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# QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly

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QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 08:51
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65% (01:01) correct 35% (01:07) wrong based on 893 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 42: Sentence Correction

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Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than burning calories to generate it, can survive on ten percent of the nourishment that a mammal of similar size would normally require

(A) rather than burning calories to generate it
(B) rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories
(C) and not from generating it by burning calories
(D) instead of by burning calories for generating it
(E) instead of body heat generated by burning calories

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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 08:53
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I think this one is pretty tough, and it's another good example of the fact that pronoun ambiguity isn't an absolute rule on the GMAT. For more on this question, check out the video of our YouTube live session here.

Quote:
(A) rather than burning calories to generate it

On the face of things, it looks like "it' is ambiguous, because it could refer to "the Sun" or "their body heat." But again, pronoun ambiguity isn't an absolute rule, and the more important thing is the comparison: "by drawing their body heat from the Sun rather than burning calories..." Hey, that looks pretty good. Let's keep (A), just to be safe.

Quote:
(B) rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories

Now the comparison is a mess. Comparisons need to be both parallel and logically sound, and this one is neither of those things: "by drawing their body heat from the Sun rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories..." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) and not from generating it by burning calories

The parallelism is a hot mess here, too. "Not from generating it..." follows the parallelism marker "and." What's parallel to "not from generating it"? Structurally, our only real option is "from the Sun."

But wait: that makes no sense at all. "Reptiles, by drawing their body heat... and (not) from generating it by burning calories." That really doesn't work. (C) is gone.

Quote:
(D) instead of by burning calories for generating it

This one isn't terribly different from (A), but the few little differences are a problem. "Burning calories for generating it" isn't quite the right idiom -- I think we'd prefer "burning calories to generate it", as in (A). I'm also really not sure that the "by" is necessary here. More importantly: the GMAT seems to prefer "rather than" over "instead of." (And we could launch into a long discussion of that one, but GMAT Club threads on this topic can be found here and here.)

So (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) instead of body heat generated by burning calories

The comparison is messy here again: "by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun instead of body heat generated by burning calories"... that's a mess. Plus, we still have the "instead of" problem.

So (E) is gone, and (A) is the winner. Again, the "it" might feel ambiguous in (A), but pronoun ambiguity is not an absolute rule on the GMAT -- and the logic of the comparison is far more important.
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 09:07
souvik101990 wrote:
Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than burning calories to generate it, can survive on ten percent of the nourishment that a mammal of similar size would normally require

(A) rather than burning calories to generate it
(B) rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories
(C) and not from generating it by burning calories
(D) instead of by burning calories for generating it
(E) instead of body heat generated by burning calories

Correct answer must be (A) for the highlighted errors in other options...

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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 21:48
Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than burning calories to generate it, can survive on ten percent of the nourishment that a mammal of similar size would normally require

(A) rather than burning calories to generate it - Follows parallelism, hence correct
(B) rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories - Does not follow parallelism
(C) and not from generating it by burning calories - and is used to connect two ICs
(D) instead of by burning calories for generating it - instead of denotes replacement and is mostly wrong in gmat
(E) instead of body heat generated by burning calories - instead of denotes replacement and is mostly wrong in gmat
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 02:31
GMATNinja wrote:
I think this one is pretty tough, and it's another good example of the fact that pronoun ambiguity isn't an absolute rule on the GMAT. For more on this question, check out the video of our YouTube live session here.

Quote:
(A) rather than burning calories to generate it

On the face of things, it looks like "it' is ambiguous, because it could refer to "the Sun" or "their body heat." But again, pronoun ambiguity isn't an absolute rule, and the more important thing is the comparison: "by drawing their body heat from the Sun rather than burning calories..." Hey, that looks pretty good. Let's keep (A), just to be safe.

Quote:
(B) rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories

Now the comparison is a mess. Comparisons need to be both parallel and logically sound, and this one is neither of those things: "by drawing their body heat from the Sun rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories..." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) and not from generating it by burning calories

The parallelism is a hot mess here, too. "Not from generating it..." follows the parallelism marker "and." What's parallel to "not from generating it"? Structurally, our only real option is "from the Sun."

But wait: that makes no sense at all. "Reptiles, by drawing their body heat... and (not) from generating it by burning calories." That really doesn't work. (C) is gone.

Quote:
(D) instead of by burning calories for generating it

This one isn't terribly different from (A), but the few little differences are a problem. "Burning calories for generating it" isn't quite the right idiom -- I think we'd prefer "burning calories to generate it", as in (A). I'm also really not sure that the "by" is necessary here. More importantly: the GMAT seems to prefer "rather than" over "instead of." (And we could launch into a long discussion of that one, but GMAT Club threads on this topic can be found here and here.)

So (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) instead of body heat generated by burning calories

The comparison is messy here again: "by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun instead of body heat generated by burning calories"... that's a mess. Plus, we still have the "instead of" problem.

So (E) is gone, and (A) is the winner. Again, the "it" might feel ambiguous in (A), but pronoun ambiguity is not an absolute rule on the GMAT -- and the logic of the comparison is far more important.

Hi GMATNinja
I do agree that parallelism in (A) makes much sense since we assume (by) before burning calories.
However, from grammar point of view, why is B incorrect?
As far as parallelism rule goes, noun modifiers can be parallel to each other.
Here, drawing is a verb-ing modifier is in parallel with modifying noun - Reptiles
and noun + noun modifier generation of body heat, a noun
and by burning calories (again a verb-ing modifier) also modifies noun - reptiles.
Am I correct?
WR,
Arpit
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 07:57
Imo A
We have to keep the parallelism between by by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun and rather than burning calories to generate it .
Option A is correct .
Option B is wrong and wordy.
Rest all the choices except does not have parallelism.
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 10:53
2
Hi GMATNinja
I do agree that parallelism in (A) makes much sense since we assume (by) before burning calories.
However, from grammar point of view, why is B incorrect?
As far as parallelism rule goes, noun modifiers can be parallel to each other.
Here, drawing is a verb-ing modifier is in parallel with modifying noun - Reptiles
and noun + noun modifier generation of body heat, a noun
and by burning calories (again a verb-ing modifier) also modifies noun - reptiles.
Am I correct?
WR,
Arpit

Thank you for the PM.

Choice B violates parallelism. The sentence uses the phrase X rather than Y. Per choice B:

X = by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun = prepositional phrase
Y = the generation of body heat by burning calories = noun phrase

The above mentioned elements are neither grammatically parallel nor logically. Please note that by burning calories in Y just modifies the preceding noun the generation of body heat. The Choice actually makes by drawing... parallel to the generation....

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 13:22
Poe
A no error

B c d e
Seem akward in construction and meaning

Is this a 600 level question?

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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2018, 05:18
Ah! God, I just crossed out answer choices (A) and (D) due to the pronoun "IT".
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 12:43
I do agree that parallelism in (A) makes much sense since we assume (by) before burning calories.
However, from grammar point of view, why is B incorrect?
As far as parallelism rule goes, noun modifiers can be parallel to each other.
Here, drawing is a verb-ing modifier is in parallel with modifying noun - Reptiles
and noun + noun modifier generation of body heat, a noun
and by burning calories (again a verb-ing modifier) also modifies noun - reptiles.
Am I correct?
WR,
Arpit[/quote]

Thank you for the PM.

Choice B violates parallelism. The sentence uses the phrase X rather than Y. Per choice B:

X = by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun = prepositional phrase
Y = the generation of body heat by burning calories = noun phrase

The above mentioned elements are neither grammatically parallel nor logically. Please note that by burning calories in Y just modifies the preceding noun the generation of body heat. The Choice actually makes by drawing... parallel to the generation....

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Hi egmat,

Can you please tell how option A Is Parallel.( X rather than Y)

1) by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun
2)burning calories to generate it,

Isnt preposition by required before burning also ?

Thanks,
Kunal
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2018, 04:04
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 42: Sentence Correction

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Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than burning calories to generate it, can survive on ten percent of the nourishment that a mammal of similar size would normally require

(A) rather than burning calories to generate it
(B) rather than the generation of body heat by burning calories
(C) and not from generating it by burning calories
(D) instead of by burning calories for generating it
(E) instead of body heat generated by burning calories

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

look at choice D

"by" is fine. even "by" is very good. when the distance between "by drawing" and ... " burning' is far, "by " should be retained. It seem that one gmatprep question show this point.

the only error is "for". to do is used to show a purpose of verb/action, not "for".
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Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2018, 04:05
if my explanation is correct, the absence of "by" is not good in choice A. but choice D suffer worse error of "for", so, d is gone and choice A is kept.
Re: QOTD: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly &nbs [#permalink] 25 Jul 2018, 04:05
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