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# Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi

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Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 15 Oct 2018, 00:53
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Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her

A. each of which consists

B. with each of them consisting

C. each colony consisting

D. and each of them consist

E. and each colony consisting

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 3: Sentence Correction

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Originally posted by GODSPEED on 09 Jul 2012, 13:13.
Last edited by Bunuel on 15 Oct 2018, 00:53, edited 6 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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03 May 2017, 07:48
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Ah, “each.” One of the GMAT’s favorite little things.

There’s some nuance to this, but the quick version is that when “each” is used as a subject, it’s always singular. (Note that “each” can also function as an adverb, though it’s fairly rare on the GMAT – see this thread if you want to torment yourself with those details. Or check out this thread for a more “normal” use of “each.”)

So in this case, we can eliminate (D) right away: “each… consist” is wrong, since “each” is singular.

The other thing that jumps out at me is the word “them” in answer choices (B) and (D). The most recent plural noun is “animals” – but that doesn’t make any sense. “Each of the animals consisting of a single reproductive female and workers…”?? Nope. So (B) is gone, too.

(A) has a nearly identical issue: “each of which” seems to refer back to “animals” as well, and that’s illogical. Our last two choices, (C) and (E), clarify the meaning by using the phrase “each colony.”

The only difference between (C) and (E) is the word “and” -- and that doesn’t quite work in (E). We’d need a full clause after the “and” in this case: “and each colony consisted…” would be OK, but “consisting” is a participle (modifier) here, so we definitely don’t need the “and.”

So our winner is (C). “each colony consisting” is just a modifier – and it makes perfect sense as a source of extra information for that initial clause, “Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals…”
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2012, 15:03
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",and" can be used in the following situations:

1) to join two independent clauses
2) to separate the last element in a series of three or more parallel items
3) when the phrase before the "and" is set off by commas; note that in this case the ",and" is effectively there by accident, because the comma is only there as a result of the preceding clause

The ,and create a sort of clause that follows the first one but this not convey the meaning of the sentence.

Kudos if this is useful
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2012, 19:20
I think C is not correct as this does not have any verb, making this a fragment.
I have another doubt regarding "Workers that protect her", Here workers are plural and that is singular and workers should be modify with who not that. Please explain.
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2012, 19:49
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sandal85 wrote:
I think C is not correct as this does not have any verb, making this a fragment.
I have another doubt regarding "Workers that protect her", Here workers are plural and that is singular and workers should be modify with who not that. Please explain.

Your understand about "that" is totally wrong. THAT in this case is the relative pronoun, so THAT can modify WORKERS in order to make more clear meaning "what are workers doing?". Your understanding: "THAT is singular, worker is plural" is wrong. Moreover, WORKERS here are animals, not people => cannot use WHO.
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2012, 20:23
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sandal85 wrote:
Quote:
I think C is not correct as this does not have any verb, making this a fragment.
I have another doubt regarding "Workers that protect her", Here workers are plural and that is singular and workers should be modify with who not that. Please explain.

The question of ---that-----What is the worry about something that is not underlined? An unnecessary concern about unwanted things will drain our energies in the exam hall. However, to clear the haze, a restrictive pronoun just assumes the characteristics of the noun it touches, singular, or plural notwithstanding. As has been mentioned, rats cannot be referred with who, a word reserved for human beings.

C. each colony consisting

Choice C: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each colony consisting of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her

This is a simple sentence with a single subject ( rats) and a single verb ( form) and a modifier- each colony consisting of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her- ( modifiers can be phrases with just ideas and need not be full fledged clauses.) Therefore, C is not a fragment
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2012, 21:04
4
In E, the structure is totally changed. E is a compound sentence using two clauses and joining them with the conjunction – and -. In a compound sentence, you do need minimum two subjects and two verbs. (You can skip the subject for the second cluse, if the same subject of the first clause can stand good for the second)

E. and each colony consisting; Here the second clause after the –and - has a subject - each colony - but no verb; consisting is not a verb but a present participle; So, E is a fragment
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 05:58
daagh wrote:
sandal85 wrote:
Quote:
I think C is not correct as this does not have any verb, making this a fragment.
I have another doubt regarding "Workers that protect her", Here workers are plural and that is singular and workers should be modify with who not that. Please explain.

The question of ---that-----What is the worry about something that is not underlined? An unnecessary concern about unwanted things will drain our energies in the exam hall. However, to clear the haze, a restrictive pronoun just assumes the characteristics of the noun it touches, singular, or plural notwithstanding. As has been mentioned, rats cannot be referred with who, a word reserved for human beings.

C. each colony consisting

Choice C: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each colony consisting of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her

This is a simple sentence with a single subject ( rats) and a single verb ( form) and a modifier- each colony consisting of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her- ( modifiers can be phrases with just ideas and need not be full fledged clauses.) Therefore, C is not a fragment

Hi daagh,
Is each colony consisting of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her an absolute phrase or appositive?
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 09:29
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An absolute phrase modifier as the name implies (just a phrase, not a clause and hence will have no verb) is a group of words that describe some action or gives additional info about something it mostly follows or modifies. It is never conjugated with a conjunction such as which or and in order to conncet it to the main clause except by a comma. An absolute phrase embraces the entire preceding clause, explaining some function or nature
On the contrary an appositive is a synonym of a noun or some noun theme, and even one can replace the modified noun with the modified. In addition, the appositive modifier is just placed next to the noun it modifies, either before or after.

Let us now apply this theory.

The modifier has no verb; it is not conjugated with a conjunction but is connected with a comma. The modifier describes the nature of composition of the colonies in question. You cannot replace the any part of the previous clause, with the modifier by itself. In addition, the modifier does not follow its noun so the given phrase is an absolute modifier rather than an appositive.
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 09:35
in the sentence A "Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reprroductive female" - here which represents animals right?since "of approximately 20 animals" is a prepositional phrase can't which jump and refer to colonies correctly?

I have seen in few questions where which jumps after the prepostional phrase, if the meaning is correct..can someone explain the rule of which??
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2013, 05:07
6
Hi,
Skamal

I have attached a file that I have prepared on this topic; Pl see if that helps you
Attachments

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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 05:17
3
(A) each of which consists --- This is a run-on sentence, as only a comma separates the two ICs. In this structure, ‘each’ is the subject of the second IC and of which is a middleman.
(B) with each of them consisting --- The problem is the reference of ‘them’
(C)each colony consisting --- correct choice
(D)and each of them consist--- 1. SV error and 2. Pronoun ambiguity
(E) and each colony consisting --- fragment
Of course, choices A, B and D can be dropped because of pronoun ambiguity, although logically one might argue that either ‘which’ or ‘them’ simply stands for only colonies. Neither each of the rats nor the animals can individually have a single reproductive female and workers within themselves, while the colonies each can very well have both the features. But when there is such a blatant gap between existing structure and intended logic, I think it is safe to keep off.
But more importantly, why is C better than E? It is because of the correct grammatical structure. C is a simple sentence, consisting of a subject, a verb primarily and then a modifier that gives some more info about the previous clause. This is a concise acceptable structure.
In E, on the other hand, the structure is totally defective. We are trying to form a compound sentences with two ICs, with the help of a coordinating conjunction ’and’. But the second IC is no IC but a phrase without a verb. So this portion is a fragment. So Ace99 is indeed correct, if he wants to call E a fragment, but A as a run-on.
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2013, 03:29
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Sadly I got it wrong. I have two questions :

First, why the correct answer is not a run-on sentence? The modifier connect to the main clause without any coordinator conjunction, so why it is not a run-on?
Second, where is the main verb for the modifier clause? Isn't it a fragment? ( I assumed that the correct answer is a fragment since there is no main verb in the modifier clause)

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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2013, 03:34
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zazoz wrote:
Sadly I got it wrong. I have two questions :

First, why the correct answer is not a run-on sentence? The modifier connect to the main clause without any coordinator conjunction, so why it is not a run-on?
Second, where is the main verb for the modifier clause? Isn't it a fragment? ( I assumed that the correct answer is a fragment since there is no main verb in the modifier clause)

Coordinating conjunction is required only for connecting 2 sentences or independent clauses . Modifiers do not need any such connecting word.
The main verb is required to be present in a dependent or independent clause {complete sentence)
a modifer can also be a single word (no verb required)
Tubby, my cat, is so lazy {my cat is the modifier)
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Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2014, 09:37
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1
2
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her

A. each of which consists
B. with each of them consisting
C. each colony consisting
D. and each of them consist
E. and each colony consisting

Meaning : 1.Naked moles form colonies of 20 animals .
2.Each of the colonies consists of a female and workers .

Sentence splitting :

1. Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals ,each of

2. Which consists of a single reproductive female and workers

3. that defend her

Error Analysis :

All S-V pair are correct ------ correct
Verb ---- sentence stating fact , so all verbs are in present tense .---correct

Here , In " each of which ..... " modifier .

" Each "is referring to colonies , and " which " is referring to " each " ------- makes perfect sense .

So , at first glance , I could not find any error in original sentence .

POE :

a. no error .
b. " them " could be referring to animals . ----wrong
c. is better than choice a .
d. S-V error , each of them --- singular subject , but "consist " ---plural verb
e. no verb for the subject " each .."

Here my question is :
Choice A as such does not have any error , but choice C is correct as it is better constructed than choice A .
According to gmat-prep explanation , " each ... " is referring to animals ,hence choice A is incorrect , but as per my understanding how an animal can contain a female and worker ?? .

Is my analysis is correct ?? .

Thanks,
Deepak
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals,each of whic  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2014, 07:23
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deepak1990verma wrote:
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her

A. each of which consists
B. with each of them consisting
C. each colony consisting
D. and each of them consist
E. and each colony consisting

Meaning : 1.Naked moles form colonies of 20 animals .
2.Each of the colonies consists of a female and workers .

Sentence splitting :

1. Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals ,each of

2. Which consists of a single reproductive female and workers

3. that defend her

Error Analysis :

All S-V pair are correct ------ correct
Verb ---- sentence stating fact , so all verbs are in present tense .---correct

Here , In " each of which ..... " modifier .

" Each "is referring to colonies , and " which " is referring to " each " ------- makes perfect sense .

So , at first glance , I could not find any error in original sentence .

POE :

a. no error .
b. " them " could be referring to animals . ----wrong
c. is better than choice a .
d. S-V error , each of them --- singular subject , but "consist " ---plural verb
e. no verb for the subject " each .."

Here my question is :
Choice A as such does not have any error , but choice C is correct as it is better constructed than choice A .
According to gmat-prep explanation , " each ... " is referring to animals ,hence choice A is incorrect , but as per my understanding how an animal can contain a female and worker ?? .

Is my analysis is correct ?? .

Thanks,
Deepak

Hi Deepak,

Thanks for posting your doubt here.

Your analysis is correct. Also, you doubt here is very valid. The phrase "each of which" can jump over to refer to "colonies". However, there is still a room for little ambiguity in reference. Same is the case with Choices B and D. We can say that plural pronoun "them" cannot logically refer to "animals" so they must be referring to "colonies". But why to get into these ambiguous territories when we have a two choices that CLEARLY mention that colonies consist of something.

Now Choice E is certainly incorrect because Comma + And must join two Independent clauses. Hence Choice C is the clear winner here. It has the structure Noun + Noun Modifier that without any ambiguity whatsoever describes colonies.

Also go for precise and clear answer choices when you are placed with such choices.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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04 May 2017, 07:36
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1
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists ---- note the part after comma contains a verb and its subject is each (of which is a prepositional middle man); it is indeed an IC and therefore this passage is a comma splice

B. with each of them consisting -- 'with each of them consisting' is an adverbial modifier modifying the singular rat's action of forming colonies rather than pointing out to any plural subject or object.

C. each colony consisting -- Now the whole maze is cleared. No doubts about what is the single female and her defendant are modifying.

D. and each of them consist … each… consist is S-V error.

E. and each colony consisting-- This is an unparallel fragment
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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06 May 2017, 22:30
GMATNinja wrote:
Ah, “each.” One of the GMAT’s favorite little things.

There’s some nuance to this, but the quick version is that when “each” is used as a subject, it’s always singular. (Note that “each” can also function as an adverb, though it’s fairly rare on the GMAT – see this thread if you want to torment yourself with those details. Or check out this thread for a more “normal” use of “each.”)

So in this case, we can eliminate (D) right away: “each… consist” is wrong, since “each” is singular.

The other thing that jumps out at me is the word “them” in answer choices (B) and (D). The most recent plural noun is “animals” – but that doesn’t make any sense. “Each of the animals consisting of a single reproductive female and workers…”?? Nope. So (B) is gone, too.

(A) has a nearly identical issue: “each of which” seems to refer back to “animals” as well, and that’s illogical. Our last two choices, (C) and (E), clarify the meaning by using the phrase “each colony.”

The only difference between (C) and (E) is the word “and” -- and that doesn’t quite work in (E). We’d need a full clause after the “and” in this case: “and each colony consisted…” would be OK, but “consisting” is a participle (modifier) here, so we definitely don’t need the “and.”

So our winner is (C). “each colony consisting” is just a modifier – and it makes perfect sense as a source of extra information for that initial clause, “Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals…”

Thanks for the explanation. A couple of questions:

1) You wrote "The other thing that jumps out at me is the word “them” in answer choices (B) and (D). The most recent plural noun is “animals” – but that doesn’t make any sense."
If the pronoun is ambiguous (can refer to multiple antecedents), isn't the sentence automatically incorrect, regardless of whether or not the pronoun refers to the most recent antecedent?

2) This question concerns use of "which". Please let me know if my understanding is correct:

a) When "which" follows a comma, it refers to the subject directly preceding the comma. E.g. Johnny was playing with the ball and the car, which had big wheels. This is correct because "which" refers to "car".

However, if the sentence read "Johnny was playing with the ball and the car and it had big wheels." this would be incorrect because the pronoun "it" could refer to the "ball" or "car".

b) "Which" can refer to a subject that does not directly precede the comma if the subject preceding the comma cannot be referred to by "which". E.g.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

In this example, "which" cannot refer to Susan and therefore must refer to the "letter".
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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10 May 2017, 14:15
1
Top Contributor
Quote:
Thanks for the explanation. A couple of questions:

1) You wrote "The other thing that jumps out at me is the word “them” in answer choices (B) and (D). The most recent plural noun is “animals” – but that doesn’t make any sense."
If the pronoun is ambiguous (can refer to multiple antecedents), isn't the sentence automatically incorrect, regardless of whether or not the pronoun refers to the most recent antecedent?

There's a lot of grey area on the GMAT when it comes to pronoun ambiguity. The quick answer is that pronoun ambiguity doesn't automatically make a sentence in correct. Here, check out this older thread on the topic: https://gmatclub.com/forum/pronoun-ambi ... 45387.html

Quote:
2) This question concerns use of "which". Please let me know if my understanding is correct:

a) When "which" follows a comma, it refers to the subject directly preceding the comma. E.g. Johnny was playing with the ball and the car, which had big wheels. This is correct because "which" refers to "car".

Agreed.

Quote:
However, if the sentence read "Johnny was playing with the ball and the car and it had big wheels." this would be incorrect because the pronoun "it" could refer to the "ball" or "car".

Again, pronoun ambiguity isn't automatically wrong. When in doubt, "it" will most likely refer to the most recent singular noun -- "car", in this case. So the pronoun doesn't seem like a problem at all in this example.

Quote:
b) "Which" can refer to a subject that does not directly precede the comma if the subject preceding the comma cannot be referred to by "which". E.g.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

In this example, "which" cannot refer to Susan and therefore must refer to the "letter".

This is where we get into some tricky stuff, but you have the right idea: "which" can't refer to a person, so the "which" has to reach a little bit farther back. In this case, "letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson" is being modified by "which" -- and that's OK, since there's really no way to rearrange the sentence so that the "which" is right after "letters." But this type of exception doesn't appear terribly often on the GMAT.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi  [#permalink]

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10 May 2017, 18:48
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the explanation. A couple of questions:

1) You wrote "The other thing that jumps out at me is the word “them” in answer choices (B) and (D). The most recent plural noun is “animals” – but that doesn’t make any sense."
If the pronoun is ambiguous (can refer to multiple antecedents), isn't the sentence automatically incorrect, regardless of whether or not the pronoun refers to the most recent antecedent?

There's a lot of grey area on the GMAT when it comes to pronoun ambiguity. The quick answer is that pronoun ambiguity doesn't automatically make a sentence in correct. Here, check out this older thread on the topic: https://gmatclub.com/forum/pronoun-ambi ... 45387.html

Quote:
2) This question concerns use of "which". Please let me know if my understanding is correct:

a) When "which" follows a comma, it refers to the subject directly preceding the comma. E.g. Johnny was playing with the ball and the car, which had big wheels. This is correct because "which" refers to "car".

Agreed.

Quote:
However, if the sentence read "Johnny was playing with the ball and the car and it had big wheels." this would be incorrect because the pronoun "it" could refer to the "ball" or "car".

Again, pronoun ambiguity isn't automatically wrong. When in doubt, "it" will most likely refer to the most recent singular noun -- "car", in this case. So the pronoun doesn't seem like a problem at all in this example.

Quote:
b) "Which" can refer to a subject that does not directly precede the comma if the subject preceding the comma cannot be referred to by "which". E.g.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

In this example, "which" cannot refer to Susan and therefore must refer to the "letter".

This is where we get into some tricky stuff, but you have the right idea: "which" can't refer to a person, so the "which" has to reach a little bit farther back. In this case, "letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson" is being modified by "which" -- and that's OK, since there's really no way to rearrange the sentence so that the "which" is right after "letters." But this type of exception doesn't appear terribly often on the GMAT.

I hope this helps!

That was an interesting read, thanks. 3 points are outlined for consideration of whether the pronoun is ambiguous:

1) Context - does the pronoun clearly point to one of the antecedents over the others
2) Pronoun should be parallel to the intended antecedent
3) Pronoun should not be parallel to the intended antecedent

One last question for you! In the mole rats example, for choice A, I would have thought that it was completely obvious what was being referred to by "each of which" (although this is not use of a pronoun, it is very similar). An animal cannot consist of "a single reproductive female and workers that defend her"! However, this choice is wrong!! Can you shed any light on why the GMAT would consider this choice, which is less awkward than the correct answer, incorrect?
Re: Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of whi   [#permalink] 10 May 2017, 18:48

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