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In the last few decades, physicists have identified the

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In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different "flavors" of subatomic particles called quarks,most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.


most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display
most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying
mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying
mostly at least as small as the electron, which display
most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying

Also explain what "them" is referring to in some options.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Hi all,

In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different "flavors" of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

Error Analysis: 1. This sentence uses the incorrect idiom “as small or smaller than” which is actually the mix of two degrees of comparison. This is incorrect. We must one correct idiom to convey the intended meaning.
2. Understanding the sentence structure is very important here. Note that “which display…” is meant to modify “quarks”. However, “which” is closer to “electron” than to “quarks”. Hence, there is an ambiguity in the reference of “which”. Also “display” does not agree in number with “electron” if “which” has to refer to “electron”.

POE:
A) most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

B) most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying: Incorrect. The idiom error persists.

C) mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying: Incorrect. The idiom error persists.

D) mostly at least as small as the electron, which display: Incorrect. “which” is closer to “electron” and hence refer to “electron”. However, “the verb “display” does not agree in number with “electron”.

E) most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying: Correct. Notice that the modifier “most of them at least as small as the electron” is placed between two commas that make this information non-essential for the sentence. In this case, “displaying” correctly modifies “quarks”. If we remove the non-essential information for the sentence, the comma before “displaying” will also be removed. Here, we do not have the case of comma + verb-ing that is modifying the preceding clause.

This sentence is like the following GMAT Prep question the correct answer of which is C:
In the past several years, astronomers have detected more than 80 massive planets, most of them as large or larger than Jupiter, which circleother stars.
A. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter, which circle
B. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter and circling
C. most of them at least as large as Jupiter, circling
D. mostly at least as large as Jupiter, which circle
E. mostly as large or larger than Jupiter, circling

Hope this helps. :)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different “flavors” of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

(A) most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display
(B) most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying
(C) mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying
(D) mostly at least as small as the electron, which display
(E) most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying
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Last edited by carcass on 26 Nov 2012, 03:47, edited 1 time in total.

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egmat wrote:
Hi all,

In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different "flavors" of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

Error Analysis: 1. This sentence uses the incorrect idiom “as small or smaller than” which is actually the mix of two degrees of comparison. This is incorrect. We must one correct idiom to convey the intended meaning.
2. Understanding the sentence structure is very important here. Note that “which display…” is meant to modify “quarks”. However, “which” is closer to “electron” than to “quarks”. Hence, there is an ambiguity in the reference of “which”. Also “display” does not agree in number with “electron” if “which” has to refer to “electron”.

POE:
A) most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

B) most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying: Incorrect. The idiom error persists.

C) mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying: Incorrect. The idiom error persists.

D) mostly at least as small as the electron, which display: Incorrect. “which” is closer to “electron” and hence refer to “electron”. However, “the verb “display” does not agree in number with “electron”.

E) most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying: Correct. Notice that the modifier “most of them at least as small as the electron” is placed between two commas that make this information non-essential for the sentence. In this case, “displaying” correctly modifies “quarks”. If we remove the non-essential information for the sentence, the comma before “displaying” will also be removed. Here, we do not have the case of comma + verb-ing that is modifying the preceding clause.

This sentence is like the following GMAT Prep question the correct answer of which is C:
In the past several years, astronomers have detected more than 80 massive planets, most of them as large or larger than Jupiter, which circleother stars.
A. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter, which circle
B. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter and circling
C. most of them at least as large as Jupiter, circling
D. mostly at least as large as Jupiter, which circle
E. mostly as large or larger than Jupiter, circling

Hope this helps. :)
Thanks.
Shraddha


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B and E are the only real competitors. "As small or smaller than" in B is awkward. So going with E. "them" can unambiguously refer to quarks as it is a part of the modifier of "quarks".
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Re: In the last few decades, physicists have identified the exis [#permalink]

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daagh wrote:
Fairly straight. As small or smaller than is wrong idiom. So A , B and C are out.
D: Mostly is an adverb; we want a pronoun such as most to refer to the noun quarks. So D is wrong

E is the ultimate choice.


Hi,

Doesn't "them" in choice E seems to have antecedent error?


In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different “flavors” of subatomic particles called quarks, [color=#ff00000]most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display[/color] a property known as color charge.

Them can refer to physicists/quarks right?
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Mahmud6 wrote:
Isn't 'are' required after 'most of them'? Most of them are at least........
Without any helping verb, it seems awkward!


No, "verb" is not required. "Most of them at least as small as the electron" is a subgroup modifier. Following are the correct structures of subgroup modifiers:

1. ...most of which are at least as small as the electron...
2. ...most of them at least as small as the electron...
3. ...most at least as small as the electron...

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Mahmud6 wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
Mahmud6 wrote:
Isn't 'are' required after 'most of them'? Most of them are at least........
Without any helping verb, it seems awkward!


No, "verb" is not required. "Most of them at least as small as the electron" is a subgroup modifier. Following are the correct structures of subgroup modifiers:

1. ...most of which are at least as small as the electron...
2. ...most of them at least as small as the electron...
3. ...most at least as small as the electron...


Thanks.

Would you please explain why be verb is used in the following correct sentence?

Prompted by recent discoveries, paleontologists have started research on the fossils of feathered dinosaurs, a study that has ignited the debate over when and why dinosaurs developed plumage, and that makes many researchers believe that possibly all or most of them had feathers. Source: E-gmat.


Here "all or most of them...." is NOT A subgroup modifier, but a complete clause. A subgroup modifier must have a noun (referring to a group) preceding the modifier. In the subject question, the noun that the subgroup modifier refers is "quarks".

Beside the river I saw some animals, some of them behaving strangely..... subgroup modifier referring to "animals"
Beside the river I saw some animals; I can confirm that some of them were behaving strangely...... clause: "sum of them" is the subject

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Mahmud6 wrote:
Mahmud6 wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:

No, "verb" is not required. "Most of them at least as small as the electron" is a subgroup modifier. Following are the correct structures of subgroup modifiers:

1. ...most of which are at least as small as the electron...
2. ...most of them at least as small as the electron...
3. ...most at least as small as the electron...


Thanks again.

If when 'most of ....' is used as subgroup modifier, and doesn't contain be verb, why the following correct sentence contains be verb 'are' after 'most of which'?

1. ...most of which are at least as small as the electron...


You will need to memorize the three correct standard forms of subgroup modifiers ("most of which" carries a verb; "most of them" and "most" do not).

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New post 22 Oct 2012, 04:49
Since physicists is the subject of the previous clause,cant "them" refer it physicists.
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New post 22 Oct 2012, 05:07
The noun modifier should always touch the noun. A corollary of this can be taken as "A modifier modifies the noun which it touches."

But true the sentence could be better framed as E here uses a series of modifiers to modify the same noun. However, of the given options, E is the best.
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Re: In the last few decades, physicists have identified the exis [#permalink]

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Fairly straight. As small or smaller than is wrong idiom. So A , B and C are out.
D: Mostly is an adverb; we want a pronoun such as most to refer to the noun quarks. So D is wrong

E is the ultimate choice.
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New post 03 Jan 2013, 19:36
Good explanation!!
I got it right but couldnt have expolained the reasons better

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New post 05 Jan 2013, 04:34
shanmugamgsn wrote:
daagh wrote:
Fairly straight. As small or smaller than is wrong idiom. So A , B and C are out.
D: Mostly is an adverb; we want a pronoun such as most to refer to the noun quarks. So D is wrong

E is the ultimate choice.


Hi,

Doesn't "them" in choice E seems to have antecedent error?


In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different “flavors” of subatomic particles called quarks, [color=#ff00000]most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display[/color] a property known as color charge.

Them can refer to physicists/quarks right?


Hii Shan.
"most of them......." is a modifier and hence it will modify the subject of only the preceding clause. The preceding clause is "called quarks".
Hope this helps.
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Re: In the last few decades, physicists have identified the exis [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2013, 05:57
Marcab wrote:
shanmugamgsn wrote:
daagh wrote:
Fairly straight. As small or smaller than is wrong idiom. So A , B and C are out.
D: Mostly is an adverb; we want a pronoun such as most to refer to the noun quarks. So D is wrong

E is the ultimate choice.


Hi,

Doesn't "them" in choice E seems to have antecedent error?


In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different “flavors” of subatomic particles called quarks, [color=#ff00000]most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display[/color] a property known as color charge.

Them can refer to physicists/quarks right?


Hii Shan.
"most of them......." is a modifier and hence it will modify the subject of only the preceding clause. The preceding clause is "called quarks".
Hope this helps.


Thanks marcab!
ya "most of them... " is modifier.
So u mean pronoun in modifier refers to antecedent modifies clause/noun !
am i right?
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New post 05 Jan 2013, 06:24
Hii Shan.
Here "them" refers to "quarks" and hence "most of them" correctly refers to "most of quarks".
Hope this helps.
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New post 05 Jan 2013, 17:36
Marcab wrote:
Hii Shan.
Here "them" refers to "quarks" and hence "most of them" correctly refers to "most of quarks".
Hope this helps.



ya i got it ....
hmm thanks marcab ....
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New post 07 Jan 2013, 04:25
In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different “flavors” of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

(A) most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display WRONG IDIOM
(B) most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying WRONG IDIOM
(C) mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying WRONG IDIOM
(D) mostly at least as small as the electron, which display WHICH is used falsely
(E) most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying CORRECT
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Re: In the last few decades, physicists have identified the [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2013, 05:41
In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different “flavors” of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

(A) most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display---"which" is referring to eletron instead of quarks
(B) most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying --- idiom "as small as",
(C) mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying---awkward
(D) mostly at least as small as the electron, which display WHICH---samae as A is used falsely
(E) most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying-------correct
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Re: In the last few decades, physicists have identified the   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2013, 05:41

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