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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed

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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

(A) On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow
(B) On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are, it is believed, the rate of tree growth
(C) On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles
(D) Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles, believed to be the tree growth rate
(E) Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow
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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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Ok I've cracked it. Answer is E. My logic was right but I comitted a mistake. The last phrase doesnt modify indications but it modifies the rate of growth. So C is ruled out & hence E wins.

For further clarification try to rephrase the sentence as:

The rate at which trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks, is believed to be among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles.

This tells us why E is right.
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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I'm going with E in this one.

A and B present subject-verb agreement problems. They also distort the intended meaning of the sentence.
I think that the problem with C is that "as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks" should modify the rate at which trees grow rather than sunspot cycles.
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2011, 06:23
The important thing here is to note what the pronoun ‘their’ in the un-underlined part points to. Unfortunately, in C it refers to the sunspot cycles by virtue of proximity, while it should refer to the trees, which is what E does and thus outdoes C.
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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sondenso already pointed out the subject/verb agreement issue with A and B, but I wanted to point out the (hilarious) implications of the placement of the phrase "on earth." In A, B, and C the meaning is slightly different from what we want-- these choices imply that "here on earth" we believe something (...as opposed to the Martians who believe something else?). Often if you see an entire phrase lifted and placed somewhere different in the other answer choices, it's a red flag to check for modifier issues.

The intended meaning is that "out of all of the indications on Earth, this particular indication is the surest." Both D and E correctly place the phrase "on Earth" after "indications," where it belongs.

As several others pointed out above, the non-underlined pronoun "their" means that we must have the plural antecedent "trees." Additionally, D is missing a verb! The past participle "believed," while it looks exactly like the simple past tense "believed" CANNOT function as a verb in this situation. We use the idiom "believed to be" in the following situation:

She is believed to be the best runner in the class.
(OTHER PEOPLE--who are unspecified in this sentence-- believe that SHE is the best runner)

...or...
Stella, believed to be the best runner in her class, won the competition.
(Here "believed" functions as it does in choice D--as a modifier describing Stella)

If we use "believed" as a simple past-tense verb, the function of that verb and the required structure changes:

She believed Carl.
(SHE is the one doing the believing, and CARL is the one being believed)

Choice E (while to my ear horribly wordy) correctly matches the subject/verb, uses the correct pronoun antecedent, and places modifiers correctly. This is another great case for "get rid of the wrong ones" instead of "find the one that sounds good."
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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

On Earth, among the surest indications (...)
Among the surest indications on Earth (...)

The two sentences seem to say the same thing, but actually there is a difference.
"On Earth," refers to the whole thing after, not only to the indicator, as it should.

So "among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be (...)" <== all this is modified by "On Earth", so it seems that on another planet this indicators are not believed to be accurate.
On the other hand "Among the surest indications on Earth (...)" says that on Earth we have some indications, and among those tree growth is accurate.

Hope I've explained myself well!
The OA is E.
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2015, 07:59
A participial phrase appearing at the end of the passage, if not set off by comma, modifies the noun just in front; However, if the participial phrase is set off by a comma from the previous noun, then it need not modify that noun and will usually modify a distant noun, mostly the subject. See the following examples.

1. The rape-accused nervously watched the eyewitness, alarmed by her revelations -- here ‘alarmed by’ modifies the rape accused and not the eyewitness
2. We often hear about politicians corrupted either by money power or muscle power. --- Here ‘corrupted by ‘modifies politicians

C. on Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks. --- Here, because of the comma before 'as seen', the modifier need not necessarily modify the sunspot cycles. It can very well modify the rate

E. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow
But in ‘E” the problem seems to be that of ‘Earth of sunspot cycles’, which means to imply we have some kind of an earth that is specifically called the ‘earth of sunspot cycles’. This is illogical in the least if not ungrammatical altogether.
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

First thing to know is that no conjunction has the power of making a list plural except "AND". "Amongst the many X's" is always singular
since "AMONG THE MANY INDICATIONS" is the subject of the sentence, the SUBJECT-VERB agreement dictates that we use a singular verb. So we have to use "is" and not "are"
Secondly the meaning of the sentence imply that sunspots are seen "indirectly" on earth for example :-as the growth rings of trees.
A SUNSPOT CANNOT EXIST ON EARTH ON ITS OWN. BUT THE EVIDENCE OF SUNSPOTS CAN EXIST AS SEEN IN THE TREE RINGS.


A. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow
WRONG:- incorrect SV agreement

B. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are, it is believed, the rate of tree growth
WRONG:- incorrect SV agreement

C. On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles
WRONG:- add this one to the original sentence and you will see that it implies "sunspots can be in seen tree growth rings."

On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks
ABSURD MEANING:- Trees captured sunspots and now those sunspot are seen in the trees ring.

D. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles, believed to be the tree growth rate
WRONG:- This one has no auxiliary verb at all . It directly jumps to the main verb "believed"
To make a correct verb phrase we need auxliary verb + main verb = correct verb phrase. We need "is" to make this sentence grammatically correct.

E. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow (as seen in the rings)
CORRECT:- Perfect !! correct SV agreement. Correct meaning "Rate" can be "seen" in the relatively thickness of the tree rings. THIS ONE IS BETTER THAN OPTION C BECAUSE SUNPOT CANNOT BE SEEN IN A TREE RING BUT RATE CAN BE SEEN IN A TREE RING (AS IN THICKER RING MEANS MORE GROWTH , THIN RING MEANS LESS GROWTH.



Nihit wrote:
. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

A. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow
B. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are, it is believed, the rate of tree growth
C. On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles
D. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles, believed to be the tree growth rate
E. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow

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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2017, 23:13
hello expert ,
please explain the reasoning behind the correct as well as the wrong answers,

thanks
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 09:57
nks2611 wrote:
hello expert ,
please explain the reasoning behind the correct as well as the wrong answers,

thanks


A,B: Eliminate because plural verb "are" does not match with singular subject "rate".

D: No verb in the main clause

C and E are grammatically alright. But C expresses a wrong meaning: On earth, it is believed. "On earth" wrongly refers to "is believed". In E "on earth" correctly refers to "indications".
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2017, 04:06
Hello experts,

Option C is wrong because of [comma the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles comma] construction?
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 11:21
ravi19012015 wrote:
Hello experts,

Option C is wrong because of [comma the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles comma] construction?


In C, "on earth" is used as an adverbial modifier referring to the verb "is believed" (implying that on earth it is believed, but may not be on other planets).

Instead "on earth" must be used as a noun modifier referring to "indications".
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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Beginning the sentences (A, B, C) with 'On Earth' means that the writer is an alien.

In A. B. C. 'On Earth' is an adverbial phrase that modifies 'verb' or 'whole sentence'
In D. E. 'On Earth' is an prepositional phrase that modifies 'among the surest indications'
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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Hi all, here is my analysis.

On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

A. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow

B. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are, it is believed, the rate of tree growth

C. On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles

D. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles, believed to be the tree growth rate

E. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow

Reverse Construction:

_On the table there is one pen. This sentence is equivalent to:

_One pen is on the table.

Subject = one pen

Verb = is

Note that: The prepositional phrase = "on the table" CANNOT be the SUBJECT of the sentence.

The reverse construction is applied to A, B, C, & E.

_Prepositional phrase = [Among........] CANNOT be the Subject

_Subject = the rate

_Verb = is

Hence, A & B are out since Subject & Verb do not agree.

We are down to C, D, & E.

_D is a FRAGMENT because D has NO MAIN VERB.

Now, between C & E, which of of them is correct?

Lets observe the portion that is NOT underlined:

_[as seen in the rings.....]= a MODIFIER

_What does it modify?

_It modifies THE RATE.

_In (E) THE RATE is close to its MODIFIER = [as seen......], while in (C) those two are FAR AWAY from each other --> E is better than C, and thus E is the correct choice.

In addition, "On Earth" is moved around in C & E. Once gain, the same question: What does " On Earth" modify?

_It modifies "Indications".

_As seen in E, "On Earth" is right next to "Indications", whereas in C those two are FAR AWAY from each other. Once again, E is better than C.
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 21:19
Is this really a Gmat Prep question?

I am still not convinced about why C is not the answer.

Close call between C and E.

What exactly does "as seen in the rings" modify?- Sunspot cycles or rate at which trees grow?

In E isn't it modifying the "rate" at which trees grow, which is nonsensical IMO. Ugh I'm indeed confused !
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2017, 15:19
Contenders C and E

C) On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

Issue 1: Meaning

Essentially, in the first part of the sentence, On earth, <A> is believed to be <B>....,
which illogically implies that
On earth A is believed to be B, but somewhere else it could be C
the true meaning intended is: Surest indication of <something> on earth is believed to be <something>....

Issue 2: Modifier touch rule

"...sunspot cycles, as seen..."
Sunspot cycles, cannot be seen in trees.

For both of these issues, C is OUT

(E) Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

It is implying the true meaning
Among the surest indications on Earth of <something> is believed to be <something>
Modifier - as seen - is touching the correct noun - the rate at which trees grow

E is Correct




johnycute wrote:
[u]On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.

(A) On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow
(B) On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are, it is believed, the rate of tree growth
(C) On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles
(D) Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles, believed to be the tree growth rate
(E) Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow
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Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2017, 05:23
T700ISB wrote:
Is this really a Gmat Prep question?

I am still not convinced about why C is not the answer.

Close call between C and E.

What exactly does "as seen in the rings" modify?- Sunspot cycles or rate at which trees grow?

In E isn't it modifying the "rate" at which trees grow, which is nonsensical IMO. Ugh I'm indeed confused !


Your query 1:
The following post explains why C is incorrect:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/on-earth-amo ... l#p1808827

Your query 2:
The part "as seen in the rings" modifies neither "sunspot cycles" nor "rate at which trees grow" - it is a prepositional phrase referring to the entire previous clause (recollect the use of comma + present participle - comma +prepositional phrases can also be used in the same way, i.e., to refer to an entire previous clause.)
Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2017, 05:23
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