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# One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that

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One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 03:34
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One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun, was first proposed by Pierre-Simon Laplace.

a) the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun, was first proposed by Pierre-Simon Laplace
b) our solar system being created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun, was first proposed by Pierre-Simon Laplace
c) Pierre-Simon Laplace first proposed the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun
d) there was proposed a theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun by Pierre-Simon Laplace
e) was Pierre-Simon Laplace, who first proposed the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun

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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 07:53
"One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s".... implies scientist name should immediately be followed. Hence, I think the answer is C
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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 08:19
Since one of the greatest scientific thinkers has to modify a person, no other option except C has the correction in place. IMO also option C.
Option E is incorrect because introduction of was means Laplace is no more considered one of the greatest thinkers.
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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 08:37
IMO C

One of the greatest thinker , needs a noun after it

C does that

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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 11:01
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globaldesi wrote:
One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun, was first proposed by Pierre-Simon Laplace.

a) the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun, was first proposed by Pierre-Simon Laplace
b) our solar system being created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun, was first proposed by Pierre-Simon Laplace
c) Pierre-Simon Laplace first proposed the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun
d) there was proposed a theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun by Pierre-Simon Laplace
e) was Pierre-Simon Laplace, who first proposed the theory that our solar system was created from a spinning cloud of gas, most of which was pulled toward the center to form the sun
Correct Answer must be (C) as the highlighted part in the question stem must modify what comes next (name of a scientist in this case)
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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 12:46
C. As one of the greatest scientific thinker of 1700 needs a name of a scientist who proposed the theory.

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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 05:34
Whenever there's an introductory modifier followed by a comma on a Sentence Correction question, note that the object being modified should immediately follow the comma. This concept is frequently tested. Here, the object being modified (described as "one of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s") is Pierre-Simon Laplace, so his name should immediately follow the comma. Once this problem has been identified, a quick vertical scan allows the elimination of all answers except (C). Then do a quick read of the whole sentence incorporating (C) to make sure it is correct.

(A), the sentence as written, is incorrect for the reason noted above.

(B) incorrectly implies that "our solar system" was one of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s. (B) also uses the awkward "our solar system being created." As a verb from, being is weak and is almost never correct on the GMAT.

(D) structurally implies that Laplace himself pulled most of the gas toward the center to form the sun. (D) also uses the awkward "there was" construction. Note that the there was/is/are/were construction is not wrong per se, but it is indirect and weak. Therefore, when you see it, look for a stronger, more direct answer choice.

(E) has two problems. First, it is not a grammatically correct sentence. It would be if the first comma were eliminated, but since the first comma is not in the underlined portion, this is not an option. Also note that (E) subtly changes the emphasis of the sentence. In the original sentence, the main point is that Laplace first proposed the theory. The fact that he was a great scientific thinker is not the main point but serves as additional information. In (E), the main point is that Laplace was one of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, and his proposal of the theory becomes secondary. This is a subtle but important shift in the emphasis of the sentence, so look for an answer choice that maintains the emphasis of the original.

TAKEAWAY: Misplaced modifiers can create absurd unintended meanings; make sure the modifier is as close as possible to what it's modifying to avoid this error.
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One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 23 Apr 2019, 00:35
Obviously, the correct choice is C. Still have question whether construction "most of which" should take a singular verb. Is that correct?
Shouldn't "most of which were.." be used instead?

Originally posted by ankaua on 22 Apr 2019, 10:27.
Last edited by ankaua on 23 Apr 2019, 00:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 11:31
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ankaua wrote:
Obviously, the correct choice is C. Still have question whether construction ???most of which??? should take a singular verb. Is that correct?
Shouldn???t ???most of which were..??? be used instead?

Keep in mind that "which" acts as a pronoun replacing an actual noun, so to determine singular vs. plural go back and find that noun. Here it's "a cloud of gas," which is singular. So that's why the singular "was" is properly used.

"Most" can refer to the majority of one thing ("most of the pie was eaten") or it can refer to the majority of several things ("most of the peanuts were eaten"). To determine singular vs. plural you have to find that noun, and here it gets a little more completed because the noun, "which," is standing in for another noun elsewhere in the sentence.
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Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that  [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2019, 00:42
VeritasPrepBrian

Thank a lot! It helps

PS I've updated the post as just noticed that apostrophe when sending from mobile browser is replaced with ???
Thank you for "parsing" my original question from this messy sentences!
Re: One of the greatest scientific thinkers of the 1700s, the theory that   [#permalink] 23 Apr 2019, 00:42
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