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# OG question

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 3

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14 Aug 2013, 22:53
I couldn't find its solution anywhere so posting it here.

"In undistributed primary forests, the Honduran Mahogany grows up to a height of 130 feet, having a buttressed trunk and a crown that spread over the canopy of lesser trees."

"to a height of 130 feet, with a buttressed trunk and with a crown that spreads"

The explanation says that "spread" should logically refer to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown". How do we know from the original sentence that "that" refers to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown"?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4030
Followers: 1415

Kudos [?]: 6754 [1] , given: 84

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15 Aug 2013, 15:44
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
anuragster wrote:
I couldn't find its solution anywhere so posting it here.

"In undistributed primary forests, the Honduran Mahogany grows up to a height of 130 feet, having a buttressed trunk and a crown that spread over the canopy of lesser trees."

"to a height of 130 feet, with a buttressed trunk and with a crown that spreads"

The explanation says that "spread" should logically refer to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown". How do we know from the original sentence that "that" refers to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown"?

First of all, are you familiar with the Modifier Touch Rule? It's not 100%, but in general, a modifying phrase, here "that spreads ...", modifies the noun directly adjacent to it in a sentence.

http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/modifiers- ... orrection/

Of course, here we could say that here the modifier "touches" either "a crown" or "a buttressed trunk and a crown", so how do we know the intended target? We have to use logic. A crown (whatever that is, probably the top of a tree) could "spread over the canopy", but a trunk (the vertical part of a tree) doesn't "spread over" anything.

Never forget --- GMAT SC is not primarily about grammar. It's primarily about logic, what do the sentence say, and the grammar has to support the logic.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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16 Aug 2013, 02:25
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
anuragster wrote:
I couldn't find its solution anywhere so posting it here.

"In undistributed primary forests, the Honduran Mahogany grows up to a height of 130 feet, having a buttressed trunk and a crown that spread over the canopy of lesser trees."

"to a height of 130 feet, with a buttressed trunk and with a crown that spreads"

The explanation says that "spread" should logically refer to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown". How do we know from the original sentence that "that" refers to "a crown" and not to "a buttressed trunk and a crown"?

Anurag, here is my response to the message I received from you.

Let me make sure you are clear on the terminology here.
Crown = Ornament worn on the head
Canopy = A cloth used to cover something
Trunk = The bottom portion of a tree which provides support to the tree.

Now from the context of the given sentence, both crown and canopy are used in the same sense i.e. the covering of leaves at the top of the tree.
Now you tell me. Is it possible for the trunk of a Mahogany (or whatever) tree to spread over the “covering at the top” of other trees? Think if it makes sense.
That is why “that” refers only to the “crown” of Mahogany Tree (Here it is used to show the huge stature of the tree and that it can cover other trees with its shade/leaves. It is obvious from the context).

Regards,
Krishna Chaitanya
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Re: OG question   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2013, 02:25
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