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# In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh

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Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2016
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2017, 09:48
sudeep wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 698
Page: 687

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

A. due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing
B. due to moisture that tourists had exhaled, thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize
C. because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize
D. because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
E. because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

As per the OG explanation, 'them' in C and D seems to refer to 'tourists', but in E 'them' clearly refers to chambers.
Can someone please explain the concept of the pronoun reference in this case?

What I understood is that:
in the case of E tourists is the noun in the modifier 'exhaled by tourists'. So, 'tourists' loose the significance as it is out of scope for the remaining main sentence/clause. But is is the right creteria to reject the pronoun reference to noun 'tourists'.

PS: I know why the OA mentioned is correct, but need clarification on the above concept of pronoun reference.

I picked the wrong answer because of confusion of the pronoun "Them" . How I fixed the confusion is by rewriting the complete sentence by removing anything which can be removed from the sentence:

In late 1997, the chambers were closed to visitors because moisture had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing .

If we read the above sentence then we can understand that them can refer to chambers only . However, how I removed some parts from sentence is by removing either extra information or modifiers .
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2017, 08:16
In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

A. due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing
B. due to moisture that tourists had exhaled, thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize
C. because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize
D. because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
E. because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

narrow it down to A & E because when we look at the endings only "was crystallizing" is parallel to "fungus was growing"
A can be eliminated because "which" is incorrect as it refers to tourists not to the moisture exhaled by the tourists + "so that" is incorrect,
Moreover option E correctly uses past perfect "had"

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Intern
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2017, 05:24
Hi,

In option E - "because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing"

Isn't them an ambiguous pronoun? i.e. them has 2 possible antecedents - tourists & chambers. How do we know that them is referring to chambers?

Thanks!
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2017, 08:56
ashwinchivukula wrote:
Hi,

In option E - "because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing"

Isn't them an ambiguous pronoun? i.e. them has 2 possible antecedents - tourists & chambers. How do we know that them is referring to chambers?

Thanks!

Use of THEM is not at all ambiguous if you think both Grammatically and Logically.

Can humidity increase inside a tourist because that tourist is exhaling?? I guess your logical answer would be NO
Can humidity increase inside a building because a tourist is exhaling ?? I guess your logical answer would be YES

Hope the explanation would be helpful.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2017, 23:30
In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

(A) due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing
(B) due to moisture that tourists had exhaled,thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize
(C) because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize
(D) because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
(E) because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

For option E - can anyone explain -- how can HAD RAISED be correct here when there are no two past events occurring? My understanding was past perfect can be used when two events are in the past and the earlier event takes the past perfect form.

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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2017, 19:43
1
cuhmoon

Here is sentence structure with correct option:

In late 1997, the chambers (Independent clause - 1 starts)
inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza (modifier)
were closed
to visitors for cleaning and repair because (Independent clause - 1 ends and new IC 2 starts with because)
moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing (IC2 ends)
Exhaled is a verb-ed modifier here and that is a noun modifier referring to levels

As you can now see we clearly have later action - were closed - in simple past and had raised in past perfect to describe former of two events.

Hope this helps!
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2018, 23:54
I need some help to understand this...

I've come across many questions in GMAT sentence correction that have errors of the word "them" having the wrong reference. However, I do feel this is very subject.

For example, in OG question 30 as below, OG's explanation for answer C and D is that there is an unclear reference of "them". However, it claims that the reference in answer E is clear.

(1) is there is a way to judge if "them" is correctly referenced?
(2) should I eliminate an answer simply by the unclear reference of "them"?

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

A. due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing
B. due to moisture that tourists had exhaled, thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize
C. because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize
D. because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
E. because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

Thank you.

Best Regards,
Linda
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2018, 05:07
In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

(A) due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing

(B) due to moisture that tourists had exhaled, thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize

(C) because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize

(D) because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize

(E) because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

Hi GMATNinja please explain me the "them" part of option C D and E. I am not able to make out how "them" refers to tourists in C and D and it refers to chambers in option E.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh  [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2018, 17:17
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, to narrow the options down to find the correct choice! First, let's take a close look at the options, and highlight any major differences in orange:

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

(A) due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing
(B) due to moisture that tourists had exhaled, thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize
(C) because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize
(D) because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
(E) because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

After a quick glance over the options, a few major differences appear:

1. due to / because
2. raised / raising / had raised
3. was crystallizing / crystallize

The easiest way to tackle this would be to focus on #3 on our list: was crystallizing vs. crystallize. This is an issue of parallelism, which is fairly easy to deal with! There are two actions we're dealing with here:

1. salt from the stones crystallizing
2. fungus growing on the walls

The correct choice will use parallel wording and structure for BOTH actions, so let's see how each option breaks down:

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

(A) ...salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.
(B) ...salt from the stone would crystallize and fungus was growing on the walls.
(C) ...salt from the stone would crystallize and fungus was growing on the walls.
(D) ...salt from the stone crystallize and fungus was growing on the walls.
(E) ...salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

We can eliminate options B, C, and D because they don't use the parallel "was crystallizing/was growing" wording.

Now that we only have this narrowed down to 2 options, let's see if we can figure out which one is the better choice:

(A) due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing

This option is INCORRECT because it uses the wrong verb tense. It uses past tense for the phrase "raised its humidity," which actually happened BEFORE the chambers were closed. When we talk about two past tense events, the one that occurred first requires past perfect tense!

(E) because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

This is CORRECT! It uses proper parallel structure with "was crystallizing." It also uses the correct past perfect tense to show that the humidity had risen BEFORE the chambers were shut down.

There you go - option E is the best choice!

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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh &nbs [#permalink] 16 Oct 2018, 17:17

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