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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater

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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 01:34
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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.

(A) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them

(B) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced

(C) which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

(D) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

(E) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them

NEW question from GMAT® Official Guide 2019


(SC01595)

http://www.oakton.edu/user/4/billtong/eas100/real_jurassic_park.pdf

When the team brought the dinosaur into the lab, we noticed that some parts deep inside the long bone of the leg had not completely fossilized. Normally a bone becomes fossilized with the help of groundwater, which permeates it, washes away its organic components and replaces them with minerals. But water also interacts with DNA and protein molecules, breaking apart the bonds that hold them together. One possible explanation was that not much water had gotten into this T. rex. If that was true, then some biomolecules could remain. It was a long shot but clearly worth checking out.

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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 10:49
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Hello Everyone!

We’ve got a list. parallelism! Any time you see a list on the exam, that means there will be a few unparallel options that you’ll be able to quickly dump, and that will help us get to the right option even faster.

So what could the parallel structure be here?

Permeates, washes, and replaces
-or-
Permeating, washing, and replacing (but there are some problems with this one...more to come on that later)

Let’s see how each answer holds up:

(A) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them → CORRECT
(B) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replacedINCORRECT
(C) which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replacedINCORRECT
(D) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced → INCORRECT

(E) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them INCORRECT

So why else is option E incorrect, even though it uses parallel structure? The GMAT requires the use of the serial comma (aka the Oxford comma) for every item in a list, including the last item in a list of 3+ items. Answer E doesn’t use a serial comma for the third item, so it’s wrong.

But even more fundamentally, (options D and E), insert “permeating” as an -ing modifier right after the comma, which opens up a confusing ambiguous reference because “permeating” could mean that:

1) groundwater permeates the bone
2) the action of groundwater permeates the bone
3) or even the fossilization through the action of groundwater permeates the bone

A is both parallel, and retains the intended message.

Don’t study for the GMAT. Train for it.
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 01:48
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The underlined portion talks of three actions ..
I) permeates the bone
II) washes away it's organic components
III)) replaces them..

Who does this action - the ground water

Normally becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.


A. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them
Correct... The ground water, which permeates..., Washes..... And replaces...

B. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced
THOSE is wrong and is not parallel with other two actions

C. which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced
This makes the parallel actions as WASHING... dependent on the previous phrase

D. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced
changes the actions as MODIFIER

E. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them
Same as D

A



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(SC01595)
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 02:18
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Bunuel wrote:
Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.


A. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them

B. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced

C. which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

D. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

E. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them



NEW question from GMAT® Official Guide 2019


(SC01595)


Going by meaning.

Intended meaning is - a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater. It is ground water that does three things
1) permeates the bone,
2) washes away its organic components
3) and replaces them with minerals.

This is conveying correct meaning as well.

A. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them. A is correct

B. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced those are replaced - makes it wrong

C. which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced it changes the second item in list to modifier. And this modifier is placed next to relative clause. Hence doesn't convey intended meaning.

D. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced It uses two modifier placed next to each other. But it should be modifying groundwater. This modifier should be connected with "and". This is incorrect.

E. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them Similar error as in D.

Clearly A is the Ans
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 02:21
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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.


A. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components and replaces them --- correct choice.

B. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced--- and 'those are replaced' breaks the //ism.

C. which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced --- There is no intention involved in this action. This is a natural phenomenon. Hence, 'to be replaced' is out of context.

D. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced -- 'comma +permeating' changes the meaning, since permeating does not now modify the groundwater.

E. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them ---- same error as in D.



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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 05:06
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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.


A. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them --> correct

B. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced --> not parallel

C. which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced--> not parallel

D. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced --> not parallel

E. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them --> "Sub + verb + obj, <>-ing": "," + ing doesn't modify the noun before "," i.e. meaning change
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 00:17
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In option A...what is antecedent of pronoun 'them'?

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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 01:11
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them refers to organic components
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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2018, 01:54
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In answer choice A,they are talking about "them" which refers to singular noun "a bone".How it could be correct ?
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2018, 02:07
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Kanir12 wrote:
In answer choice A,they are talking about "them" which refers to singular noun "a bone".How it could be correct ?

"them" is for organic components, not for "a bone".
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2018, 22:16
egmat

First glance A is perfect. Is there a trap? Delving into it deeper marked E.

Why is E incorrect?

If a comma+a Verb-ing modifier can modifiy the how aspect of the action presented before, the comma+Verb-ing modifier presents how the bone gets fossilized by the action of ground water and mantains the parallel structure too?

What am I missing?

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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2018, 12:13
benignfiend wrote:
egmat

First glance A is perfect. Is there a trap? Delving into it deeper marked E.

Why is E incorrect?

If a comma+a Verb-ing modifier can modifiy the how aspect of the action presented before, the comma+Verb-ing modifier presents how the bone gets fossilized by the action of ground water and mantains the parallel structure too?

What am I missing?

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benignfiend

if groundwater is the subject,then verb"ing" would make some sense to the sentence...

hope it helps :)
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 01:20
chetan2u wrote:
The underlined portion talks of three actions ..
I) permeates the bone
II) washes away it's organic components
III)) replaces them..

Who does this action - the ground water

Normally becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.


A. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them
Correct... The ground water, which permeates..., Washes..... And replaces...

B. which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced
THOSE is wrong and is not parallel with other two actions

C. which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced
This makes the parallel actions as WASHING... dependent on the previous phrase

D. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced
changes the actions as MODIFIER

E. permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them
Same as D

A



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Since the three actions are independent and do not have a causal relationship, how can "them" refer to organic components?
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 02:47
(A) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them

(B) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced

(C) which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

(D) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

(E) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 06:15
But that doesnt answer my query. Request GMATNinja sudarshan22 aragonn to please step in
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 07:14
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singh8891 wrote:
But that doesnt answer my query. Request GMATNinja sudarshan22 aragonn to please step in


singh8891 - GMAT is not about the best answer. It about finding an option that is best of the lot. As in this case A is. Other posts have covered all options, lets focus on use of them. its pronoun, it has to point nearest noun that too plural. Let see the possibilities. 'organic components' is the only possible contender. so them refers to it without a doubt. I see you raised this doubt on grounds that "Since the three actions are independent and do not have a causal relationship". Well, to be start these three are parallel. yet this has nothing to do with why them refer to organic components. So my 2 cents are, if you need to find the antecedent of a pronoun, look for nearest noun, if you find multiple possibilities, then only be skeptical about its use. Hope its helpful.
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New post 08 Dec 2018, 17:03
If you have an excellent memory, you will notice immediately the big difference between answer A & E.

Answer A uses a correct structure : A, B, and C

Answer E uses a wrong structure: A, B and C, and V-ing here is also incorrect

So Answer A is a good choice.
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 16:08
Bunuel wrote:
Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals.

(A) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them

(B) which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and those are replaced

(C) which permeates the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

(D) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, to be replaced

(E) permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them


I struggled with this question and chose E.

I still do not see how A is the correct answer.

If we boil it down it reads "through the action of ground water washes away and replaces." This is a fragment.... Someone please help
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Re: Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 16:41
kchen1994 - first, permeate means fill something. Now lets observe the meaning difference between these two. As you mentioned in your choice "the action of groundwater, which permeates the bone, washes away its organic components, and replaces them with minerals."

permeating the bone, washing away its organic components and replacing them - In this choice, whole modifier is modified. that means these verb-ing are telling how a bone is fossilized.

Also notice use of present tense. it tells that water just does that all the time. I hopw you can notice subtle change in the meaning. E is conveying the correct mening for sure.
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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Dec 2018, 06:44
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1. I am afraid while calling "A" a fragment, you have conveniently left out the part", which permeates the bone". May I know the reason? If you leave out the subject from a clause, then it will only be a fragment


"Which" is a relative pronoun that acts as the subject of all those actions that water does? The relative clause is a subordinate clause with three verbs together called compound verbs.

There is a subject, then there is a legal compound verb structure, and taken together that is a licit clause.

2. While choosing E as the choice, you seem to have missed the basic point of what the adverbial clause
"E) Permeating the bone, washing away its organic components, and replacing them" is modifying.

The modifier erroneously modifies the bone and the action of fossilizing. Does the bone do all those activities or does water do the activities?

singh8891.

I have a small question to singh8891. If 'them' does not refer to the organic components, could you please suggest an alternate for the pronoun 'them'?

In case you could not find another plural in the text to refer to 'them', how would you tackle this official question?
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Originally posted by daagh on 10 Dec 2018, 03:15.
Last edited by daagh on 10 Dec 2018, 06:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Normally a bone becomes fossilized through the action of groundwater   [#permalink] 10 Dec 2018, 03:15

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