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

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

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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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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

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New post 02 Oct 2009, 08:50
sudeep wrote:
Quote:
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

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E


My question:

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 wonder what you mean by saying tourists loose the significance as it is out of scope

coming back to the pronoun reference issue -- I think the reason THEM refers to tourists in C and D and not in E
is that in C and D there is an intervening Clause which introduces TOURISTS in such a way that it can act as a more proximate antecedent (than chambers); recall that a pronoun refers to the nearest logical antecedent

In C -- it says -- Tourists WERE exhaling moisture ---- hence TOURISTS can act as a subject in its own right.

In D -- it says -- because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists -- again here even though the subject of the relative clause introduced by THAT is MOISTURE yet THEM cannot refer to moisture but instead refers to the predicate of the clause (Tourists) in this case.

In E if you notice because moisture exhaled by tourists cannot position tourist as a likely antecedent (because 'tourists' is part of a phrase and hence cannot stand on its own as a subject).

I am not sure if I was able to explain. Let me know if you need further explanation and I will try to explain again.

To be sure --- C and D have other problems which made eliminating them a lot easier -- to the extent that I had missed the pronoun reference entirely -- until you pointed it out.

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

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New post 02 Oct 2009, 09:40
dwivedys wrote:
I wonder what you mean by saying tourists loose the significance as it is out of scope
I was thinking in the similar lines of your explanation of E.
dwivedys wrote:
coming back to the pronoun reference issue -- I think the reason THEM refers to tourists in C and D and not in E
is that in C and D there is an intervening Clause which introduces TOURISTS in such a way that it can act as a more proximate antecedent (than chambers); recall that a pronoun refers to the nearest logical antecedent
Agree..!
dwivedys wrote:
In C -- it says -- Tourists WERE exhaling moisture ---- hence TOURISTS can act as a subject in its own right.
This is fine.
dwivedys wrote:
In D -- it says -- because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists -- again here even though the subject of the relative clause introduced by THAT is MOISTURE yet THEM cannot refer to moisture but instead refers to the predicate of the clause (Tourists) in this case.
In this case,

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair 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 and fungus was growing on the walls.

Lets cut it short.

the chambers [strike]inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza[/strike] were closed to visitors [strike]for cleaning and repair[/strike] because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them [strike]to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize and fungus was growing on the walls.[/strike]

the chambers were closed to visitors because of moisture that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them.

this sentence can be broken down in 2 ways:

i) the chambers were closed to visitors because of moisture (that was exhaled by tourists) raising the humidity within them.

ii) the chambers were closed to visitors because of moisture (that was exhaled by tourists raising the humidity within them).
Is it correct? In this case 'raising the humidiy...' is modifying the tourists not the noun phrase "moisture...tourists".
in (ii) 'them' seems to refer to tourists.

can this be the reason.
dwivedys wrote:
In E if you notice because moisture exhaled by tourists cannot position tourist as a likely antecedent (because 'tourists' is part of a phrase and hence cannot stand on its own as a subject).


So does that mean if we have noun in the phrase modifier in the main clause, pronoun shouldn't refer back to it?

So is the below sentence incorrect?
"Book X written by John is not his best work."
dwivedys wrote:
I am not sure if I was able to explain. Let me know if you need further explanation and I will try to explain again.

To be sure --- C and D have other problems which made eliminating them a lot easier -- to the extent that I had missed the pronoun reference entirely -- until you pointed it out.


I too look into the pronoun issue only after looking the explanation.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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RULE: If a noun is neither subject nor object of main clause/sentence then it doesn't introduce pronoun ambiguity in that sentence.

Can this rule be true?; if I change choice E a little bit as follows, what will be the effect and will it still stick to the above rule?

Revised E) because moisture exhaled by tourists during ‘their respiration’ had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

What will the pronoun ‘their’ refer to in the slightly revised version? Tourists or chambers? Logically of course to tourists, becos, the chambers can not respire after all. However, As per rule, ‘their’ should first refer to the subject of the main sentence, namely, ‘the chambers’.

Can the quoted rule be universal? How can we exclude pronoin anbiguity other than by
logic?
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2011, 04:09
Let us take the idiom route to solve this. ‘Such levels that’ is the right idiom and you have that in B and E only. Between B and E, B is too awkward for using wrong reasons such as the chambers being closed due to moisture rather than due to the raised levels of humidity and for using the future modal ‘would crystallize’. E is the choice by POE. I took the pronoun ‘them’ in its stride to mean the chambers.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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The answer choice I picked was E:

A. There are a few problems I noticed in this answer choice. Firstly, the pronoun "its" refers back to chambers, but chambers is plural. Therefore, there is a problem with the number of the pronoun. I also did not like the use of "which" as a modifier here because it seems to modify tourists and not the phrase "moisture exhaled by tourists." Finally, the word "so" is unnecessary.

B. The first problem I noticed was "had exhaled." The use of past perfect tense is not needed when simple past would be perfectly sufficient. Also, "would crystallize" is not parallel to the last phrase.

C. "Would crystallize" is not parallel to the last phrase.

D. Again the last phrases are not parallel.

Therefore, I am left with the answer choice E.

In choice C and D, the word "them" is separated from tourists and chambers by a clause. Therefore, I thought this pronoun was ambiguous. If you notice in choice E, it makes logical sense that "them" can only refer to chambers.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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I understand why A,B and D are out. Can you use one of the 10 core frameworks to explain C vs E?



Look at X&Y consistency when you see the keyword "and" after the underlined portion.

You notice the second half says "...and fungus was growing on the walls"

So whatever is to the left of the word "and" needs to be consistent.

Between (C) and (E) - which would you choose?

(C): "..such that salt from the stone would crystallize"

(E): "..to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing"

Between the two, we need (E) so we get:

"[X] was crystallizing and [y] was growing"

So as you can see, this is simply an X&Y consistency question.

We've also posted a video solution to this question here: http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... /(OG12-006)%20(OG13-008)%20-%20Pyramid%20Chambers/question/1844

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

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(A) due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing
1: Modifier Error - which refers to tourists
2: Pronoun Number - "its" should refer to "chambers" - thus number error.
3: Meaning - Use of "due to" implies that the closure of chambers was caused by moisture. This is not correct because closure was caused by the effect of the moisture as explained in choice E.

(B) due to moisture that tourists had exhaled, thereby raising its humidity to such levels that salt from the stone would crystallize
1: Verb tense - had exhaled is incorrect verb tense.
2: Parallelism - "salt would crystallize" is not parallel to "fungus was growing".
3: Meaning - Use of "due to" implies that the closure of chambers was caused by moisture. This is not correct because closure was caused by the effect of the moisture as explained in choice E.

(C) because tourists were exhaling moisture, which had raised the humidity within them to levels such that salt from the stone would crystallize
1: Verb Tense - " were exhaling" is incorrect verb tense; "had raised" is incorrect verb tense.
2: Parallelism - "salt would crystallize" is not parallel to "fungus was growing".

(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
1: Modifier Error - "raising humidity" appears to modify "tourists" - incorrect
2: Parallelism - "salt crystallize" is not parallel to "fungus was growing".

(E) because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing
Correct.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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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 rised 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 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

Doubt 1:
In OE for options C and D, it is mentioned that "them" in C and D seems to refer to tourists. But OE for E says that "them" in E clearly talks about chambers.
My understanding for this is as below reasons can you please confirm if my analysis is correct ?

In E : "exhaled by tourists" is a modifier that is modifying moisture and so the sentence "moisture had raised the humidity within them" is the sentence and so it is more clear that "them" refers to chambers.

In D: "tourists raising the humidity within them" "raising the humidity with in them" modifies "tourists". Hence, it looks like "them" refers to "tourists".

Not sure of the case with C.

Doubt 2:
In option A, idiom "such levels so that" is used. Is this correctly used ?

Doubt 3:
It is mentioned that "due to" is used imprecisely to express causal relation. Can you please eloborate on how "due to" can be used effectively to express these relations?
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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dc1509 wrote:
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 rised 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 them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
e. because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity with them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

Doubt 1:
In OE for options C and D, it is mentioned that "them" in C and D seems to refer to tourists. But OE for E says that "them" in E clearly talks about chambers.
My understanding for this is as below reasons can you please confirm if my analysis is correct ?

In E : "exhaled by tourists" is a modifier that is modifying moisture and so the sentence "moisture had raised the humidity within them" is the sentence and so it is more clear that "them" refers to chambers.

In D: "tourists raising the humidity within them" "raising the humidity with in them" modifies "tourists". Hence, it looks like "them" refers to "tourists".

Not sure of the case with C.

Doubt 2:
In option A, idiom "such levels so that" is used. Is this correctly used ?

Doubt 3:
It is mentioned that "due to" is used imprecisely to express causal relation. Can you please eloborate on how "due to" can be used effectively to express these relations?


Your understanding for D and E seems to be correct. But I would like to add one point here. Its not the proximity which defines the pronoun referrent but the subject of the sentence. In E, there is only one clause and that itself has "chambers" as the subject. Whereas in D, the relative clause starting with "that" contains "tourists" as the subject.
This is the reason for ambiguity and hence incorrect.

Option C is a total disaster in that :
i) because + verb-ing form is incorrect on GMAT
ii) "them" may refer to "tourists".
iii) usage of "such that" implies intention, nowhere mentioned in the intended meaning. Hence incorrect.

Doubt 2: "such levels so that"- incorrect because of two issues:
i) such levels implies that we have already talked about some levels and here mean to refer to those levels only, but nowhere we have talked about some levels.
ii) so that implies intention, which is incorrect here.

Doubt 3: Yes "due to" is used to show a causal relation. Whenever you see "due to" just replace it with "caused by" and then analyze whether there is any causal relation or not. If there is then "due to" is fine.

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

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New post 19 Dec 2012, 05:27
dc1509 wrote:
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 rised 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 them to levels so high as to make the salt from the stone crystallize
e. because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity with them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing

Doubt 1:
In OE for options C and D, it is mentioned that "them" in C and D seems to refer to tourists. But OE for E says that "them" in E clearly talks about chambers.
My understanding for this is as below reasons can you please confirm if my analysis is correct ?

In E : "exhaled by tourists" is a modifier that is modifying moisture and so the sentence "moisture had raised the humidity within them" is the sentence and so it is more clear that "them" refers to chambers.

In D: "tourists raising the humidity within them" "raising the humidity with in them" modifies "tourists". Hence, it looks like "them" refers to "tourists".

Not sure of the case with C.

Doubt 2:
In option A, idiom "such levels so that" is used. Is this correctly used ?

Doubt 3:
It is mentioned that "due to" is used imprecisely to express causal relation. Can you please eloborate on how "due to" can be used effectively to express these relations?



You analysis is fine. I agree with Marcab above that pronoun usage here is based on the sentence construction (tourist (subject of the clause) ....and hence the pronoun 'them' refers back to 'tourists' and not chambers and you can check if replacing 'due to' with 'caused by' still makes sense

more about due to VS because--- Due to modifies Nouns only and Because modifies Clauses. Due to will show direct causal relation to the Noun

eg-- From the helicopter, I saw a 6-mile long traffic jam, due to an overturned truck --'due to' modifies noun JAM caused directly by the overturned truck.

eg--I came late to the meeting, due to the traffic --The usage is INCORRECT since 'due to' modifies noun Meeting and the traffic does not cause the meeting (not a direct causal relation)
to correct it we will use because.
I came late to the meeting, because of the traffic. Here Because modifies the entire previous clause 'I came late to the meeting'

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

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New post 19 Dec 2012, 07:12
A series of doubts have been raised and answered on this episode. If have that much of time to think about, well you can and should go through this kind of algorithm. However, for those who may not be unfortunate to afford that luxury, here is a short- cut via grammar. As per the tenets of Parallelism, what form follows after -and -, should be there before- and - also, especially when the second arm is un-underlined. In this context, the text says in the second part -- and fungus was growing on the walls. – To go in tandem with this past progressive tense after - and- , we should have yet another past progressive tense before the –and-. You might see only A and E have such //ism.
In A, such levels so that is bad idiom; such levels that is the right idiom. So, E is the choice.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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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

whenever you see parallel marker "and" always check if in current context is there any list? if yes...then you have to maintain symmetry to the both side of and...and this is what we have to do here!!
1.right side of "and" is ---> fungus was growing
2. hence left side of "and" should be ----> was crystallizing

thus we left with only two choices A & E
in Option A,Modifier its is not a correct usage since "its"(singular) is trying to refer "tourists" (plural)

so E is the correct choice..
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2013, 12:56
Immediately notice two forms to begin the phrase: "due to moisture..." and "because..."

A) sounds generally right. But upon reading the comma ", which" - we see that the "which" phrase should describe the word immediately next to the comma. The way the sentence is structured, the phrase after "which" is describing "tourists" when it really should be describing "moisture". How do we know that? Clearly the phrase is talking about raising humidity levels - it's the moisture that is doing this not the tourists.

So A) is out.

C) has the comma next to "which" but somehow putting the blame on tourists directly sounded weird to me. So I went on to D and E.

D) "because of moisture" - sounded weird off the bat. Sentence would have been fine as "because of moisture" and ended it there. But adding a bunch of phrases after that doesn't make the sentence sensible.

E) "Because moisture.." blah blah blah
You can cut the fluff to see if the sentence makes sense
"because moisture [ ] had raised the humidity within them [presumably the chambers inside the pyramid] to such levels that...."

Looks okay.
Quick check on (B) shows that this sentence is getting too long. It's supposed to end a sentence, but extends it with ", thereby..." Sentence is too long and (E) works out better.
"Its" is actually ok here and not what you should be focusing on for this question
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2013, 22:21
metallicafan wrote:
I don't think that the explanation given by GMAT Tiger is enough. There must be a grammatical explanation, not only logical.

Anyone who can answer the question, please?:why "them" is correctly referring to the chambers in E and not to tourists as in C,D (as per explanation in OG 12)

Thanks!



I understand your thinking

think this way

pronoun ambiguity can be acceptable if there is not better choice. pronoun ambiguity is not absolute grammar rule such as subject-verb agreement or tense usage.

pronoun ambiguity can be CORRECT BUT NOT PREFERED.

I write about CORRECT BUT NOT PREFERED in many places on the internet,. pplease read and clear your doubt of some patterns in sc gmat.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2013, 07:58
Hi folks,

Seems that Nobody has answered "Why them in C/D is ambiguous while it is perfect in E". Here is what I think:

Whenever I do SC I just ask question to me why why and thereby I get closer.

We already know that non-underlined part is EFFECT and is the main clause/main idea about which we will talk.

Consider (C).

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

Lets dissect it.

Clause: tourists were exhaling moisture
Clause: which had raised humidity within them to levels.

Knowing the fact that we already stated the effect and now we are talking about the cause so for
the clause starting with which , it depends on the clause started with because thereby it refers back
to "tourists".

Consider (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

Dissect it:

because of X that...Blah Blah.

Because of moisture exhaled by tourists raising humidity levels within them .

'them' clearly refers back to tourists.

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

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New post 26 Sep 2014, 23:25
I assume that there's no question that option E is the correct answer. Now the question to what "them" is referring is more logical than grammatical? Here's my take -

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing.

option 1 - In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within the chambers to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing.

option 2 - In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within tourists to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing.

Logically moisture increasing inside the tourists (humans) sounds awkward therefore in my opinion, Option 1 is a better choice any day.

I request @e-gmat or any other expert to reply on this post.

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

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New post 17 Nov 2014, 11:11
thuylinh wrote:
I saw the explanation in OG and they said that (D) is wrong because them refer to tourists.

While (E) is correct and them is understood as "chambers".

Can anyone show me the difference of these two options?

Many thanks.

GMAT TIGER wrote:
srini123 wrote:
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


A, B and D are out for "due to" and "because of". Both are GMAT unfavorables.
C and E are close. The obvious problem with C is that it has passive construction. C is also not parallel to the last part of the sentence.

Why "them" refers to "chambers' not "tourists" is a matter of logical reasoning. If "them" does not refers to "chambers" but tourist, it makes the sentence so illogical that the meaning would be tourists exhaled moisture within themselves (tourist) not in the chambers and this act raises the humidity within the tourists. In that case, the meaning of the sentence becomes completely illogical.

So E is best...


I will suggest you to solve from OG and read the explanations of the SC questions from the forum.

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.

due to -> acts as an adjective hence can modify only the noun.
For example cancellation of the match was due to heavy rain -> Correct -> Due to is modifying cancellation
The match was cancelled due to heavy rain -> Wrong as Due to is modifying the verb - Cancelled.

(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
would -> gives an impression that the action is still doubtful which doesn't make sense as the event happened in the past.

(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
raising -> cannot be a verb -> it is acting as a modifier modifying the closest noun (Tourist) -> Which is wrong
had raised -> Correctly used in Option C) and Option E)

(E) because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing -> Correct
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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thuylinh wrote:
I saw the explanation in OG and they said that (D) is wrong because them refer to tourists.

While (E) is correct and them is understood as "chambers".

Can anyone show me the difference of these two options?

Let us look at E. The clause we are talking about is:

Moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them

If them in any way had to refer to tourists, then the sentence would have used the reflexive pronoun themselves.

For example, which of the following would you say:

i) The phenomenal GMAT score made thuylinh proud of her.

Or

ii) The phenomenal GMAT score made thuylinh proud of herself.

Clearly if thuylinh is proud that she scored phenomenally on GMAT, then the usage has to be herself.

In D however, the clause is:

that was exhaled by tourists

So, them is outside this clause and hence, has multiple antecedents.

Having said this, pronoun ambiguity should not be your first reason to disregard an answer choice. As others have already mentioned, there are several other more apparent reasons why D is not correct.
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2015, 01:18
apolo wrote:
sudeep wrote:
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?

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


Still no answer has been found for this question, in bold?!

This has to do with bit of a logical reasoning. In C, D and E, let's identify the clause that tourists is a part of:

C. because tourists were exhaling moisture (verb is were)
D. that was exhaled by tourists (verb is was)
E. moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them (verb is had)

Notice that them is a part of the same clause as tourists is, only in E. Now here is the thing. When an object pronoun (such as them in this case) is used, it can never refer to a noun in the same clause. This is just a logical reasoning thing. Let's take an example.

Suppose Peter scored exceptionally well and was proud of his marks. Would we say:

i) After scoring well, Peter was proud of him.

Or

ii) After scoring well, Peter was proud of himself.

Clearly ii). him (object pronoun) cannot be used to refer to Peter (noun in the same clause).

Similarly, in the sentence under consideration, in option E, him (object pronoun) cannot be used to refer to tourists (noun in the same clause).
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Re: In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2015, 01:18

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