can we Active Verb with 'it'?
Re: In an effort to reduce the number of fires started by cigarettes, a ma   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2018, 05:49
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