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# QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion

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QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 10:56
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 72: Sentence Correction

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As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 10:58
6
2
Lots of disagreement on this one within the first few hours! I like that. It means we picked a fun one.

As is often the case on official SC questions, this one is mostly about logic and meaning, and the mechanics take a backseat. Fun times. And tricky, in my opinion.

Quote:
(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

The first thing that catches my eye is the parallelism, and that looks OK: "...neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter." Fair enough.

And the meaning seems OK to me, too: it is indeed fortunate that neutrinos are harmless and that they interact weakly with matter. If they weren't harmless, we would have been toast thirty years ago, and we never would have experienced the joys of GMAT Club, the Colorado Rockies, snapchat, Game of Thrones, Steph Curry, or Taylor Swift. Keep (A).

Quote:
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

I'm uncomfortable with that last bit that begins with "and which..." In theory, it's parallel with "which are harmless", but it's a little bit weird to have "which" without a comma here, since "which" is generally used as a non-essential modifier. I'm not 100% sure that this is wrong, but it doesn't seem quite right, either.

But more importantly: the meaning is warped. Stripping out the non-essential modifier, we have "fortunately, neutrinos... are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions." No, it really isn't fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. The fortunate part is that they're harmless. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

There's that silly "and which" thing again. But in this case, there's nothing that could possibly be parallel to "which." So there's no grey area here at all: (C) is definitely wrong.

Quote:
(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

This has the same meaning problem as (B), since it seems to be saying that it's fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. That really isn't the point of the sentence. (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that

I see two issues here. First, the fact that the neutrinos are harmless is buried in a modifying phrase, and that's not great. Again, the heart of this part of the sentence is that it's fortunate that neutrinos are harmless, so (E) does a lousy job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Second, I also don't really understand that last modifier beginning with "that" -- sure, neutrinos interact weakly with matter, but the phrase "these elementary particles... are neutrinos that interact weakly with matter" suggests that there might be other types of neutrinos out there. And I don't think that's true. (E) doesn't quite get the meaning right, and that leaves us with (A).
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 11:07
Is it c, eliminate A & E 'that' is singular can not refer to plural neutrinos. Between B, C and D I chose C

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Aug 2017, 11:26
IMO A.
Fortune is attributed to two factors 1. These are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions 2. These interact weekly with matter. Parallelism is justified by the use of 'that' to mention two factors correctly.
B. It's absurd to call the fact that neutrinos are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions, fortunate. How's this fortunate?
C & D : awkward usage of 'which' after 'and'. Parallelism is violated
E. Gives a meaning similar to the one conveyed by "Thank God, these particles are neutrinos that exhibit property A and not other properties B,C or whatever"-Weird !

We already know that bombardment is by neutrinos. Clause after the semicolon is expected to reveal facts about neutrinos that are FORTUNATE in this case.
This is rightly done in option A.
Awaiting OA.

Just do it !
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Originally posted by TaN1213 on 01 Aug 2017, 11:12.
Last edited by TaN1213 on 01 Aug 2017, 11:26, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 11:16
TaN1213 wrote:
IMO A.
Fortune is attributed to two factors 1. These are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions 2. These interact weekly with matter. Parallelism is justified by the use of 'that' to mention two factors correctly.
B. It's absurd to call the fact that neutrinos are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions, fortunate. How's this fortunate?
C & D : awkward usage of 'which' after 'and'. Parallelism is violated
E. Gives a meaning similar to the one conveyed by "Thank God, these particles are neutrinos that exhibits property A and not other properties B,C or whatever"-Weird !

Awaiting OA.

Just do it !

Seems typo error. In D I could not find 'which'.
I think D is correct.

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 11:22
goalMBA1990 wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
IMO A.
Fortune is attributed to two factors 1. These are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions 2. These interact weekly with matter. Parallelism is justified by the use of 'that' to mention two factors correctly.
B. It's absurd to call the fact that neutrinos are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions, fortunate. How's this fortunate?
C & D : awkward usage of 'which' after 'and'. Parallelism is violated
E. Gives a meaning similar to the one conveyed by "Thank God, these particles are neutrinos that exhibits property A and not other properties B,C or whatever"-Weird !

Awaiting OA.

Just do it !

Seems typo error. In D I could not find 'which'.
I think D is correct.

Sent from my XT1663 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Correcting Typo :

D. It's absurd to call the fact that neutrinos are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions, fortunate. How's this fortunate?
C & B : awkward usage of 'which' after 'and'. Parallelism is violated
goalMBA1990 wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
IMO A.
Fortune is attributed to two factors 1. These are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions 2. These interact weekly with matter. Parallelism is justified by the use of 'that' to mention two factors correctly.
B. It's absurd to call the fact that neutrinos are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions, fortunate. How's this fortunate?
C & D : awkward usage of 'which' after 'and'. Parallelism is violated
E. Gives a meaning similar to the one conveyed by "Thank God, these particles are neutrinos that exhibits property A and not other properties B,C or whatever"-Weird !

Awaiting OA.

Just do it !

Seems typo error. In D I could not find 'which'.
I think D is correct.

Sent from my XT1663 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Just do it !
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 11:27
As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that -Correct parallel structure
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which -The red part is being represented as non-essential information
(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which -incorrect
(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos -Awkward construction
(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that -Awkward construction
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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Updated on: 02 Aug 2017, 00:08
1
IMO A as well.

The answer statement and the independent clause starts with fortunately.
A) fortunately- neutrinos are harmless---- that are produced in nuclear reactions -that interact weakly with matter.

Looks alright, Let's hold this for now.

B) fortunately neutrinos (ignore the non restrictive modifier) are elementary particles

--> nothing fortunate about them being elementary particles, also which should be preceded by noun and "and which" isn't parallel to previous clause "neutrinos are elementary particles".WRONG

C) again parallelism issue same as in B. WRONG

"And" before which is redundant, "and which" should be replaced by restrictive modifier "that".

D) the sentence structure implies these harmless elementary particles and neutrinos are separate things. Wrong .

E)fortunately these elementary particles are neutrinos that interact very weakly with matter. (Ignore non-restrictive modifier)

Implies the fortunate thing is that these particles are neutrinos -when the sentence should factor that the fortunate thing is that "neutrinos are harmless elementary particles" - emphasis needed on harmlessness of the particles. WRONG

Based on elimination, A is my correct answer.

Please feel free to correct my reasoning. Thanks.

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Originally posted by GmatBawse on 01 Aug 2017, 12:16.
Last edited by GmatBawse on 02 Aug 2017, 00:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 14:19
1
maypardeep wrote:
Is it c, eliminate A & E 'that' is singular can not refer to plural neutrinos. Between B, C and D I chose C

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Hello maypardeep,

I just want to let you know that your reason to reject Choice A and E is not correct.

In both these choices, that has been used as a relative pronoun modifier that modifies the preceding noun entity. When used a noun modifier, that can refer to both singular and plural noun entities.

For example:

This bouquet of flowers that are so rich in color is beautiful.

This bouquet of flowers that is partially wrapped in red wrapping paper is beautiful.

When that is used as just a pronoun, then it refers to only singular noun entities.

For example:

My car is older than that of my sister.

In Choice A and E, that has been used as a noun modifier and hence can very well refer to plural noun entity neutrinos.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 14:47
The answer should be A. It’s grammatically correct and maintains parallelism.
E makes an important piece of information - it’s a harmless particle - a non-essential modifier.

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 17:54
Top Contributor
As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that ---- maintains 'that' parallelism and the correct choice.

(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which --- 1. The missing of the comma before 'which' renders the choice ineligible. 2. You may observe, the second part is a relative clause connected by an 'and' and therefore the structure is un//.

(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which ------- 1. The missing of the comma before 'which' renders the choice ineligible. 2. The same error as in B

(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos --- no connect between the neutrinos and these elementary particles in the second IC.

(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that ---' are neutrinos that' is redundant.

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 08:34
GMATNinja wrote:
Lots of disagreement on this one within the first few hours! I like that. It means we picked a fun one.

As is often the case on official SC questions, this one is mostly about logic and meaning, and the mechanics take a backseat. Fun times. And tricky, in my opinion.

Quote:
(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

The first thing that catches my eye is the parallelism, and that looks OK: "...neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter." Fair enough.

And the meaning seems OK to me, too: it is indeed fortunate that neutrinos are harmless and that they interact weakly with matter. If they weren't harmless, we would have been toast thirty years ago, and we never would have experienced the joys of GMAT Club, the Colorado Rockies, snapchat, Game of Thrones, Steph Curry, or Taylor Swift. Keep (A).

Quote:
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

I'm uncomfortable with that last bit that begins with "and which..." In theory, it's parallel with "which are harmless", but it's a little bit weird to have "which" without a comma here, since "which" is generally used as a non-essential modifier. I'm not 100% sure that this is wrong, but it doesn't seem quite right, either.

But more importantly: the meaning is warped. Stripping out the non-essential modifier, we have "fortunately, neutrinos... are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions." No, it really isn't fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. The fortunate part is that they're harmless. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

There's that silly "and which" thing again. But in this case, there's nothing that could possibly be parallel to "which." So there's no grey area here at all: (C) is definitely wrong.

Quote:
(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

This has the same meaning problem as (B), since it seems to be saying that it's fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. That really isn't the point of the sentence. (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that

I see two issues here. First, the fact that the neutrinos are harmless is buried in a modifying phrase, and that's not great. Again, the heart of this part of the sentence is that it's fortunate that neutrinos are harmless, so (E) does a lousy job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Second, I also don't really understand that last modifier beginning with "that" -- sure, neutrinos interact weakly with matter, but the phrase "these elementary particles... are neutrinos that interact weakly with matter" suggests that there might be other types of neutrinos out there. And I don't think that's true. (E) doesn't quite get the meaning right, and that leaves us with (A).

Thanks for the brief and clear explanation
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 16:01
A
'that' should be repeated to maintain parallelism.

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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 20:45
GMATNinja wrote:
Lots of disagreement on this one within the first few hours! I like that. It means we picked a fun one.

As is often the case on official SC questions, this one is mostly about logic and meaning, and the mechanics take a backseat. Fun times. And tricky, in my opinion.

Quote:
(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

I'm uncomfortable with that last bit that begins with "and which..." In theory, it's parallel with "which are harmless", but it's a little bit weird to have "which" without a comma here, since "which" is generally used as a non-essential modifier. I'm not 100% sure that this is wrong, but it doesn't seem quite right, either.

But more importantly: the meaning is warped. Stripping out the non-essential modifier, we have "fortunately, neutrinos... are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions." No, it really isn't fortunate that neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions. The fortunate part is that they're harmless. (B) is out.

Hi GMATNinja,

Although i have also selected A, i am not sure why verb-ed modifier(produced in nuclear reactions) in option B is not modifying particles, just preceding noun.

what if B was as below-

neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which

would this have corrected the meaning error ?
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 21:06
GTExl wrote:

Although i have also selected A, i am not sure why verb-ed modifier(produced in nuclear reactions) in option B&D is not modifying particles, just preceding noun.

what if B was as below-

neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which

would this have corrected the meaning error ?

Hi There,
No it would not correct the meaning in B.
",which" modifiers are non-essential modifiers, and that means we can remove these phrases from the sentence, yet get the entire meaning.

B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which <- Original sentence
neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which <- Your sentence

Now compare that with option A.
Quote:
(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

Error

Neutrinos are harmless particles is the information the author is trying to convey but putting it in a non-essential modifier changes the meaning of the sentence, the change as you can see above.

Do you see the difference?
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 21:20
akshayk wrote:
GTExl wrote:

Although i have also selected A, i am not sure why verb-ed modifier(produced in nuclear reactions) in option B is not modifying particles, just preceding noun.

what if B was as below-

neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which

would this have corrected the meaning error ?

Hi There,
No it would not correct the meaning in B.
",which" modifiers are non-essential modifiers, and that means we can remove these phrases from the sentence, yet get the entire meaning.

B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which <- Original sentence
neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which <- Your sentence

Now compare that with option A.
Quote:
(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

Error

Neutrinos are harmless particles is the information the author is trying to convey but putting it in a non-essential modifier changes the meaning of the sentence, the change as you can see above.

Do you see the difference?

but i am not talking about other issues in option B, i know we need an essential modifier there. what i am asking is why verb-ed modifier(produced in nuclear reactions) in option B is not modifying particles rather a far away noun "neutrinos"
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 21:33
GTExl wrote:
akshayk wrote:
GTExl wrote:

Although i have also selected A, i am not sure why verb-ed modifier(produced in nuclear reactions) in option B is not modifying particles, just preceding noun.

what if B was as below-

neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which

would this have corrected the meaning error ?

Hi There,
No it would not correct the meaning in B.
",which" modifiers are non-essential modifiers, and that means we can remove these phrases from the sentence, yet get the entire meaning.

B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which <- Original sentence
neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles, produced in nuclear reactions and which <- Your sentence

Now compare that with option A.
Quote:
(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

Error

Neutrinos are harmless particles is the information the author is trying to convey but putting it in a non-essential modifier changes the meaning of the sentence, the change as you can see above.

Do you see the difference?

but i am not talking about other issues in option B, i know we need an essential modifier there. what i am asking is why verb-ed modifier(produced in nuclear reactions) in option B is not modifying particles rather a far away noun "neutrinos"

A small predicate is allowed to come between a noun and a noun modifier. If you have the Manhattan SC Guide, Look up Chapter 10.

As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which interact very weakly with matter.

Predicate - 'are elementary particles'
If we put this at the end of the sentence, it sounds awkward and confusing. Example below. This is especially true if the modifier is extremely long.
Quote:
fortunately, neutrinos, which are harmless, produced in nuclear reactions and which interact very weakly with matter are elementary particles.

Hope this helps!
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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Updated on: 02 Aug 2017, 23:09
Hi akshayk

still i think a predicate is allowed only when we don't have any other logical entity in between that could also be modified. see below sentence-

A new CEO has been hired who will transform the company by decentralizing
authority to various division heads while increasing their accountability
through the use of public scorecards.

here it is perfectly fine for who clause to modify CEO because it can not modify anything else.

but in our case "produced in nuclear reactions" can perfectly modify "Particles". is't it ?

please do let me know if i am wrong.
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Originally posted by GTExl on 02 Aug 2017, 22:00.
Last edited by GTExl on 02 Aug 2017, 23:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 22:32
GTExl wrote:
Hi akshayk

still i think that is allowed when we don't have any other logical entity in between that could also be modified. see below sentence-

A new CEO has been hired who will transform the company by decentralizing
authority to various division heads while increasing their accountability
through the use of public scorecards.

here it is perfectly fine for who clause to modify CEO because it can not modify anything else.

but in our case "produced in nuclear reactions" can perfectly modify "Particles". is't it ?

please do let me know if i am wrong.

You're absolutely correct about the 'relative clause' starting with 'who' as who can only modify people.
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Re: QOTD: As a result of a supernova explosion   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2017, 22:32
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