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# QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal

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QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2018, 01:19
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 272: Sentence Correction

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More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2018, 01:20
7
1
For some reason, a large percentage of my students hate this question with the fury of a thousand suns. But you’ll love it… right?

Quote:
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I don’t really see any problems with (A). The “which” jumps out at me, but that seems fine, since “which holds 20% of the world’s fresh water” logically modifies “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” That last modifier seems fine, too: “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” describes “20% of the world’s fresh water.”

So I guess we’ll keep (A), and hope that the other four answer choices have problems.

Quote:
(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

I’m not sure that anything is WRONG with (B), but there are three or four things that are spectacularly crappy about (B). (Craptacular? That’s not a word, but it should be.)

For starters, “with 20% of the world’s fresh water” is a lousy way to modify “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” The preposition “with” generally suggests accompaniment of some sort (“I eat burritos with green chile” or “I went to the movies with my daughter”), and I can’t understand why we would use “with” in this context. Plus, it’s a long way from the thing it modifies. Again, I can’t prove that it’s WRONG, but it’s not great.

I also can’t make sense of the middle modifier, “that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” For starters, I can’t figure out why we’re using a modifier beginning with “that” immediately after a comma. More importantly, the comparison doesn’t work: it’s basically saying that 20% of the world’s fresh water is more than the Great Lakes. You could say that the amount of water in Lake Baikal is greater than the amount of water in the Great Lakes, but it isn’t awesome to say that the amount of water is greater than the lakes themselves.

Finally, there’s no reason to write “…Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it” when we could use a more active construction (“more than 300 rivers drain into Lake Baikal”). The version in (B) isn’t WRONG, exactly, but it’s pretty craptacular compared to (A).

So we can ditch (B).

Quote:
(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

The most straightforward problem with (B) is that the subject is basically repeated twice: “Siberia’s Lake Baikal, (blah blah modifier), it holds…” That’s definitely not cool.

For bonus points, the modifier beginning with “with” still doesn’t seem quite right (see the explanation to (B) for more on that issue), and the comparison isn’t quite right, either: “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than all that of the… Great Lakes…” “That” presumably refers to water, so that gives us “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than [all the water of] the… Great Lakes.” And that’s wildly unnecessary: it’s better just to say that Lake Baikal holds more water than the Great Lakes.

But even if you ignore that last paragraph, the “Lake Baikal… it holds…” thing is a huge problem. So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

The “which” jumps out at me first. The phrase “which is more than… the Great Lakes…” seems to modify “20% of the world’s fresh water”, and that doesn’t quite work: it’s illogical to say that a quantity of water is “more than… the Great Lakes.” It might be more than the water in the Great Lakes, but not “more than” the Great Lakes themselves.

Plus, “while” is essentially a synonym for “although” in this case, and that doesn’t make sense: “[Although] more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia’s Lake Baikal…[is large].” “Although” suggests some sort of contrast, and there’s definitely no contrast between those two phrases.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

That opening modifier, “more than all the… Great Lakes combined”, still isn’t great: it’s literally suggesting that Lake Baikal is “more than the Great Lakes”, and that doesn’t make sense. Maybe the amount of water in Lake Baikal is more than the amount in all of the Great Lakes, but Lake Baikal itself isn’t “more than” the Great Lakes.

I’m also not crazy about the use of “with” as a modifier in (E). For more on this issue, see the explanation for (B) above.

(E) isn’t a complete disaster, but (A) does a better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence, so (A) is our answer.
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2018, 06:45
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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 272: Sentence Correction

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More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined. - Correct. Usage of "More Than", Referent of "Which", S-V is correct.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it. - Incorrect. "With", "That", "It" too much going on here.

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent. - Incorrect. "It", "That of" referent issue. "More of" is incorrect.

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined. - Incorrect. Which is referring to "Water" is incorrect. "It" referent is an issue.

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water. - Incorrect. Verb+ing issue. It referent issue.
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2018, 21:09
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.
-> S-V problem

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.
-> "that" makes confused. Besides, two modifiers should modify Baikal

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.
-> Siberia's Lake Baikal should be the subject

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.
-> which modifies fresh water -> seems not good

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.
-> Correct
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2018, 01:09
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined

In Option (A) the phrase "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" is wrongly placed. Infact it is not correctly connected at all.

Option (E) is correctly structured.
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2018, 03:22
in E what is the part more than...combined modifying? It seems that the part is modifying lake baikal, which is illogical...lake cant be more than or less than anything
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2018, 04:57
A is correct for me

I have narrow down choices to A and E
Structure wise A makes more sense as the last sentence after comma correctly modifies about water in Siberia lake

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2018, 08:15
Hello,
Can an expert help distinguish between A & E? Thanks
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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03 May 2018, 19:52
jt2001 wrote:
Hello,
Can an expert help distinguish between A & E? Thanks

The explanation here should help, jt2001. If not, just let us know!
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QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2018, 02:56
GMATNinja wrote:
For some reason, a large percentage of my students hate this question with the fury of a thousand suns. But you’ll love it… right?

Quote:
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I don’t really see any problems with (A). The “which” jumps out at me, but that seems fine, since “which holds 20% of the world’s fresh water” logically modifies “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” That last modifier seems fine, too: “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” describes “20% of the world’s fresh water.”

So I guess we’ll keep (A), and hope that the other four answer choices have problems.

Quote:
(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

I’m not sure that anything is WRONG with (B), but there are three or four things that are spectacularly crappy about (B). (Craptacular? That’s not a word, but it should be.)

For starters, “with 20% of the world’s fresh water” is a lousy way to modify “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” The preposition “with” generally suggests accompaniment of some sort (“I eat burritos with green chile” or “I went to the movies with my daughter”), and I can’t understand why we would use “with” in this context. Plus, it’s a long way from the thing it modifies. Again, I can’t prove that it’s WRONG, but it’s not great.

I also can’t make sense of the middle modifier, “that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” For starters, I can’t figure out why we’re using a modifier beginning with “that” immediately after a comma. More importantly, the comparison doesn’t work: it’s basically saying that 20% of the world’s fresh water is more than the Great Lakes. You could say that the amount of water in Lake Baikal is greater than the amount of water in the Great Lakes, but it isn’t awesome to say that the amount of water is greater than the lakes themselves.

Finally, there’s no reason to write “…Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it” when we could use a more active construction (“more than 300 rivers drain into Lake Baikal”). The version in (B) isn’t WRONG, exactly, but it’s pretty craptacular compared to (A).

So we can ditch (B).

Quote:
(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

The most straightforward problem with (B) is that the subject is basically repeated twice: “Siberia’s Lake Baikal, (blah blah modifier), it holds…” That’s definitely not cool.

For bonus points, the modifier beginning with “with” still doesn’t seem quite right (see the explanation to (B) for more on that issue), and the comparison isn’t quite right, either: “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than all that of the… Great Lakes…” “That” presumably refers to water, so that gives us “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than [all the water of] the… Great Lakes.” And that’s wildly unnecessary: it’s better just to say that Lake Baikal holds more water than the Great Lakes.

But even if you ignore that last paragraph, the “Lake Baikal… it holds…” thing is a huge problem. So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

The “which” jumps out at me first. The phrase “which is more than… the Great Lakes…” seems to modify “20% of the world’s fresh water”, and that doesn’t quite work: it’s illogical to say that a quantity of water is “more than… the Great Lakes.” It might be more than the water in the Great Lakes, but not “more than” the Great Lakes themselves.

Plus, “while” is essentially a synonym for “although” in this case, and that doesn’t make sense: “[Although] more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia’s Lake Baikal…[is large].” “Although” suggests some sort of contrast, and there’s definitely no contrast between those two phrases.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

That opening modifier, “more than all the… Great Lakes combined”, still isn’t great: it’s literally suggesting that Lake Baikal is “more than the Great Lakes”, and that doesn’t make sense. Maybe the amount of water in Lake Baikal is more than the amount in all of the Great Lakes, but Lake Baikal itself isn’t “more than” the Great Lakes.

I’m also not crazy about the use of “with” as a modifier in (E). For more on this issue, see the explanation for (B) above.

(E) isn’t a complete disaster, but (A) does a better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence, so (A) is our answer.

Hello GMATNinja,

Thanks for a very good explanation as always
But I do have a doubt out here. In almost all of wrong answer you suggested that term " 20 percent of the world's fresh water" has been compared with "Lake Baikal". And true its illogical to compare amount of water with name of Lake.

But how does option A do it correct.

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I can understand A compares "20 percent of the world's fresh water" with "all the North American Great Lakes combined". But again its American lakes combined has been compared with 20% of water.

Pls suggest !
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QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2018, 03:28
1
abhik1502

Here are my two cents for your below query.

Quote:
But I do have a doubt out here. In almost all of wrong answer you suggested that term " 20 percent of the world's fresh water" has been compared with "Lake Baikal". And true its illogical to compare amount of water with name of Lake.

But how does option A do it correct.

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I can understand A compares "20 percent of the world's fresh water" with "all the North American Great Lakes combined". But again its American lakes combined has been compared with 20% of water.
Pls suggest !

I believe you got confused a bit between modifier and comparison.

Let me break the sentence in to its clauses for better understanding:

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal,
which holds 20 percent of the world&#39;s fresh water,
more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

As GMATNinja mentioned which is a noun modifier that refers back to Siberia's Lake Baikal,
and if you look closely in your query you attempted to compare 20 per cent of the world's fresh water with a noun
i.e. all the North American Great Lakes combined and this is incorrect.

The intended meaning of the sentence is that Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20% of worlds' fresh water. More than 300
rivers drain water into this lake. The amount of water held in LB is greater than the amount of all North American Great Lakes combined hold together.

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QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2018, 23:04
abhik1502

Here are my two cents for your below query.

Quote:
But I do have a doubt out here. In almost all of wrong answer you suggested that term " 20 percent of the world's fresh water" has been compared with "Lake Baikal". And true its illogical to compare amount of water with name of Lake.

But how does option A do it correct.

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I can understand A compares "20 percent of the world's fresh water" with "all the North American Great Lakes combined". But again its American lakes combined has been compared with 20% of water.
Pls suggest !

I believe you got confused a bit between modifier and comparison.

Let me break the sentence in to its clauses for better understanding:

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal,
which holds 20 percent of the world&#39;s fresh water,
more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

As GMATNinja mentioned which is a noun modifier that refers back to Siberia's Lake Baikal,
and if you look closely in your query you attempted to compare 20 per cent of the world's fresh water with a noun
i.e. all the North American Great Lakes combined and this is incorrect.

The intended meaning of the sentence is that Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20% of worlds' fresh water. More than 300
rivers drain water into this lake. The amount of water held in LB is greater than the amount of all North American Great Lakes combined hold together.

I understood the modifier part and that clarifies my earlier doubt. But there are new ones where I would like you to help me out.

1. As its non-essential modifier so we can write sentence also as

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Now doesn't it conveys the meaning that more than 300 rivers draining into Lake Baikal and this number 300 is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.
In case of non-essential modifier how does this connects with 20% water.
Still if it would have been essential modifier then also we are comparing "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" with previous clause i.e. "More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal" . SO it compares the number 300.

Pls suggest where I am wrong in my above understanding.

2. If I need to rephrase this sentence so that "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" should be compared with modifier "which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water" then how can we do it.
Pls suggest !
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2018, 23:49
More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Hi GMATNinja, experts,

I have one question. In choice A, "more than all the Great Lakes combined" modifies water and there is no comparison issue here. But in choice B, the comparison seems to be an issue as the water can't be more than all the great lakes combined. Can you please explain why?

thanks!

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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 02:33
More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

this is very hare one. gmat is hard and basic. I will try to explain why choice B is wrong.

I learn gmat very hard, more than all of my friends combined.
in this sentence, "more than..." modify the previous clause, not any previous noun.
our choice A is similar. "more than..." modifies the previous clause, not "20 percent of water..."
this comparison is correct, which is between " which "(bakail ) and great Lakes..

in constrast, in choice B, the comparision is between "that" (water) and Lakes. this comparison is not logic.

I think this is basic error we need to find out ..
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2018, 21:05
1
abhik1502 wrote:

I understood the modifier part and that clarifies my earlier doubt. But there are new ones where I would like you to help me out.

1. As its non-essential modifier so we can write sentence also as

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Now doesn't it conveys the meaning that more than 300 rivers draining into Lake Baikal and this number 300 is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.
In case of non-essential modifier how does this connects with 20% water.
Still if it would have been essential modifier then also we are comparing "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" with previous clause i.e. "More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal" . SO it compares the number 300.

Pls suggest where I am wrong in my above understanding.

The problem with this approach is that you eliminated one non-essential modifier, but left something that describes an element of this modifier in place. We can't do that.

To see why this leads to all sorts of logical chaos, consider a silly example: "I live with my brother, a great guy who owns a great dog, a Great Dane named Ned." Here, "a great guy who owns a great dog" describes "my brother," and a "A Great Dane named Ned" describes the "dog." So far so good.

But watch what happens when I remove the middle, non-essential modifier. Then we have: "I live with my brother, a Great Dane named Ned." Suddenly my brother is a dog! (And what, by extension, does that make me? ) Good rule of thumb: if an adjustment to a sentence can convert a person into a dog, you should not do it. The issue is that by removing one modifier, but leaving in place a second modifier that refers to the first, I've created nonsense.

The same idea applies to the Lake Baikal question. Initially, in (E) we have “More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” “Which holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water” refers to “Lake Baikal” and “more than all the North American Lakes combined” refers to “20 percent of the world’s fresh water.” If I remove the middle modifier containing “20 percent of the world’s fresh water,” I’ve eliminated the thing that “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” actually modifies. That’s not cool.

The big takeaway: if you eliminate a non-essential modifier to simplify the sentence, and you fail to remove a piece that refers to that modifier, you will butcher the logic of that sentence.

I hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2018, 22:00
GMATNinja wrote:
abhik1502 wrote:

I understood the modifier part and that clarifies my earlier doubt. But there are new ones where I would like you to help me out.

1. As its non-essential modifier so we can write sentence also as

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Now doesn't it conveys the meaning that more than 300 rivers draining into Lake Baikal and this number 300 is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.
In case of non-essential modifier how does this connects with 20% water.
Still if it would have been essential modifier then also we are comparing "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" with previous clause i.e. "More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal" . SO it compares the number 300.

Pls suggest where I am wrong in my above understanding.

The problem with this approach is that you eliminated one non-essential modifier, but left something that describes an element of this modifier in place. We can't do that.

To see why this leads to all sorts of logical chaos, consider a silly example: "I live with my brother, a great guy who owns a great dog, a Great Dane named Ned." Here, "a great guy who owns a great dog" describes "my brother," and a "A Great Dane named Ned" describes the "dog." So far so good.

But watch what happens when I remove the middle, non-essential modifier. Then we have: "I live with my brother, a Great Dane named Ned." Suddenly my brother is a dog! (And what, by extension, does that make me? ) Good rule of thumb: if an adjustment to a sentence can convert a person into a dog, you should not do it. The issue is that by removing one modifier, but leaving in place a second modifier that refers to the first, I've created nonsense.

The same idea applies to the Lake Baikal question. Initially, in (E) we have “More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” “Which holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water” refers to “Lake Baikal” and “more than all the North American Lakes combined” refers to “20 percent of the world’s fresh water.” If I remove the middle modifier containing “20 percent of the world’s fresh water,” I’ve eliminated the thing that “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” actually modifies. That’s not cool.

The big takeaway: if you eliminate a non-essential modifier to simplify the sentence, and you fail to remove a piece that refers to that modifier, you will butcher the logic of that sentence.

I hope that helps!

THanks for correcting me out here.
Re: QOTD: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal &nbs [#permalink] 25 Jul 2018, 22:00
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