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# QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if

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QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2017, 20:58
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67% (03:54) correct 33% (01:49) wrong based on 827 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 57: Sentence Correction

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Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place; one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place; one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals

(B) If used repeatedly in the same place, one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals

(C) If used repeatedly in the same place, one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals

(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective

(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place

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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2017, 21:00
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2
I totally hate this question, and generally start cursing uncontrollably when my students miss it. But I'm cursing at the question -- NOT my students -- because I think the question is ridiculous.

But as usual: the GMAT doesn't really care what any of us think. Let's solve this SOB.

Quote:
(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

"One reason is suggested by the finding..." Seriously, GMAT? Who the hell writes like that?!

But remember our two-step technique from the SC Guide for Beginners: eliminate DEFINITE errors first, then look for meaning issues. I don't think that this muddy mess is DEFINITELY wrong. The semicolon correctly separates two independent clauses, and the comparison seems OK.

"One reason is suggested by the finding" is awkward and wordy, in my opinion. But that's just my opinion, and my opinion doesn't matter -- and no matter how awesome you are, neither does yours.

Keep (A), perhaps while holding your nose.

Quote:
(B) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

I'm comfortable getting rid of this one right away, because of that very first phrase: "if used repeatedly in one place" would need to be followed by "pesticides," not "one reason." (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals.

(C) has the same issue as (B), plus that comparison seems a little bit off: "much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals." "Than those" would be better if it said "than in those." (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective.

This isn't horrible, to be honest. Well... actually, yeah it is, but so is (A). I don't think there's a DEFINITE error in (D), but the placement of "if used repeatedly in one place" is definitely suspect: it sounds like "one reason" is the thing that is used repeatedly in the same place. You basically have to re-read the whole thing to figure out that it's the pesticides that are used in one place.

More generally, I think you could make a (not super-convincing) argument that the sentence is so horrendously wordy that you lose track of the subject. "The finding (blah blah blah....) is suggestive of one reason...." In general, please be really careful with this sort of thing. Frankly, (A) is pretty wordy, too; (D) is arguably wordy enough that the meaning become unclear. That's a judgment call, and that's really not the way you want to think about SC, but it maybe adds a little bit of support to the idea that (A) is better than (D).

If you wanted to be conservative, you could keep (D), but I think that the modifier placement issue definitely tilts us toward (A). So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place.

I actually really like the placement of "if used repeatedly in the same place" here. And I think we can make a similar (weak!) case about "wordiness" as in (D): there's a whole lot of stuff between the subject and the verb, and that makes things muddy. But again: you shouldn't be terribly convinced by arguments about "wordiness", and we should try to find something that's more solid, relating to either grammar or meaning.

And here's the big issue: "the finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes..." We're really not talking about the "finding of microbes" -- that would refer to the act of seeing the microbes themselves. The "reason" that we're interested in is the finding that there are larger populations of microbes in some soils than in others.

And I know: that's subtle as all hell, but it definitely makes the meaning in (E) a little bit illogical. So we're left with a steaming pile of poo, otherwise known as answer choice (A).
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##### General Discussion
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2017, 23:35
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Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.
CORRECT

(B) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.
Incorrect since after comma the consequence (Pesticides become ineffective) of IF Clause should come.

(C) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals.
Incorrect since after comma the consequence (Pesticides become ineffective) of IF Clause should come. Moreover, lack of THAT after ONE REASON leads to a Fragmented sentence

(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective.
After removing modifiers, the sentence would be-
The finding is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective.
A Run-on sentence. Hence Incorrect.

(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place.
After removing modifiers, the sentence would be-
The finding suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place,
Lack of THAT after ONE REASON leads to a Fragmented sentence. Hence Incorrect.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 01:40
1

Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals. -CORRECT. ":" give the extra information that is required correctly.

(B) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals. -The opening modifier is wrongly modifying "one reason"

(C) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals. -The opening modifier is wrongly modifying "one reason"

(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective. -The first very long sentence gives the meaning as if "the finding" if used repeatedly in the same place would make pesticides ineffective. This doesn't make any sense.

(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place. -"The finding of much" is awkward. It should be "The finding that".
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 04:21
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 57: Sentence Correction

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Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(B) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(C) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals.

(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective.

(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place.

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I think that the answer is A.

Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals. -Correct

(B) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals. -One reason is the subject for the modifier "If used repeatedly in the same place"
(C) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals. -same as B

(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective. -Awkward construction

(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place. Awkward construction
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 06:32
IMO the answer is E because
E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place.

Why is this awkward construction? Please explain
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 07:07
I think the answer is A.

I ended up eliminating all other answer choices because they went back and forth and messed up the meaning. Eliminated B and C specifically because of sentence construction issues.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 10:00
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pra1785 wrote:
IMO the answer is E because
E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place.

Why is this awkward construction? Please explain

Just read the part marked in red.

The finding suggests one reason ... From this construction, it appears as if the finding is suggesting TO one reason, while the intended meaning is "the finding suggested that certain pesticides ...... blah blah".

Hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 13:16
45 seconds.

Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place

This sentence is a great example of a true conditional statement, i.e one that can be reversed and still stays valid.
if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective.

Since this is the best possible way and no other answer repeats it, answer is A

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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 01:17
Hi,

Can someone explain what is the issue with D?

How is the construction awkward?

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 08:34
konork wrote:
Hi,

Can someone explain what is the issue with D?

How is the construction awkward?

Posted from my mobile device

there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use

This means that there are more pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a longer history of pesticide use. Really? Pesticide-degrading microbes were using pesticide?
Always try to understand the author's intent. Just following grammar rules will not help unless the intent is preserved. Hence the answer with the best grammar must also preserve the original meaning.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 09:00
Hi Sasyaharry,

Apologies for my ignorance but in answer choice A as well the statement says the same thing "there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use".

How D is different from A?

sasyaharry wrote:
konork wrote:
Hi,

Can someone explain what is the issue with D?

How is the construction awkward?

Posted from my mobile device

there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use

This means that there are more pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a longer history of pesticide use. Really? Pesticide-degrading microbes were using pesticide?
Always try to understand the author's intent. Just following grammar rules will not help unless the intent is preserved. Hence the answer with the best grammar must also preserve the original meaning.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 09:20
1
konork wrote:
Hi Sasyaharry,

Apologies for my ignorance but in answer choice A as well the statement says the same thing "there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use".

How D is different from A?

sasyaharry wrote:
konork wrote:
Hi,

Can someone explain what is the issue with D?

How is the construction awkward?

Posted from my mobile device

there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use

This means that there are more pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a longer history of pesticide use. Really? Pesticide-degrading microbes were using pesticide?
Always try to understand the author's intent. Just following grammar rules will not help unless the intent is preserved. Hence the answer with the best grammar must also preserve the original meaning.

The finding is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective. <- Sentence without the fluff. Read it now, and see if it makes sense to you.
+ D also somehow suggests that if the finding is used repeatedly, certain pesticides can become ineffective.

Hope this helps
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 09:53
My bad. Yes, my analysis was incorrect. AkshayK provides the right answer. The comparison is wrong in D.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 09:54
Hi Akshay,

The sentence "The finding is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective."

The meaning seems correct. There is just one doubt whether if used repeatedly in the same place modifies certain pesticides correctly. It definitely doesn't.

In that sense we can rule out D. I'm not sure whether my understanding is right or wrong.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 10:14
konork wrote:
Hi Akshay,

The sentence "The finding is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective."

The meaning seems correct. There is just one doubt whether if used repeatedly in the same place modifies certain pesticides correctly. It definitely doesn't.

In that sense we can rule out D. I'm not sure whether my understanding is right or wrong.

I would try explaining it further, but I would recommend you request for an expert's help.
So Why don't you hit that expert reply button and ask away?
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 10:36
1
konork wrote:
Hi Akshay,

The sentence "The finding is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective."

The meaning seems correct. There is just one doubt whether if used repeatedly in the same place modifies certain pesticides correctly. It definitely doesn't.

In that sense we can rule out D. I'm not sure whether my understanding is right or wrong.

Hi konork ,

D has a big problem. We are using "if used repeatedly in the same place" within two commas such that it is not clear whether it is modifying one reason or certain pesticides.

The moment I read D , I ruled it out because D is telling me one reason is used repeatedly. Oh Come on, this is crap!

Does that makes sense?
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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Updated on: 21 Jul 2017, 10:47
Yes you are right.

The construction is awkward.

Thanks akshay and abhimahna

abhimahna wrote:
konork wrote:
Hi Akshay,

The sentence "The finding is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective."

The meaning seems correct. There is just one doubt whether if used repeatedly in the same place modifies certain pesticides correctly. It definitely doesn't.

In that sense we can rule out D. I'm not sure whether my understanding is right or wrong.

Hi konork ,

D has a big problem. We are using "if used repeatedly in the same place" within two commas such that it is not clear whether it is modifying one reason or certain pesticides.

The moment I read D , I ruled it out because D is telling me one reason is used repeatedly. Oh Come on, this is crap!

Does that makes sense?

Originally posted by konork on 21 Jul 2017, 10:40.
Last edited by konork on 21 Jul 2017, 10:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 10:47
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 57: Sentence Correction

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Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(A) Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place；one reason is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(B) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason that certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals.

(C) If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective is suggested by the finding that much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes are found in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than those that are free of such chemicals.

(D) The finding that there are much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in soils that are free of such chemicals is suggestive of one reason, if used repeatedly in the same place, certain pesticides can become ineffective.

(E) The finding of much larger populations of pesticide-degrading microbes in soils with a relatively long history of pesticide use than in those that are free of such chemicals suggests one reason certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place.

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I was stuck between A and E, chose A as E says "The finding of much larger populations....." which is wrong as we are not finding the population but the number of microbes
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Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 06:37
Well to be honest, at first I didn't get the question at all. It took me a whole minute to realize that it was getting messier by the minute trying to formulate the correct sentence.
Finally my approach was to check for modifier error, I could only get it correct with elimination:
B & C wrong because "If used repeatedly in the same place，one reason" it cannot be a reason that can be used repeatedly in the same place.
D wrong because "the finding that...if repeatedly used in the same place" it cannot be a finding that is used repeatedly in the same place
E wrong because "the finding of population of microbes in soils with history of pesticide use" wrongly refers to populations.

I am a little keen to debate if this question is really 600-700 level as mentioned in the thread?
Re: QOTD: Certain pesticides can become ineffective if   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2017, 06:37

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