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QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds

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QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 103: Sentence Correction


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Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds saved from the previous year, only look less appetizing than their round and red supermarket cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are more flavorful.

(A) cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are
(B) cousins, often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although
(C) cousins, often green and striped, or they have plenty of bumps and bruises, although they are
(D) cousins; they are often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although
(E) cousins; they are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but they are

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QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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Full disclosure: I missed this one the first time I saw it, mostly because I was too mechanical about “pronoun ambiguity.” But as you might have noticed in our YouTube webinar on pronouns, pronoun ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule.

Plus, there’s a nuance to this particular situation: in (D) and (E), the subject of the second independent clause is a pronoun, and I’m pretty sure that the subject of the second clause can refer unambiguously to the subject of the first clause – even if there are a ton of other potential referents in between those two subjects. More on that in the YouTube webinar, too.

Quote:
(A) cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are

This isn’t technically a run-on sentence, but it feels like one. It’s oddly tricky to pin down the exact errors, even though it’s clearly a mess. I guess I’d start with the parallelism: “or” is a parallelism trigger, so the verb phrase “have plenty of bumps and bruises” must be parallel to some other verb phrase. But the only other verb phrase is “look less appetizing”: “Heirloom tomatoes… only look less appetizing than their supermarket cousins… or have plenty of bumps and bruises.”

That doesn’t make sense. Why are we using an “or” there? Those two verb phrases support each other, and both are true.

Plus, the placement of “often green and striped” could be better. It looks like the “supermarket cousins” are “green and striped” – but that’s not right. The heirlooms are green and striped. So we have plenty of reasons to ditch (A).

Quote:
(B) cousins, often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although

This is an even hotter mess than (A). I can’t figure out what to do with the “or with plenty of bumps and bruises” here, either – nothing is reasonably parallel to the prepositional phrase “with plenty of bumps and bruises”, since there really aren’t any prepositional phrases earlier in the sentence that could possibly work.

Plus, that last bit is weird: “Heirloom tomatoes… only look less appetizing than their (supermarket cousins)…, although more flavorful.” I could go for “although they are more flavorful”, but the sentence doesn’t make sense the way it’s written. “Although” requires a clause in this situation, not just a random adjective.

Oh yeah – and the “often green and striped” is still in a weird location. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) cousins, often green and striped, or they have plenty of bumps and bruises, although they are

This is getting better, but the “often green and striped” is still arguably misplaces, and we still have a parallelism issue with the “or.” “Heirloom tomatoes… only look less appetizing than their (supermarket cousins)…, or they have plenty of bumps and bruises.” Again, the two phrases on either side of the “or” just don’t make sense: both are true, and the two phrases actually support each other. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) cousins; they are often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although

If you’re being too mechanical, you might conclude that “they” is ambiguous, because it could refer to “cousins”, “seeds”, or “tomatoes.” But we’re OK here: “they” is the subject of the second clause, and I don’t think there’s any ambiguity in GMAT-land if the subject of the second clause (“they”) refers back to the subject of the first clause (“heirloom tomatoes”).

And both the “or” and the “green and striped” finally make sense! Trouble is, we have that little problem with “although more flavorful” at the end of the sentence. In this situation, we’d need a clause following “although”, not just a random adjective. (D) is better than (A), (B), and (C), but it’s still flawed.

Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds saved from the previous year, only look less appetizing than their round and red supermarket cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are more flavorful.

Quote:
(E) cousins; they are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but they are

Great. The pronouns are all nice and clear, according to GMAT rules: the subject of the second (“they are often green and striped”) and third clauses (“they are more flavorful”) refer back to the subject of the first clause (“heirloom tomatoes”). The verb phrase “have plenty of bumps and bruises” is appropriately parallel to “are often green and striped” – and the “or” makes sense.

(E) is our winner, and now I really want a gigantic salad.
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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 19:24
Well I would select option E, but i still feel this option has some pronoun ambiguity
Flipping the question is solving the problem, but i am not sure about "they" in option E

Anyways, Option E is the best among the rest based on parallel structure and Dependent and independent clause conditions.

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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 19:48
I am confused between A and E. but I would go for E. because:-

A- after comma it further explains the features of the supermarket tomatos. So, no semi colon required. But I am not sure if it satisfies prallelism.
E- it uses semicolon which is okay as the phrase after semicolon is independent. Also, prallelism has been satisfied.

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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds saved from the previous year, only look less appetizing than their round and red supermarket cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are more flavorful.

(A) cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are :green and stripped must modify H tomatoes and must be placed next to H tomatoes
(B) cousins, often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although :green and stripped must modify H tomatoes and must be placed next to H tomatoes
(C) cousins, often green and striped, or they have plenty of bumps and bruises, although they are :green and stripped must modify H tomatoes and must be placed next to H tomatoes
(D) cousins; they are often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although :parallelism error ,verb are so or must be followed by verb and not preposition
(E) cousins; they are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but they are

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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 06:35
Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds saved from the previous year, only look less appetizing than their round and red supermarket cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are more flavorful.

(A) cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are :green and stripped must modify H tomatoes and must be placed next to H tomatoes
(B) cousins, often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although :green and stripped must modify H tomatoes and must be placed next to H tomatoes
(C) cousins, often green and striped, or they have plenty of bumps and bruises, although they are :green and stripped must modify H tomatoes and must be placed next to H tomatoes
(D) cousins; they are often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although :parallelism error , "are" is a verb so "or" must be followed by verb and not preposition "with"
(E) cousins; they are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but they are

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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 07:57
Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds saved from the previous year, only look less appetizing than their round and red supermarket cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are more flavorful.

(A) cousins, often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but are -green and stripped seem to wrongly modify supermarket tomatoes
(B) cousins, often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although -green and stripped seem to wrongly modify supermarket tomatoes
(C) cousins, often green and striped, or they have plenty of bumps and bruises, although they are -green and stripped seem to wrongly modify supermarket tomatoes
(D) cousins; they are often green and striped, or with plenty of bumps and bruises, although -"with" disrupts parallelism. "although" is not sounding correct.
(E) cousins; they are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises, but they are -Correct
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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2017, 02:53
Hi All,

As already pointed out by GMATNinja, for option D, Trouble is, we have that little problem with “although more flavorful” at the end of the sentence. In this situation, we’d need a clause following “although”, not just a random adjective.

I always miss on that part, whether although should be followed by a complete clause or only a modifier. So, I just wanted to share an excellent explanation by RON Purewal on the correct usage of the same. Please follow this url.

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/forums/although-subordinate-clause-must-have-a-subject-and-verb-t31750.html

Hope this will help to several others as it had helped me.

Thanks.
-Varun

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Re: QOTD: Heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds   [#permalink] 20 Oct 2017, 02:53
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