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# Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called

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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
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Maverick94 wrote:
But isint "proton-induced x-ray emission" is the technique itself? so the question is why cant "which" modify "proton-induced x-ray emission" please let me know where is the flaw in my understanding?

Hi Maverick94,

I've always read option C as "X, modifier for X, modifier for X", but apparently even the official explanation says that the which in C refers only to emission. For what it's worth, I think you're right: if the which refers to something in the phrase called proton-induced x-ray emission, it refers to the entire noun phrase "proton-induced x-ray emission".

I recommend that you (a) ignore the bit about which referring only to emission and (b) take C out for the greater ambiguity introduced by called proton-induced x-ray emission (does it refer to a technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants or to air pollutants?).
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
(A) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,

(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, a technique called proton induced x-ray emission

(C) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,

(D) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying it,

(E) A technique that was originally developed for detecting air pollutants and has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying the substance, called proton-induced x-ray emission,

Can't we say :

B : having is modifying the preceding noun and it makes no sense to have the air polluants having the ability to do somehing

C : it has no clear referents : is it the substance or the chemical (since what follow chemical is only a modifier ? )

D : same as C

E : "called" modify the closest noun, so it is "the substance" and it makes no sense

So A is winner

GMATNinja is my reasoning good or was it luck ? congrats for the marathon again btw
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
egmat wrote:
kuttingchai wrote:
agreed that it refers to substance, but then what is wrong with C or D, is it because it has 2 verbs ???

Hi there,

Let us split choice C into clauses:

A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.
• A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission,
o which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,
• (Cont. of Cl. 1) is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.

“developed” is not a verb here. It’s a verb-ed modifier. The only verb that clause 1 has is “is finding”. (Click on the following link to learn how to distinguish between a past tense verb and verb-ed modifier: https://gmatclub.com/forum/ed-forms-verb ... l#p1100855)

In choice C, “called proton-induced x-ray emission” has been separated from the entity it should modify – “a technique”. As a result, relative pronoun “which” is now only modifying the preceding noun “proton-induced x-ray emission”. It is not modifying “a technique” anymore. This leads to the modification error in Choice C.

Same is the case with Choice D as well.

Now let’s take a look at the correct Choice A:
Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced X-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.

In this sentence, the opening modifier “developed” is correctly modifying the subject of the preceding clause “a technique”. Now another modifier “called…” is placed just after “a technique”. So here the sentence is really saying:
a technique = proton-induced X-ray emission
“a technique called proton-induced X-ray emission” makes one big noun phrase here and hence, “which” correctly modifies this entire noun phrase, including “a technique”.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Although, it is very clear that option (C) is a wrong option, in option (A) the modifier Öriginally developed for detecting air pollutants" modifies "Proton-induced X-ray emissions" and looking at the orginal sentence, the modifier seems to be modifying the "A technique".
This was actually my grounds for rejecting option (A).

Kindly please clarify the above issue egmat
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Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
Quote:
Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.

Thought process: Question is on modifiers, there are two modifiers I can notice “Originally.. pollutants” and “which..it”

Quote:
(A) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,

‘It’ refers to substance, seems ok, as per (A), the technique is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology (skipping the inbetween modifier), which again seems ok

Quote:
(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, a technique called proton induced x-ray emission

,verb+ing should modify the preceding clause by either presenting additional information or presenting result, which it is not doing

Quote:
(C) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,

‘It’ refers to substance, seems ok, However, this conveys that proton-induced x-ray emission is finding uses in medicine, archeology, and criminology which is nonsensical because it should be the technique that is finding uses

Quote:
(D) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying it,

‘Without destroying it’ should be parallel (because of the presence of parallel marker ‘and’) appear parallel to ‘in almost any substance quickly’, however, ‘it’ should refer to substance and now to ‘chemical elements’

Quote:
(E) A technique that was originally developed for detecting air pollutants and has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying the substance, called proton-induced x-ray emission,

Called…emission: it is left hanging, it’s a clause, does not connect with the subject
The subject (proton-induced x-ray emission) has become a subordinate clause
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
Arthurito wrote:
(A) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,

(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, a technique called proton induced x-ray emission

(C) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,

(D) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying it,

(E) A technique that was originally developed for detecting air pollutants and has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying the substance, called proton-induced x-ray emission,

Can't we say :

B : having is modifying the preceding noun and it makes no sense to have the air polluants having the ability to do somehing

C : it has no clear referents : is it the substance or the chemical (since what follow chemical is only a modifier ? )

D : same as C

E : "called" modify the closest noun, so it is "the substance" and it makes no sense

So A is winner

GMATNinja is my reasoning good or was it luck ? congrats for the marathon again btw

I wouldn't be so quick to knock the pronoun in (C). After all, we see the same thing in the correct choice, (A)!

But compare the placement of "called proton-induced x-ray emission" in (A) and (C). In (A), this part comes right after the noun that it logically modifies ("a technique"). In (C), "called..." comes right after "air pollutants." It makes a lot more sense to apply the "called..." part to "technique," and the reader has to work a lot harder to figure that out in (C).

Also, at first glance, "called..." seems to be the second element of a parallel list: "A technique originally (1) developed for detecting air pollutants, (2) called proton-induced x-ray emission..." Again, the reader can figure out the logical meaning, but it takes some extra effort.

Does (C) have any definite errors? Maybe not, but the logical meaning is more clear in (A), making it a better option. And (D) is just an even-worse version of (C).

I'd also add that the parallelism is a bit hard to follow in (E). Repeating a "that" before "has the ability" would probably make it easier to tie both items back to the subject ("a technique"). The parallelism certainly isn't WRONG, exactly -- it's just harder to follow than the modifiers in (A).

In general you seem to be noticing the right things, so nice work!
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.

(A) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, - The technique is being modified here which should be the case.

(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, a technique called proton induced x-ray emission - it is appearing air pollutants have the ability to analyze chemical elements - may not be right

(C) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, - This is tricky , I also made a mistake , but if you look carefully is it the technique or the air pollutants that 'called' is referring to , This makes A better than C

(D) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying it, - similar to C

(E) A technique that was originally developed for detecting air pollutants and has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying the substance, called proton-induced x-ray emission, - Looks like a hot-mess, substance called as proton x-ray or technique and naming of technique are placed at two poles and finally WORDY as well , is that parallelism required ?
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
[quote="tejal777"]Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.

(A) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,
=> Correct
(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, a technique called proton induced x-ray emission
=> Wrong, modifier "Originally developed for detecting air pollutants" needs to touch the N

(C) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,
=> "which" incorrectly modify "proton-induced x-ray emission"

(D) A technique originally developed for detecting air pollutants, called proton-induced x-ray emission, which has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying it,
=> Wrong. "which" incorrectly modify "proton-induced x-ray emission"

(E) A technique that was originally developed for detecting air pollutants and has the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance quickly and without destroying the substance, called proton-induced x-ray emission,
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
can we say, having in option B, is modifying pollutants and hence incorrect?
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
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Rickooreo

Many people are reading B just that way--interpreting "having" as incorrectly modifying pollutants. Since the modifiers are poorly placed in B, that's an understandable interpretation. That's exactly the problem we tend to get when we stack modifiers together--we don't always know what the modifiers apply to!

However, typically "comma + -ing" modifiers are adverbial and so modify actions or clauses, not nouns, and that's how I would read this modifier. It's modifying the clause that follows. In one sense, that's fine--the subject of the clause is "a technique," and it is the technique that can analyze elements. The adverbial aspect simply means that this modifier is explaining how/why the action happens. The problem is that a technique can't have an ability. It can do something, but we don't describe abstract nouns as having abilities or capabilities.
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
DmitryFarber wrote:
Rickooreo

Many people are reading B just that way--interpreting "having" as incorrectly modifying pollutants. Since the modifiers are poorly placed in B, that's an understandable interpretation. That's exactly the problem we tend to get when we stack modifiers together--we don't always know what the modifiers apply to!

However, typically "comma + -ing" modifiers are adverbial and so modify actions or clauses, not nouns, and that's how I would read this modifier. It's modifying the clause that follows. In one sense, that's fine--the subject of the clause is "a technique," and it is the technique that can analyze elements. The adverbial aspect simply means that this modifier is explaining how/why the action happens. The problem is that a technique can't have an ability. It can do something, but we don't describe abstract nouns as having abilities or capabilities.

DmitryFarber, thankyou for the revert, I have noticed multiple concepts on the usage of ing modifier and none of them align with each other.

1. Ing modifier used as an adjectival modifies the subject of the preceding clause
2. Ing modifier used as an adjectival modifies the immediately preceding noun/noun clause

1. Ing modifier modifies the preceeding clause (the only usage as per egmat)

Question / doubt :

1. Which is the correct concept between the two usage of ing modifier as adjectival mentioned above
2. How to understand whether the modifier used in the sentence is adjectival or adverbial, it can be that the original intent was to use it as adverbial modifier but since this is SC, the wrong usage as adjectival modifier is mentioned in the sentence

I request other expert to present their views as well egmat KarishmaB GMATNinja AndrewN mikemcgarry
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
in B]
we have two modifiers side by side separated by a comma as shown below, is there a problem in there? in past I have seen such cases. What is the concrete rule on such construction

(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
himanshu0123 wrote:
in B]
we have two modifiers side by side separated by a comma as shown below, is there a problem in there? in past I have seen such cases. What is the concrete rule on such construction

(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it

I would say that this is indeed not an idea construct: two back to back consecutive participial phrases, modifying the same entity.

Would be also interesting to see if someone can present an official example that violates this.
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
himanshu0123 wrote:
in B]
we have two modifiers side by side separated by a comma as shown below, is there a problem in there? in past I have seen such cases. What is the concrete rule on such construction

(B) Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, having the ability to analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it

Unfortunately there aren't many concrete rules that you can apply on the GMAT, and it's no different with this sort of thing.

Take a look at (A) and (B) side-by-side. At first glance, the "having the ability" part in (B) seems to modify air pollutants (after all, if we wanted "having the ability" to be parallel with "originally developed," why not use an "and" instead of a comma before "having"?), and that obviously doesn't make much sense.

Is (B) wrong because it violates some concrete rule? Nope. It's just that (A) is MUCH easier to follow, making it the superior option in this case.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
In the option A, the main core subject of the sentence "a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission" is placed in between 2 commas, isn't it wrong?
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
vaibhavag64 wrote:
In the option A, the main core subject of the sentence "a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission" is placed in between 2 commas, isn't it wrong?

Hi vaibhavag64,

Those commas aren't for the subject. The first comma is for the first big modifier, and the second and third commas are for the second big modifier. The first modifier doesn't have a pair of commas because there's no element before it.

{Originally developed for detecting air pollutants,} a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission{, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it,} is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.
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Re: Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
vaibhavag64 wrote:
In the option A, the main core subject of the sentence "a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission" is placed in between 2 commas, isn't it wrong?

Hello vaibhavag64,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, it is only incorrect to place important information between commas, if the information is in the form of a dependent clause; in this case, the structure of the sentence is such that the main clause is "a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission...s finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology."; the two commas are offsetting modifying phrases that act upon the subject "a technique".

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
when having 2 modifying phrases (in this question for "technique"), we have 2 option to make it clearer, place the subject in between or add one modifying clause to the sentence eliminating commas. Also remember that a modifier clause, defining a subject must be as close to the subject as possible

C, D and E are eliminated because the modifier clause starting with ", called" is too far from technique.

B is eliminated becase we have 2 modifying clauses in a row. A has modifying phrase-subject-modifying phrase structure, making it clearer over B

IMO A
Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called [#permalink]
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