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# It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest

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It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 20 Mar 2019, 08:19
2
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, and figure out the easiest way to get to the right answer! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

After a quick glance over the options, we see that there are a few places where we can focus our attention:

1. The modifier in the beginning: It is / Although / Though / Despite
2. Placement of the word "actually"
3. The modifier at the end: which covers / covering / covers

Since we're dealing with modifiers, let's do a quick check to make sure all the modifiers are placed directly before or after the word(s) they're referring to. This is one of the most common modifier errors on the GMAT, so it's a good place to start:

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
This is INCORRECT because the modifier "which covers more than four times..." is placed next to "Earth," which is NOT what it's supposed to modify! This means we have a misplaced modifier, which is a big no-no on the GMAT!

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
Again, this is INCORRECT because it suggests that the modifier should be tied to Earth, rather than the Caspian, which it should be referring to.

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
This is INCORRECT because we have a misplaced modifier and some terribly awkward wording. The modifier "but it actually is the largest lake on Earth" seems to be in the wrong place - it would make more sense to put it directly after "the landlocked Caspian" to make it clear that's what it's referring to. By removing the comma before "but," it also sounds like a run-on sentence, rather than a modifier.

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

We can eliminate options A, B, and D because they have problems with misplaced, confusing, and poorly written modifiers.

Now that we only have to focus on options C and E, let's focus on any overly wordy or confusing phrasing:

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is CORRECT! Starting with "Though" is clear and concise, and it makes a bit more sense to place the Caspian first in the next clause because it creates a clearer contrast to " called a sea."

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the GMAT prefers writers avoid the "being + verb" combination whenever possible. It's overly wordy, and there is almost always a better way to phrase it. Second, it makes more sense to put the Caspian first in the next phrase. The modifier in the beginning is "Despite being called a sea," and whatever comes next should be what is called a sea - the Caspian.

There you have it - option C is our best choice!

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Originally posted by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 23 Oct 2018, 10:35.
Last edited by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 20 Mar 2019, 08:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2019, 02:36
Choice C.
Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.

To me here "the landlocked Caspian" is followed after its modifier is // to "North America's Lake Superior"

Rest of the answer choices have quite major gramatical error to eliminate them, but if we take into consideration the whole sentence, this //ism is also significant.

What do you think of this? or I'm diving too deep and out of subject?
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2019, 21:39
I have a question. Can although/though be followed by a phrase?
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2019, 09:22
daagh wrote:
@Chris: You have actually reversed the reasons for C and D: It is C that holds good for succinctness: just an oversight, I suppose.

Quote:
GODSPEED wrote: Your observation is correct; this is a modifier for "landlocked Caspian". So, "it" is clearly referring to "landlocked Caspian", no errors there.....I zeroed down to C vs. D, only reason for elimination for D, I can think of is wordiness...

D is not bad just because of wordiness alone. There are other solid reasons for rejecting it , such as,

1. It is stylistically wrong because of using both -though and but –in the same sentence, which mean the same thing. It is the error of redundancy.
2. The first part (excluding the introductory phrase) and the second part, - both ICs- are just joined by a comma. So it is a run –on.
3. It errs on modification; the landlocked Caspian should be immediately placed after the comma.

You.... Are..... Awesome........

I like the analysis of a SC question
I call it "JUICING THE CANE TO ITS FULLEST" approach could you find more errors in other options like that? Would be very grateful if you would do so
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2019, 08:21
Can someone please explain the usage of "more than" in here?

THe lake covers more than four times the surface area of its closest competitor-a lake. egmat mikemcgarry
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2019, 18:56
darshak1 wrote:
Can someone please explain the usage of "more than" in here?

THe lake covers more than four times the surface area of its closest competitor-a lake. egmat mikemcgarry
I may not have understood your question, but more than four times means "4.5x" or "5x" (more than 4x).
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2019, 04:01
In option A and B "covers" represents a universal truth that cannot be changed so it should be "covers" instead of covering. covering is a ver-ing modifier which modiies the preceding clause. It does not covers the area more than four ----------- becuase it is largest sea, it does becuase it is universal truth. "which" can refer to a far away entity as long as it makes sense. The mony logical entity it refers to is "lake".

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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2019, 04:13
1
prakhar992 wrote:
In option A and B "covers" represents a universal truth that cannot be changed so it should be "covers" instead of covering. covering is a ver-ing modifier which modiies the preceding clause. It does not covers the area more than four ----------- becuase it is largest sea, it does becuase it is universal truth. "which" can refer to a far away entity as long as it makes sense. The mony logical entity it refers to is "lake".

Hi prakhar992,

But what is your question? You could also go through some of the posts in this thread (like this one) if you haven't done so already.
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2019, 01:51
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, and figure out the easiest way to get to the right answer! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

After a quick glance over the options, we see that there are a few places where we can focus our attention:

1. The modifier in the beginning: It is / Although / Though / Despite
2. Placement of the word "actually"
3. The modifier at the end: which covers / covering / covers

Since we're dealing with modifiers, let's do a quick check to make sure all the modifiers are placed directly before or after the word(s) they're referring to. This is one of the most common modifier errors on the GMAT, so it's a good place to start:

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
This is INCORRECT because the modifier "which covers more than four times..." is placed next to "Earth," which is NOT what it's supposed to modify! This means we have a misplaced modifier, which is a big no-no on the GMAT!

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
Again, this is INCORRECT because it suggests that the modifier should be tied to Earth, rather than the Caspian, which it should be referring to.

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
This is INCORRECT because we have a misplaced modifier and some terribly awkward wording. The modifier "but it actually is the largest lake on Earth" seems to be in the wrong place - it would make more sense to put it directly after "the landlocked Caspian" to make it clear that's what it's referring to. By removing the comma before "but," it also sounds like a run-on sentence, rather than a modifier.

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

We can eliminate options A, B, and D because they have problems with misplaced, confusing, and poorly written modifiers.

Now that we only have to focus on options C and E, let's focus on any overly wordy or confusing phrasing:

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is CORRECT! Starting with "Though" is clear and concise, and it makes a bit more sense to place the Caspian first in the next clause because it creates a clearer contrast to " called a sea."

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the GMAT prefers writers avoid the "being + verb" combination whenever possible. It's overly wordy, and there is almost always a better way to phrase it. Second, it makes more sense to put the Caspian first in the next phrase. The modifier in the beginning is "Despite being called a sea," and whatever comes next should be what is called a sea - the Caspian.

There you have it - option C is our best choice!

Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.

Dear team,
I agree with the point that option c is best suitable option.
But I hav. Ea doubt regarding the use of though. "Though" is used with structure "though + subject + verb". And here "Though called a sea", subject+verb structure is missing. Kindly suggest.
Also, I have read the structure details of "though" modifier in Ultimate GRammar book.
bb generis GMATNinja

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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2019, 11:17
1
priyanshu14 wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, and figure out the easiest way to get to the right answer! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

After a quick glance over the options, we see that there are a few places where we can focus our attention:

1. The modifier in the beginning: It is / Although / Though / Despite
2. Placement of the word "actually"
3. The modifier at the end: which covers / covering / covers

Since we're dealing with modifiers, let's do a quick check to make sure all the modifiers are placed directly before or after the word(s) they're referring to. This is one of the most common modifier errors on the GMAT, so it's a good place to start:

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
This is INCORRECT because the modifier "which covers more than four times..." is placed next to "Earth," which is NOT what it's supposed to modify! This means we have a misplaced modifier, which is a big no-no on the GMAT!

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
Again, this is INCORRECT because it suggests that the modifier should be tied to Earth, rather than the Caspian, which it should be referring to.

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
This is INCORRECT because we have a misplaced modifier and some terribly awkward wording. The modifier "but it actually is the largest lake on Earth" seems to be in the wrong place - it would make more sense to put it directly after "the landlocked Caspian" to make it clear that's what it's referring to. By removing the comma before "but," it also sounds like a run-on sentence, rather than a modifier.

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

We can eliminate options A, B, and D because they have problems with misplaced, confusing, and poorly written modifiers.

Now that we only have to focus on options C and E, let's focus on any overly wordy or confusing phrasing:

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is CORRECT! Starting with "Though" is clear and concise, and it makes a bit more sense to place the Caspian first in the next clause because it creates a clearer contrast to " called a sea."

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the GMAT prefers writers avoid the "being + verb" combination whenever possible. It's overly wordy, and there is almost always a better way to phrase it. Second, it makes more sense to put the Caspian first in the next phrase. The modifier in the beginning is "Despite being called a sea," and whatever comes next should be what is called a sea - the Caspian.

There you have it - option C is our best choice!

Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.

Dear team,
I agree with the point that option c is best suitable option.
But I hav. Ea doubt regarding the use of though. "Though" is used with structure "though + subject + verb". And here "Though called a sea", subject+verb structure is missing. Kindly suggest.
Also, I have read the structure details of "though" modifier in Ultimate GRammar book.
bb generis GMATNinja

Posted from my mobile device

Hello priyanshu14!

The word "Though" isn't always used in that format. You can certainly say "Though + noun + verb" OR "Though + verb + noun" and both would be correct, depending on the situation. Since the phrase beginning with "though" is a MODIFIER in this case, it can be worded either way because the noun used in these phrases isn't the subject. Here are some examples to show you can do both:

Though + noun + verb:
Though Susan was late to the party, she apologized profusely to the hosts.
Subject = she / Verb = apologized

Though + verb + noun:
Though caused by an earthquake, the foundation crack was bound to happen eventually because the building is over 300 years old.
Subject = the foundation crack / Verb = was bound

I hope that helps!
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2019, 08:54
TAKE AWAYS and all the errors

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
1. which wrongly modifying the earth
2. usage in B is better than A

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
1. very good choice, only error is which wrongly modifying the earth.

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering- correct

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
1. presence of both though and but
2. two IC hence run on
3. wrong modifier of the landlocked caspian should be after called a sea separated by a comma
4. it is referring to sea

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

1. inspite of or despite + verb ing is correct, but despite + verb ing is not necessary

john’s company is doing extremely well despite the recession
They arrived late despite leaving in plenty of time.
so usage of being is correct but called is not necessary

2. as in d , wrong modifier of the landlocked caspian should be after called a sea separated by a comma
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2019, 00:25
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
priyanshu14 wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, and figure out the easiest way to get to the right answer! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

After a quick glance over the options, we see that there are a few places where we can focus our attention:

1. The modifier in the beginning: It is / Although / Though / Despite
2. Placement of the word "actually"
3. The modifier at the end: which covers / covering / covers

Since we're dealing with modifiers, let's do a quick check to make sure all the modifiers are placed directly before or after the word(s) they're referring to. This is one of the most common modifier errors on the GMAT, so it's a good place to start:

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
This is INCORRECT because the modifier "which covers more than four times..." is placed next to "Earth," which is NOT what it's supposed to modify! This means we have a misplaced modifier, which is a big no-no on the GMAT!

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
Again, this is INCORRECT because it suggests that the modifier should be tied to Earth, rather than the Caspian, which it should be referring to.

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
This is INCORRECT because we have a misplaced modifier and some terribly awkward wording. The modifier "but it actually is the largest lake on Earth" seems to be in the wrong place - it would make more sense to put it directly after "the landlocked Caspian" to make it clear that's what it's referring to. By removing the comma before "but," it also sounds like a run-on sentence, rather than a modifier.

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is OKAY because when you begin a modifier with an -ing word, it's now modifying the entire phrase, rather than just the subject closest to it.

We can eliminate options A, B, and D because they have problems with misplaced, confusing, and poorly written modifiers.

Now that we only have to focus on options C and E, let's focus on any overly wordy or confusing phrasing:

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
This is CORRECT! Starting with "Though" is clear and concise, and it makes a bit more sense to place the Caspian first in the next clause because it creates a clearer contrast to " called a sea."

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the GMAT prefers writers avoid the "being + verb" combination whenever possible. It's overly wordy, and there is almost always a better way to phrase it. Second, it makes more sense to put the Caspian first in the next phrase. The modifier in the beginning is "Despite being called a sea," and whatever comes next should be what is called a sea - the Caspian.

There you have it - option C is our best choice!

Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.

Dear team,
I agree with the point that option c is best suitable option.
But I hav. Ea doubt regarding the use of though. "Though" is used with structure "though + subject + verb". And here "Though called a sea", subject+verb structure is missing. Kindly suggest.
Also, I have read the structure details of "though" modifier in Ultimate GRammar book.
bb generis GMATNinja

Posted from my mobile device

Hello priyanshu14!

The word "Though" isn't always used in that format. You can certainly say "Though + noun + verb" OR "Though + verb + noun" and both would be correct, depending on the situation. Since the phrase beginning with "though" is a MODIFIER in this case, it can be worded either way because the noun used in these phrases isn't the subject. Here are some examples to show you can do both:

Though + noun + verb:
Though Susan was late to the party, she apologized profusely to the hosts.
Subject = she / Verb = apologized

Though + verb + noun:
Though caused by an earthquake, the foundation crack was bound to happen eventually because the building is over 300 years old.
Subject = the foundation crack / Verb = was bound

I hope that helps!

My question to you is can "although" also follow the same syntax ??

Is the below sentence correct
Although called a sea,the lanlocked caspian is actually the largest lake on earth,covering.........
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2020, 23:12
Why is the usage of which wrong here? I thought 'which' can jump over 'on Earth' and modify the largest lake. Wont it make sense to say that the largest lake on Earth covers fours times the surface area?
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2020, 06:18
Why is the usage of which wrong here? I thought 'which' can jump over 'on Earth' and modify the largest lake. Wont it make sense to say that the largest lake on Earth covers fours times the surface area?

Thank you for the query.

Yes, you are correct in saying that which can jump over on Earth to modify the largest lake. However, this sentence does not present just the description of the largest lake on Earth. This sentence presents the explanation for the clause: the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth. It describes the fact as to how Caspian is the largest lake.

Hence, we need a clause modifier, not just a noun modifier.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2020, 03:58
doesn't 'Though' follows this particularstructure:
Though + DC, IC.
In option C how does this structure fit in? how can called a sea(modifier) can play a role of DC?
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2020, 03:40
ashdah wrote:
It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.

(A) It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers

(B) Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers

(C) Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering

(D) Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers

(E) Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

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I am confused about "which" in choice A and B. why it is wrong.
look at choice B
"actually" is wrong. because we need caspian in the first place of the second clause, so that "it" pronoun is clear. this is clear error. eliminate B.

look at choice A.
"it ' is pronoun but it stand before the noun. this is inferior. do you think so? I AM NOT CONFIDENT AT THIS POINT.
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2020, 05:40
thangvietnam wrote:
look at choice A.
"it ' is pronoun but it stand before the noun. this is inferior. do you think so? I AM NOT CONFIDENT AT THIS POINT.
Hi thangvietnam,

I don't know whether you have a question here, but it is not wrong to use a pronoun before the noun that it points to. Generally speaking, I don't think that we can call such usage inferior either.
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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06 May 2020, 18:03
Hi everyone,

I am wondering for answer E, is the phrase "Despite being called a sea," every a correct?
From my understanding Despite must be followed by a noun.
If it is a valid phrase then is "being" a gerund and "called" is acting as a past particle?
Can a gerund be followed by a past or present participle?
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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09 May 2020, 20:34
daagh GMATNinja egmat GMATNinjaTwo

Can you give some clarity on the usage of 'which/that'. Ideally 'which/that' should modify the noun just preceding them, but I have read that they can jump a few words to modify a noun that is a bit further away.

Do we go by meaning and logic to ensure non-ambiguity, or is there a grammar rule that we can follow?
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest  [#permalink]

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27 May 2020, 08:14
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Argp wrote:
daagh GMATNinja egmat GMATNinjaTwo

Can you give some clarity on the usage of 'which/that'. Ideally 'which/that' should modify the noun just preceding them, but I have read that they can jump a few words to modify a noun that is a bit further away.

Do we go by meaning and logic to ensure non-ambiguity, or is there a grammar rule that we can follow?

Check out this article, particularly "usage #4: "that" as a modifier (the “touch rule" and its exceptions)". That should help you a bit!

shen0150 wrote:
Hi everyone,

I am wondering for answer E, is the phrase "Despite being called a sea," every a correct?
From my understanding Despite must be followed by a noun.
If it is a valid phrase then is "being" a gerund and "called" is acting as a past particle?
Can a gerund be followed by a past or present participle?

Sure, "being" can function as a noun (a gerund, if you like the jargon). And "called" is really just an -ed modifier here, so "being called" has the same structure as "being lazy" in the following example (borrowed from this article: “Being” is not the enemy):

"Charles’s favorite activities include eating and being lazy."

In both cases, we have "being + modifier", where "being" functions as a noun. There is nothing inherently wrong with that or with putting something like that after "despite".

Notice also, that (C) and (E), beyond the use of "despite being," have different meanings.

Take another look at (C):

Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth

The opening modifier, "called a sea" is describing the Caspian. Makes sense. Moreover, "though" is telling us that we're about to get some kind of logical contrast. And we do. Even though the Caspian is called a sea, it's a lake. Perfectly logical contrast - the Caspian is called one thing, but it's actually something else.

Now look at (E):

"Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian..."

Now the phrase "despite being called a sea" is describing the "largest lake on Earth." This isn't wrong, necessarily, but it's less clear, as we haven't yet identified the largest lake on Earth.

Worse, "despite" is again setting up the expectation of a logical contrast. But this isn't what we get. In essence, this version says that although the largest lake is called a sea, it's actually the Caspian. This makes no sense. The surprise isn't that the lake has the name "Caspian," it's that even though we call it a sea, it's a lake. So even if you were unsure about the usage of "despite being" you can eliminate (E) on the basis of logic.

I hope that helps!
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Re: It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest   [#permalink] 27 May 2020, 08:14

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