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QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a

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QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 17 May 2018, 02:23
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 41: Sentence Correction


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Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 26 Jun 2017, 10:05.
Last edited by Vyshak on 17 May 2018, 02:23, edited 1 time in total.
Corrected option D to 'and it marks'
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2017, 10:06
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This one isn't too awful, compared to some of the QOTDs we'll inflict on you later this week. For the most part, this is a nice story about straightforward uses of "that" and "which" modifiers, with some meaning stuff thrown in.

The uses of "that" and "which" can get nastier, though. Check out last Monday's YouTube webinar for more on the various uses of "that" on the GMAT... and we'll feature the other examples from the webinar as QOTDs later this week.

Quote:
A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

"Which" can only modify "North America" here, and that makes no sense at all: "North America, which... marks the end of the geologic era"?! The placement of the "-ing" modifier doesn't seem great, either. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking

Again, the modifier beginning with "which" is modifying "North America" again, and that makes no sense: "North America, which caused the plant and animal extinctions..." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

I'm OK with the use of "that" here, but the parallelism doesn't work. The parallelism marker "and" is followed by "causing plant and animal extinctions", and I can't find anything in the sentence that could possibly be parallel to "causing." (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

The last part of the underlined portion makes me hesitate: "it" could refer to "event", I guess. So "...an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and the event marks the end of the geologic era..." That's not awful, but I really don't understand why we're starting a whole new clause there, with "event" as the subject. It makes a whole lot more sense when the end of the sentence says "... marks the end of the geologic era..." function as a modifier for "extinctions" -- and that's exactly what (E) does.

Since "it" is the subject of the second clause, you could also argue that it refers back to the subject of the first clause: "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest." But that wouldn't really make much sense, either: the asteroid marks the end of the geologic era? Hm, not so sure about that one. But either way: even if you're OK with the pronoun, (E) does a much better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Incidentally, there's another version of this answer choice in the verbal guide (any edition): "an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks..." Clearly, that's wrong for a different reason: "extinctions... marks" is a clear subject-verb error.

Either way, (D) is gone.

Quote:
E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

(E) has two "thats", and they're both perfectly fine. The event caused the plant and animal extinctions, and the extinctions mark the end of the geologic era. Nice and clear. (E) wins.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2017, 20:29
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Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A., which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks --- 'Which' has no referent, present tense ' marks' is incorrect.

B., which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking -- same pronoun error as in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark --- a fragment

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks -- no referent for the pronoun 'it'

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark -- correct choice. The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions'.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2017, 05:35
daagh wrote:
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A., which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks --- 'Which' has no referent, present tense ' marks' is incorrect.

B., which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking -- same pronoun error as in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark --- a fragment

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks -- no referent for the pronoun 'it'

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark -- correct choice. The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions'.


daagh, doesn't "it" in (D) refer to "an event".
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2017, 00:01
manhasnoname wrote:
doesn't "it" in (D) refer to "an event".

Hi manhasnoname, D says:

an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

From a purely parallelism perspective, if the intent of it was to refer to an event, then option D should have been:

an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and that marks
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 02:27
Hi,
Could someone explain, would it be wrong to use 'plant and animal extinctions' instead of 'the plant and animal extinctions' here, as it varies in the options?
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 05:19
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StaicyT wrote:
Hi,
Could someone explain, would it be wrong to use 'plant and animal extinctions' instead of 'the plant and animal extinctions' here, as it varies in the options?


Not using "the" is also alright in this case - if the "extinctions" have already been mentioned before, then using "the" is required to refer to the previously mentioned "extinctions". Otherwise not using "the" is alright.

I have books that are not worth reading. ("books" are not mentioned before in the context.)
I have the books, which are not worth reading. ("The books" have already been intriduced before this sentence. The reader already knows which books are referred to.)

Similarly in option E, usage of "the" implies that the reader has already been introduced to "the extinctions" before this sentence.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2018, 22:05
I think they misread the question before merging the posts. The options are. different. I choose that over which, because the word THAT emphasizes on significance that we need here. So E is good over D in THIS question.

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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2018, 00:45
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark
Correct--> A noun (an event) + noun modifier (that caused....)
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2018, 11:56
I had a question regarding B).

The option currently reads: which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking

If it were: which caused the plant and animal extinctions, marking

Would it have been correct? I understand that "which" is preferred to be close to the noun it is modifying and that it usually modifies a noun; but as far as I know both these conditions are not a must. So here "which" could potentially be modifying the clause, "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America". "Which", as far as I am aware, can modify a clause if the context and meaning supports the usage. And similarly it can be place a bit further from what it modifies, if meaning is clear.

Further, a comma before "marking" makes it a comma -ing modifier, and the underlined portion seems to make sense.

Any thoughts?
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2018, 21:14
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Hi Sagar, which is a relative pronoun and hence, can never modify a clause.

Clauses have verbs and since which is a pronoun, which can only modify a noun (not a verb).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses usage of which, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2018, 01:57
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark


In all the replies option D has been mentioned as

an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

But its which marks ,
SO suppose if we would have plural verb mark out here instead of marks then would this option have been a correct one ?

WOuld someone pls suggest.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2018, 02:01
Well I saw earlier reply as which can't refer to a noun.
But doesn't plant and animal extinctions acts as a noun in previous clause and same is being referred by which.

Pls suggest.
Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a   [#permalink] 17 May 2018, 02:01
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