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# Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw

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Manager
Joined: 19 Jan 2016
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Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2016, 03:59
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

61% (01:13) correct 39% (01:13) wrong based on 535 sessions

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Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.

A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore

B. Over the course of the eighteenth century a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery

C. With charcoal's being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century

D. The replacement of charcoal with coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century

E. Charcoal being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, and several improvements in blowing machinery, which tripled the average output of ironwork over the course of the eighteenth century

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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2016, 04:47
You are looking for a cause and effect in the sentence.

A. I didn't really like it but I couldn't find anything wrong.
B. A tripling ...was due to... due to is modifying tripling. Out
C. With Charcoal's - possessive, charcoal is being replaced by coal.
Proposition + Subject + Participle to describe an action.
D. The replacement ....., the average output tripled. first part has no verb.
E. which is not modifying correctly.
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2016, 06:03
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A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.

A normal construction would be - as a result of several improvements ..... and replacement of coal
In this sentence, by introducing "because" the 2nd clause (coal replaced charcoal..) is not made parallel (this seems to acceptable)

Learnt something new today. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2016, 10:43
johnnguyen2016 wrote:
Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.

A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.
.
B. Over the course of the eighteenth century a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery.
.
C. With charcoal's being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.
.
D. The replacement of charcoal with coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.
.
E. Charcoal being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, and several improvements in blowing machinery, which tripled the average output of ironwork over the course of the eighteenth century.

I think that A is the best choice among other, though not ideal because of parallelism. B seems good but word "tripling" sounds weird since we can use word "triple" which is better. C is wrong since "being" is wrong here and since construction "with" is incorrect here. D has no verb. E also has no verb
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2016, 22:00
this can not be official answer .
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2016, 09:14
Hi anyone,

so far,I have ruled out several of options using the concept of non-parallelism :
- noun is not parallel with clause (improvement vs because coal replaced..)

Is there any gap in my understanding?

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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2016, 13:40
Agreed A may have parallelism problem but other options have some serious problems. The key here is to understand why other answer choices are wrong.Just ignoring a answer choice based on a single concept may not be totally correct especially for the hard questions.
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2017, 08:14
I chose B. Why B is wrong? Thanks!
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2017, 10:09
A. As a result and because are redundant
B. Seems to be right
C. With charcoal's is wrong as we want to compare charcoal with coal
D. Cause and effect relationship is missing
E. Which refers only to blowing machinery we need a pronoun that refers both replacement of input material and improvements

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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2017, 10:48
2
septwibowo wrote:
I chose B. Why B is wrong? Thanks!

SC is as much about finding grammatical errors as it is about Meaning.

B. The structure of B
Over a period of time , a tripling ... was due to .... -----> What's the core verb? 'Was'? Horrible !

Just because 'due to' is used with nouns, the author changed the verb 'tripled' to 'tripling was'. This kind of structure has not only concealed the main action of the sentence incorrectly but also introduced an unidiomatic phrase - tripling in the average.

The structure of A is far better than that of B-
A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled....... - the heart of the sentence is perfectly retained, following the reasons of why it did. Correct
-A-
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2017, 05:09
1
TaN1213 wrote:
septwibowo wrote:
I chose B. Why B is wrong? Thanks!

SC is as much about finding grammatical errors as it is about Meaning.

B. The structure of B
Over a period of time , a tripling ... was due to .... -----> What's the core verb? 'Was'? Horrible !

Just because 'due to' is used with nouns, the author changed the verb 'tripled' to 'tripling was'. This kind of structure has not only concealed the main action of the sentence incorrectly but also introduced an unidiomatic phrase - tripling in the average.

The structure of A is far better than that of B-
A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled....... - the heart of the sentence is perfectly retained, following the reasons of why it did. Correct
-A-

Thank you for your explanation TaN1213.

However, I think that construction "was due to" is fine.
Magoosh gave example in its course : "The delay was due to rain" and that is perfectly fine : due to modify the delay.

Here, in (B), :

a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery.

- "Due to" modify noun phrase : "a tripling in the average output of ironwork"
- A tripling was due to X, in addition Y.

Wdyt? mikemcgarry, need your clarification here
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2017, 11:06
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septwibowo wrote:
Thank you for your explanation TaN1213.

However, I think that construction "was due to" is fine.
Magoosh gave example in its course : "The delay was due to rain" and that is perfectly fine : due to modify the delay.

Here, in (B), :

a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery.

- "Due to" modify noun phrase : "a tripling in the average output of ironwork"
- A tripling was due to X, in addition Y.

Wdyt? mikemcgarry, need your clarification here

Dear septwibowo,

I have many things to say in response, my friend.

First of all, I want to acknowledge TaN1213 for an intelligent and thoughtful response. I completely agree with TaN1213.

Next, septwibowo: you got a brilliant explanation from TaN1213 and, rather than learning the deep point that this user presented, you presented a counterargument. One of the deepest questions any student can ask himself is, "Do I want to be right or do I want to learn as much as I can?" You see, it's a paradox: of course on test day, you primarily want to be right (although you can learn even there), but the way to get to that is by disattaching from a need to be right while you are in the role of a student, because being holding to a position of being right can prevent you from picking up a new subtlety.

In this GMAT SC problem, choice (B) is precisely the kind of incorrect answer choice that acts as a trap for non-native speakers: it's 100% grammatically correct but wrong. Virtually all the high level SC questions have at least one such choice. This is a classic predictable trap and you fell into it.

Yes, the "is due to" construction in (B) is 100% grammatically correct. There's absolutely no ambiguity about that: you and I and TaN1213 are in full agreement about that. It's true and also completely besides the point. Choice (B) is 100% grammatically correct but it's still wrong. That's the piece you are missing: you are focused on the grammar and missed that TaN1213's brilliant response was addressing other aspects of the sentence beyond the grammar.

The GMAT SC is NOT primarily a test of grammar. On the GMAT SC, grammar & logic & rhetoric all combine to support meaning.

The principles of good rhetorical construction can be hard for non-native speakers to appreciate, because much of it is intuitive--it's about the "feel" of the sentence. Here's one principle that I can articulate: when a sentence is focused on a main action, this sentence usually will be phrased in the most direct and powerful way when that main action is the main verb of the sentence.

Choice (A) follows this principle fully. Choice (A) is not only grammatically correct but also direct, clear, and powerful. Like almost all correct answers on the GMAT SC, it's an exceptionally well-crafted sentence.

Choice (B) is 100% grammatically correct but it's an embarrassingly awkward and punchless sentence. In particular, the main action of the sentence, "tripling," is congealed as a gerund subject, and the sentence is organized so that a complete non-action verb, "is," winds up as the main verb of the sentence. Any well-read native speaker instantly would recognize this as a poorly written section. The fact that you selected choice (B) as correct and were willing to defend it should tell you a great deal about the progress you still have to make.

Grammar has a lot of rules, although many of the rules have exceptions. Rhetoric doesn't have many rules--it's more intuition-based. A non-native speaker can develop this intuition by cultivating a rigorous habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw   [#permalink] 26 Dec 2017, 11:06
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