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# QOTD: Lacking information about energy use

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Manager
Joined: 10 Apr 2018
Posts: 99
GPA: 2.56
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25 Aug 2018, 08:47
GMATNinja wrote:
Hm, lots of "that" going on here, plus some bonus pronoun and meaning stuff. If you're not sure what to do with the word "that", check out this crusty old article or this YouTube video.

Quote:
A. equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate that

The first "that" isn't quite right: it seems to be modifying "equipment," since "such as lights" is a self-contained little modifying phrase (an appositive, if you like grammar jargon), and the last chunk of the sentence is clearly discussing equipment in general, not just the lights. But there's a problem: "equipment... that are visible." Subject-verb fail.

What about the second "that"? It's a singular pronoun in this case, and I'd argue that it unambiguously refers back to "the amount of energy", since there's a super-clear parallel structure: "people tend to overestimate the amount of energy used by equipment [that is visible]... and underestimate that used by unobtrusive equipment..." And that seems completely fine: "people tend to... underestimate the amount of energy used by unobtrusive equipment" makes perfect sense.

But the first "that" is still a mess. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate it when

Same subject-verb error as in (A).

I'm also really not crazy about the use of "when" here: literally, they're saying that people underestimate the amount of energy used at the moment when the energy is used by unobtrusive equipment. And that's not quite right: the underestimate is something that happens in general, and not at a specific moment in time. Either way, (B) is out.

Quote:
C. equipment, such as lights, that is visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate it when

"...equipment... that IS visible" is right, but we have the same "when" problem as in (B). Now that I think about it, I'm also not crazy about the "it" -- the pronoun is a long way from its antecedent, "the amount of energy." The pronoun "that" is much clearer in (A) or (D), because of the parallel structure.

If you wanted to be conservative and hang onto (C) at first, that's great -- I would do the same. But as we'll see in a moment, there's a much better option.

Quote:
D. visible equipment, such as lights, that must be turned on and off and underestimate that

Ooh, this looks great. No subject-verb issue, plus it's pleasantly succinct: "visible equipment... that must be turned on and off" is way better than "equipment that is visible and must be turned on and off." And as discussed above, "that" is a nice, clear pronoun. Keep (D).

Quote:
E. visible equipment, such as lights, that must be turned on and off and underestimate it when

The first part of the underlined portion is nice, but the last chunk "and underestimate it when" is a little bit shaky, both in terms of the pronoun agreement and the meaning of the word "when", as discussed above. (D) is clearly a better choice.

Not convinced about elimination of option 'E'. 'D' seems correct but so does 'E' and hence elimnation criteria should be more clear.

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25 Aug 2018, 13:52
was debating between C and D and went for C as the "it" in C made it clear that people are underestimating "the amount of energy". But reading carefully again, the "that" following underestimate in D is referring to the amount of energy. Am I correct?
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25 Aug 2018, 14:13
gmatexam439 wrote:
Lacking information about energy use, people tend to overestimate the amount of energy used by equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate that used by unobtrusive equipment, such as water heaters.

A. equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate that - SV error

B. equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate it when -SV error

C. equipment, such as lights, that is visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate it when -1. it can refer to equipment. 2. Incorrect usage of when

D. visible equipment, such as lights, that must be turned on and off and underestimate that-CORRECT.Second that correctly refers to amount of energy

E. visible equipment, such as lights, that must be turned on and off and underestimate it when -1. it can refer to equipment. 2. Incorrect usage of when

gmatexam439 , GMATNinja , daagh

I have one small doubt. Just like "it" in option C can refer to equipments, Why can't the second "that" in option D refer to equipment. Isn't this a little ambiguous??

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25 Aug 2018, 15:04
Prateek176 wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Lacking information about energy use, people tend to overestimate the amount of energy used by equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate that used by unobtrusive equipment, such as water heaters.

A. equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate that - SV error

B. equipment, such as lights, that are visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate it when -SV error

C. equipment, such as lights, that is visible and must be turned on and off and underestimate it when -1. it can refer to equipment. 2. Incorrect usage of when

D. visible equipment, such as lights, that must be turned on and off and underestimate that-CORRECT.Second that correctly refers to amount of energy

E. visible equipment, such as lights, that must be turned on and off and underestimate it when -1. it can refer to equipment. 2. Incorrect usage of when

gmatexam439 , GMATNinja , daagh

I have one small doubt. Just like "it" in option C can refer to equipments, Why can't the second "that" in option D refer to equipment. Isn't this a little ambiguous??

Hi Prateek176,

In comparison, when you see see that , try to find all possible singular antecedents. If the prounoun THAT refers logically to one of the singular antecedent, it is correct. Don't overthink on that issue and look out for something more black and white.

Here, THAT can refer to any singular entity but logically only amount of energy makes sense.

Consider kudos if that helped.

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26 Aug 2018, 04:16
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If 'that' were to refer to equipment, it would mean that we underestimate equipment used by unobtrusive equipment. Does that convey any meaning?
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26 Aug 2018, 10:29
Hello daagh , yes that refers to equipment if we consider the grammar without logical meaning.

Any ways "When" changes the intended meaning.

so the left out option which is logical if we consider "That refers amount of energy" is D .

Am i interpreting correctly?
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Lacking information about energy use &nbs [#permalink] 26 Aug 2018, 10:29

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