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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in

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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2020, 23:21
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Project SC Butler: Sentence Correction (SC1)


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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.

A) that enable the ant populations to grow

B) for ant populations to grow

C) for growing ant populations

D) that enable ant populations to grow

E) that the ant populations can grow

Edit: This question is permanently retired.

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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2020, 23:37
OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Sentence Correction (SC1)



Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.

A) that enable the ant populations to grow

B) for ant populations to grow

C) for growing ant populations

D) that enable ant populations to grow

E) that the ant populations can grow[/quote]

• HIGHLIGHTS
Two answers are correct: B and D.
I can justify both. My apologies.
I’ve posted hundreds of questions; I missed the boat on this one.
I will archive this question in a day or two, but I encourage you to read the explanation because I explain a property of the word that.

• Split #1 – meaning

Options C and E contain meaning problems.

Option C: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls for growing ant populations.
for growing is too suggestive of purpose or intent.
For growing sounds like the phrase “in order to grow.” No one wants to grow ants in their walls.

Option E: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that the ant populations can grow.
→ Ants do not grow walls. Ants do not grow ideal conditions in home walls.

Eliminate options C and E

• Split #2 - do not use the for general nouns

Do not use the unless you are referring to specific or particular ant populations, or the sentence has already mentioned these populations.

Option A states, “. . . that enable the ant populations to grow.”
→ “The” signals some particular ant populations.
The sentence is talking about ant populations generally: moisture and darkness inside walls create ideal conditions for ant populations to thrive.

Here is another example:
Correct: Women are marching against misogyny.
Wrong: The women are marching against misogyny.
→ The word the implies some particular group of women. Which women? Women in a particular village, city, or country?

Eliminate A. (Option E contains the same problem as the in option A, but (E) is already gone.)

• No third split exists because both B and D can be justified.

Neither option is great. I give better versions of this sentence below.

• Option B
Option B: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls for ant populations to grow.

→ ideal conditions [in walls] for X to grow is acceptable
→ ideal conditions [in walls] for X to do something is acceptable

These sentences from the New York Time are similar:

Keeping the surface of the soil continually moist provides ideal conditions for damp-off to occur. (accessed here on 6/5/2020.

Expert Lauren Stadler concluded that . . . the conditions of warmth and stagnant water were ideal conditions for growth of bacteria. (accessed here, June 5, 2020.

• Option D

ideal conditions [in walls] that enable X to grow is acceptable
We know that the word “that” refers to conditions.

Option (D): Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable ant populations to grow.

Theoretically, “that” could refer to walls or conditions.
Theoretically, a pronoun may have a few antecedents and would then be ambiguous.

Are you really confused about what that refers to? Walls don't grow ant populations.
If only one of those antecedents is logical, the pronoun is not ambiguous.
The only logical antecedent for that is conditions.

The pronoun that is not ambiguous according to typical GMAC standards.

Although that typically attaches to the immediately preceding word (and thus would be explaining walls), there are exceptions.

The word which can “reach back over” prepositional phrases in order to modify its noun. The word that can do exactly the same thing.

Spoiler alert (and this is an advanced question)
In this official question, here, that reaches back over [u]two[/i] prepositional phrases to reach its noun.
That and prepositional modifiers are both essential, but they can’t both sit right next to the noun—so occasionally, that must “reach back” to modify its noun.

Finally, ideal conditions ... that enable X to do something is acceptable.

SAGE Publications is a very good publisher of high-level scholarly work. One author published by SAGE wrote:

How can we create ideal conditions that enable participative workers to flourish as human beings?
-- Barker, James R. The Discipline of Teamwork. SAGE Publications, Inc. 1999. p. 186, accessed [u]here on June 5, 2020.

Both B and D are correct, and this question is getting archived.

The sentence could be written this way:
Large amounts of moisture and darkness in home walls create ideal conditions that enable ant populations to grow.
OR
Large amounts of moisture and darkness in home walls create ideal conditions for ant populations to grow.

The words “ideal conditions” and “grow” imply that the thing is growing IN those ideal conditions.
→ Test this sentence out: Large amounts of moisture and darkness in home walls create ideal conditions in which ant populations can grow.
Okay, so the ants can grow, but the sense that they absolutely will grow gets lost, I think.

JonShukhrat , I appreciate your effort and care. I like the fact that you work hard and thoughtfully. You are curious and driven. And your research is often top notch.

I think this combination of words is more idiomatic than it seems.

I don’t think that option B is flat wrong.
In fact, (B) (“ideal conditions … for XYZ to grow) is probably more idiomatic than (D) (“ideal conditions … that enable XYZ to grow), if my search through high-end publications is any guide.
I couldn’t find a single example of (D)’s format in any of the five publications I searched; I easily found examples of (B).
I moved to scholarly publications in order to find an example of (D).

True story: Although I was torn between B and D, I chose option D. My writer's and editor’s ear “hears” option D as correct.

I showed my mother the question. One of her degrees is in English. She chose D.

On the other hand, my review of publications seems to favor option B.The OA on two sites is B.

Moral of the whole story: the question is poor.
I’ll archive it in a few days.


COMMENTS

bm2201 and Badari , welcome to SC Butler. :)

As I mentioned in my other OE, I am moving to a new place and have been slow to post.
I do not advise trying to move in the middle of a pandemic.

Thanks for your patience.

Be safe, everyone. Nice work.
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 00:02
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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.


Fact 1-> We are referring to the ideal conditions in home wall.

That is my only input for this question as I don't see any problem with the original sentence. the is enhancing focus on ant population (differentiator between A and E).
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 00:33
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generis wrote:

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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.

A) that enable the ant populations to grow

B) for ant populations to grow

C) for growing ant populations

D) that enable ant populations to grow

E) that the ant populations can grow


I would go with B on this one.

"that enable" would mean that without those conditions the ant populations are unable to grow. Just that the ideal conditions are met with large amounts of moisture and darkness.

B says it X creates conditions for Y to do Z - Perfect no issues imo.

Answer - B
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 05:29
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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.

POE:
Eliminate (A),(D) &(E) - 'that' is ambiguous.
Eliminate (C) - change of meaning


OR

You can eliminate choices on the basis of meaning. Differences are quite easily visible here.


A) that enable the ant populations to grow

B) for ant populations to grow -CORRECT

C) for growing ant populations

D) that enable ant populations to grow

E) that the ant populations can grow
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 31 May 2020, 06:40
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we are not talking about any specific ant populations hence A is out.
Between B and D, I feel B is intending a wrong meaning. It's insinuating that these conditions are specifically curated to grow the ants. The "that" in d isn't an issue as it can only refer back to the plural antecedent "ideal conditions"

IMO, D.

Originally posted by Kritisood on 31 May 2020, 05:38.
Last edited by Kritisood on 31 May 2020, 06:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 06:37
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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.

A) that enable the ant populations to grow - Incorrect, as it refers to specific ant populations

B) for ant populations to grow - Incorrect, as it => that the conditions are specifically being created for the ant populations.

C) for growing ant populations - Incorrect, use of growing is wrong.

D) that enable ant populations to grow - Correct.

E) that the ant populations can grow - Incorrect, it should be : "so that".
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 07:43
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A) that enable the ant populations to grow 'the ant populations' here the refers to a specific ant population.Wrong

B) for ant populations to growAs the conditions are created to help in growing ant population

C) for growing ant populations same error as B

D) that enable ant populations to growCorrect

E) that the ant populations can grow what that refers here.Wrong
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 08:39
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Large amounts
of moisture and darkness(Prepositional Pharse Modifing Amounts)
create (Verb)
ideal conditions (object of Create)
in home walls ( Modifying Conditions)
that enable the ant populations to grow. ( Realtive Clause, enable - verb, That- Subject)

Error:
The ant population. ( the - article refers to specific ant popultaion).

The sentence as is means:
The ideal conditions enable a specific ant population to grow. That's not the intent.

Option A Incorrect

Option B
for ant populations to grow Means the ideal conditions are created for ant populations to grow. That's not the intent.

Option C
for growing ant populations
Same error as Option B

Option D
that enable ant populations to grow. Removes the error of the and generalize it.

Correct option is D

Option E

that the ant populations can grow

Dependent Clause, cause and result is lost.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 11:26
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Well, deciphering the intended meaning of the sentence is a half-done success. The remaining half comes from synthesizing the literal meanings of choices and choosing the one that delivers the indented meaning most unambiguously.

The process of inferring the intended meaning:

Part I. “ideal conditions” for what? For ant populations themselves or for their growth? Ant populations can do many other things even under bad conditions, but their growth needs good ones. So, “ideal conditions” must be for their growth, not for themselves.

Part II. What does “in home walls” hint at? Most probably, at the ant populations in home walls. So, “large amounts of moisture and darkness” are NOT ideal conditions for ant populations in general, but exactly for those in home walls. Perhaps ant populations in deserts prefer different conditions.

Let’s see which choice delivers both parts of the intended meaning above. First, we juxtapose A and D since they are almost identical:

Quote:
A) Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.
D) Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable ant populations to grow.


In both, “that enable” refers to the prepositional phrase “ideal conditions in home walls”. So, “ideal conditions in home walls” enable the growth. Both deliver Part I.

Next, “the ant populations” in A talks about the ant populations living in the wall, whereas “ant populations” in D talks about ant populations in general. So, D fails to deliver Part II and is out.

In simple terms, if I say “I opened the car and took the food” – then I mean that the food was in the car. I am not talking about food in general.
However, if I say “I opened the car and took food” – then there is no such connotation. Maybe first I opened the car and later took food somewhere else.


Quote:
A) Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.
B) Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls for ant populations to grow.


Like D, B talks about ant populations in general, not about those in home walls. So, without “the” it fails to deliver Part II.

Further explanation is in the following post.

Quote:
C) Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls for growing ant populations


“grow” can be either transitive or intransitive verb. i.e., “growing” can be either an adjective or a noun.

Case 1: If “growing” is an adjective, then “ant populations” is the main noun in the phrase “growing ant populations”. As a result, ideal conditions are not for growth, but for populations themselves. No Part I.

Case 2: If “growing” is a noun, then “ideal conditions for growing ant populations” denotes that someone is growing the populations. Nonsense. Ant farm?


Quote:
E) Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that the ant populations can grow


“that” is just plain wrong. Whatever it modifies, it creates nonsense. Had “that” been “so that” or “in which”, the sentence would have become readable.

Hence A.
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Well, I did quite extensive research. Well, B is wrong. Well, it’s wrong for a simple reason. Well, I like saying “well”, so once more “well” ))

Take very simple examples:

- I want to live in an ideal apartment.
- This apartment is ideal to live in.
- This apartment is ideal for me to live in.

- I want to live in ideal conditions.
- These conditions are ideal to live in.
- These conditions are ideal for me to live in.

- Ant populations grow in ideal conditions.
- These conditions are ideal to grow in.
- These conditions are ideal for ant populations to grow in.

B misses “in” at the end, and therefore is wrong. End of story.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Well, what will happen if we miss “in”?

1. “live something” vs. “live in something”

- “How to live a good life?” means that the thing we live is our life.
- “How to live in a good apartment?” means that the thing we live in is our apartment. We can’t live our apartment. We can definitely live a good life, good years, and good moments, but not an apartment. The absence of “in” changes the meaning altogether.


2. “conditions to do” vs. “conditions to do in

- a variety of conditions for animals to live in. (check the link )

- ...that will create the best possible conditions for people to work in. (check the link link )

- Self-injurious behaviour is an extremely difficult condition for staff to manage. (no “in”, from Oxford dictionary link )

The last sentence uses “condition” in the same way as B does. When “in” is absent, “to mange” refers back to “condition”. What do the staff manage? They manage an extremely difficult condition. Take a simpler example:

- “an ideal car for me to drive” means that I drive the car.
- “difficult condition for staff to manage” means that the staff manage the difficult condition.
- “ideal conditions for ant populations to grow” means that the ant populations grow ideal conditions. Absurd. Ants themselves don't grow or create ideal conditions; rather, “large amounts of moisture and darkness” create ideal conditions, and ant populations grow in such conditions.

Hence, B is wrong. To be right, B should read “ideal conditions for ant populations to grow in”.

Hence A.
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2020, 02:13
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Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in home walls that enable the ant populations to grow.

- That should refer to the word touching it. With that in mind you can eliminate A, D, E
- moisture and darkness facilitate ant populations to grow which is what we get from option B


A) that enable the ant populations to grow

B) for ant populations to grow

C) for growing ant populations

D) that enable ant populations to grow

E) that the ant populations can grow
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2020, 23:18
The official explanation is here.
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in  [#permalink]

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I received a PM asking for my views on this question.

generis wrote:
Spoiler alert (and this is an advanced question)
In this official question, [u]here, that reaches back over [u]two[/i] prepositional phrases to reach its noun.


In that official question, the intervening clauses are set off by commas. In that situation, and in similar cases, "that" (and similar words) would always 'reach back' to whatever preceded the commas. So in this (badly written) beginning of a sentence:

The harvest, made up of wheat and barley, that the farmer sold...

"that" automatically refers back to "The harvest", never to "barley". The same would be true if an intervening phrase were enclosed in parentheses, say: "The harvest (made up of wheat and barley) that the farmer sold..." If you remove the commas or parentheses, the situation would be completely different. Then the word "that" could refer to "barley" alone.

In the original question, the use of "that" in answer D is ambiguous. Many people above seem to think it's not. It is logically very possible that only certain types of wall are hospitable to ants -- maybe they live in wood, but not in brick. It is perfectly reasonable to think the sentence in answer D is describing only those walls in which ant populations can grow. But the intended meaning of the sentence (presumably) is that the conditions let ants grow, not the walls. So D is not a good answer.

B is the only justifiable answer here, but it's problematic for several reasons. It's not clear what meaning of "for" is intended, or what phrases describe which things (is it "the home walls" that are "for ant populations", is it the "conditions", for example). And because "grow" can be used both transitively and intransitively, it's easy to read the sentence to mean that the ants "grow" the conditions. As Jon pointed out earlier, that ambiguity disappears if you add a preposition after "grow", so that would be preferable, but strictly speaking, I don't think that's necessary. Taking a sentence with an intransitive verb:

"Low pressure creates conditions for storms to happen"

I don't see anything grammatically wrong with this (though it's bad writing, since there's no reason to say "to happen" at all). If you interpret "grow" in the original question in an intransitive sense (as in "the child grows (taller)") and not in the transitive sense (as in "the farmer grows vegetables") then I think B is technically acceptable. But it is unclear.

B is preferable to A for sure, because a definite article cannot be used before "ant populations" here -- that would raise the question "which ant populations?" and no ant populations have been described earlier in the sentence. You might compare with a sentence like this: "Qaad Business School requires applicants to have two years work experience". It would be incorrect to instead say "the applicants" here.

I don't think the sentence in the original question is well-enough written to be worth even this much discussion (no one would ever say that there were "large amounts of... darkness" in a wall, for example). And by moving "in home walls" before "create ideal conditions" in any answer choice, clarity immediately improves. The right answer in real GMAT SC questions is not the best of several bad choices. The right answer is generally the clearest and most precise way to express the sentence's idea.
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Re: Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in   [#permalink] 10 Jun 2020, 06:59

Large amounts of moisture and darkness create ideal conditions in

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