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# Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor

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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-
sivasanjeev
Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected to supply even a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements in the next century if genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats.

A. potatoes are expected to supply even a
B. potatoes will, it is expected, supply an even
C. it is expected that potatoes will supply an even
D. the potato is expected to supply an even
E. expectations are for the potato to supply even a

Meaning is crucial to solving this problem:
Understanding the intended meaning is key to solving this question; the intended meaning of the crucial part of this sentence is that potatoes are now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice, and corn, and they are expected to supply a share of the world's nutritional requirements that is even larger than the share they supplied before.

Concepts tested here: Meaning + Modifiers + Grammatical Construction + Awkwardness/Redundancy

• In a “phrase + comma + noun” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun; this is one of the most frequently tested concepts on GMAT sentence correction.
• A comma cannot join two independent clauses; such usage leads to the error of comma splice; to correct this error, the comma must be replaced with a semicolon or comma followed by a conjunction such as "and", "but" etc.
• Presenting a modifying phrase between two commas is a correct way to insert extra information into an independent clause.

A: The sentence formed by this answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase "even a larger share"; the construction of this phrase incorrectly implies that potatoes are expected to supply a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements, in addition to something else; the intended meaning is that potatoes are expected to supply a share of the world's nutritional requirements that is even larger than the share they supplied before.

B: This answer choice incorrectly uses a pair of commas to insert the independent clause "it is expected" into the independent clause "potatoes will supply an even larger share"; remember, a comma cannot join two independent clauses; such usage leads to the error of comma splice; to correct this error, the comma must be replaced with semicolon or comma followed by a conjunction such as "and", "but" etc, and presenting a modifying phrase between two commas is a correct way to insert extra information into an independent clause.

C: This answer choice incorrectly uses "Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn" to modify the placeholder pronoun "it", producing an incoherent meaning; the intended meaning is that potatoes are now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice, and corn; remember, in a “phrase + comma + noun” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun.

D: Correct. This answer choice correctly uses "Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn" to modify "potatoes", conveying the intended meaning - that potatoes are now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice, and corn. Moreover, the sentence formed by Option D uses the phrase "an even larger share", conveying the intended meaning - that potatoes are expected to supply a share of the world's nutritional requirements that is even larger than the share they supplied before. Further, Option D avoids the grammatical construction error seen in Option B, as it does not use a pair of commas.

E: This answer choice incorrectly uses "Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice, and corn" to modify "expectations", illogically implying that expectations are now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice, and corn; the intended meaning is that potatoes are now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice, and corn; remember, in a “phrase + comma + noun” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun. Moreover, the sentence formed by Option E alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase "even a larger share"; the construction of this phrase incorrectly implies that potatoes are expected to supply a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements, in addition to something else; the intended meaning is that potatoes are expected to supply a share of the world's nutritional requirements that is even larger than the share they supplied before.

Hence, D is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of "Phrase Comma Subject" and "Subject Comma Phrase" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):

To understand the concept of "Extra Information Between Commas" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~4 minute):

To understand the concept of "Comma Splices and Run-Ons" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~5 minutes):

All the best!
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
sivasanjeev
Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected to supply even a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements in the next century if genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats.

A. potatoes are expected to supply even a
B. potatoes will, it is expected, supply an even
C. it is expected that potatoes will supply an even
D. the potato is expected to supply an even
E. expectations are for the potato to supply even a

In A, although potato is the correct modifier, "supply even a" - sounds wordy
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
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akshayleo25
sivasanjeev
Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected to supply even a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements in the next century if genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats.

A. potatoes are expected to supply even a
B. potatoes will, it is expected, supply an even
C. it is expected that potatoes will supply an even
D. the potato is expected to supply an even
E. expectations are for the potato to supply even a

In A, although potato is the correct modifier, "supply even a" - sounds wordy

Another problem with A is "potatoes" = plural and "its" (in non underline portion) = singular. Option A, B and C can be eliminated because of pronoun # problem. Option E : modifier problem. So IMO - D
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
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The placement of “even” in A actually does not make it very clear what “even” modifies. There can be two possible interpretations:
(a) potatoes are expected to even supply a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements - “even” modifying “supply”

(b) potatoes are expected to supply an even larger share of the world's nutritional requirements - “even” modifying “larger”
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
Hi Experts / chetan2u,

If we just focus on the following part:
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected
_______________________________________________________________________________________

On the basis of bolded words can we say the the noun should be singular..?
Additionally, in the non-underlined portion we have singular nouns ( wheat,rice and corns). Do we nee plural form (potatoes after comm...?

If in the non-underlined portion we use plural nouns
Wheat- Plural form will also be wheat
Rice- same plural form
corn- plural CORNS

Also, can we use plural form potatoes with article "THE".

Thanks and Regards,
Prakhar
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
Can you help break down options A , B and D? Specific questions are:
1. why is plural "potatoes" incorrect?
2. what's the difference between "an even" and "even an"
3. in addition to above 2 points, is there any other error in option B?

Regards!
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
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jyotsnamahajan
Can you help break down options A , B and D? Specific questions are:
1. why is plural "potatoes" incorrect?
2. what's the difference between "an even" and "even an"
3. in addition to above 2 points, is there any other error in option B?

Regards!

This is a classic example of how the GMAT makes you think you're choosing based on idiomatic/stylistic criteria, but actually they hide a critical "decision maker" - the non-underlined word that tells you exactly what you need - in plain sight.

Look far from the underline and you'll see the singular pronoun "its" almost all the way at the end of the sentence. The GMAT frequently does this - there's a pronoun or other small word far, far away from the underline that most people never see. But that word right there means that we're talking about the singular "potato" and not the plural "potatoes."

Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected to supply even a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements in the next century if genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats.

Note that they do a really great job of hiding that by also using "same word for singular as plural" other crops: rice, corn, and wheat - nothing in the first half of the sentence really gives away singular-vs.-plural. Whenever you think you're making a singular/plural decision based on style (e.g. whether "most important crop" mandates one vs. the other), please, please look far away from the underline for a more concrete signal (usually a pronoun or verb) that serves as the "decision maker" for that distinction.

1) If you see that pronoun "its" there - which is NOT there by accident...this question wouldn't exist without it - the stylistic differences don't really matter. So make sure you know that...there's almost always a very concrete, primary error type in these problems if you take the time to look for it.

2) The placement of "even" isn't something I'd ever use as a primary decision point, but note that its role is as a modifier to put extra emphasis on an adjacent word. If you put "even" next to larger, you're emphasizing "larger" and that makes a lot of sense. When you move "even" farther away from "larger" then the emphasis becomes a little less clear. (Kind of the classic example of this is placement of the word "only" in a sentence like "my mom loves me" - if it's "only my mom loves me" that means that your mom is the only person who loves you; if it's "my only mom loves me" it means you only have one mom, and she loves you; if it's "my mom only loves me" you could read that as the only thing your mom does is love you; and if it's "my mom loves only me" then it means that you're the only person your mom loves. The placement of the emphasizer "only" makes a big difference.)
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected to supply even a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements in the next century if genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats.

A. potatoes are expected to supply even a
B. potatoes will, it is expected, supply an even
C. it is expected that potatoes will supply an even
D. the potato is expected to supply an even
E. expectations are for the potato to supply even a

Experts, can anyone tell me if the underlined portion in (B) is wrong? This is a silly question I got wrong, I went too fast and missed the "it's" to clarify potato is singular. But, I remember doing an OG question recently where a modifier similar to ",it is expected" was CORRECT, so I just want to clarify.
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
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throwaway2353
Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and corn, potatoes are expected to supply even a larger share of the world's nutritional requirements in the next century if genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats.

A. potatoes are expected to supply even a
B. potatoes will, it is expected, supply an even
C. it is expected that potatoes will supply an even
D. the potato is expected to supply an even
E. expectations are for the potato to supply even a

Experts, can anyone tell me if the underlined portion in (B) is wrong? This is a silly question I got wrong, I went too fast and missed the "it's" to clarify potato is singular. But, I remember doing an OG question recently where a modifier similar to ",it is expected" was CORRECT, so I just want to clarify.

I would like to add a few points to your question: e-GMAT course has taught that in case "if clause" is expressed in Simple Present tense and "then clause" expresses either certainty or possibility of outcome, the "then clause" must be expressed in Simple Future tense. The "then clause" is expressed in Simple Present tense only when it expresses a habit or a fact.

If, whatever I have written above is correct and the "then clause" is not somehow expressing a fact/general truth? Why is even Option D correct?
Another question: If the "its" pronoun mentioned in the last part of the sentence were not mentioned, Would Option B become the best available option?

Last Question: In option B, "it is expected" is inside a comma pair. Why can't we consider this part to be a non-essential modifier?
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
Just wondering if the verb agreement tag should be added to this question?
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
generis GMATNinja

Am I over-analyzing choice B? I thought it was an example of "splitting the verb" construction as discussed by generis in this post here: the-use-of-gravity-waves-which-do-not-interact-with-matter-in-the-way-1699.html

Can you please help me understand why in this question, choice B represents a comma splice error but in the example linked above the similar construction is correct? will, it is hoped, VERB
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
greenhouse7
generis GMATNinja

Am I over-analyzing choice B? I thought it was an example of "splitting the verb" construction as discussed by generis in this post here: the-use-of-gravity-waves-which-do-not-interact-with-matter-in-the-way-1699.html

Can you please help me understand why in this question, choice B represents a comma splice error but in the example linked above the similar construction is correct? will, it is hoped, VERB

Hello greenhouse7,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, Option B features an independent clause - "it is expected" - and the linked question features a dependent clause " in the way electromagnetic waves do".

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
No one is talking about the most obvious problem with A (Personally feel everyone is stretching definitions to validate A).

There is an its ("genetic engineering can increase its immunity to disease and expand its range of growing habitats".)
The antecedent of its can not be the potatos (plural). So we can discard A for non clear antecedent of its.
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Re: Now the fourth most important crop worldwide after wheat, rice and cor [#permalink]
POE:

A. potatoes are expected to supply even a

In the above choice I have an issue only with 'supply even a'. Here even should modify the next word, here it can ambiguously mean that we are supplying even. Can eliminate this option

B. potatoes will, it is expected, supply an even

Simple future is unnecessary used. It's a factual statement. it is expected is not as good as, patatoes are expected to be. there are modifier issues

C. it is expected that potatoes will supply an even
it is expected that is wordy. One can argue that there is no antecedent for 'it', but it's still a fair use as far as i know (it is expected that). But, we have better options. Also, Future tense is unnecessarily used

D. the potato is expected to supply an even
Looks correct. Also, the other crops are singular, so this is better

E. expectations are for the potato to supply even a
unnecessarily wordy