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QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists

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QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 166: Sentence Correction


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The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led


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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 00:25
So you might be wondering: why the heck did we pick THIS thing for a QOTD?

Well, we just finished a big ol' live webinar on the joys of commas, dashes, colons, and semicolons. We didn't cover this particular question, but here's the big takeaway from the webinar: dashes aren't usually worth worrying about on the GMAT, because they're rarely the deciding factor in a question -- and style experts disagree about the exact uses of dashes, anyway.

So on something like this question, don't get too distracted by the dashes, and concentrate on finding other goodies if at all possible.

Quote:
A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led

I can’t complain much about (A). The first phrase beginning with "that" is very reasonably modifying the preceding noun ("...discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive..."), and the second "that" is fine, too ("... an advance that has led to improvements..."). Might as well keep (A).

And in case you ARE worried about how dashes work: in this case, everything that follows the dash is a modifier -- specifically, a noun that modifies another noun -- that tells us more about the "discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive." That's no problem at all, since the phrase after the dash ("an advance that has led to improvements...") is a perfectly reasonable definition of the discovery.

(And plastic can be made electrically conductive?! Mind. Blown.)

Anyway, let’s keep (A).

Quote:
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading


I don't think that (B) is WRONG, exactly, but it's far less elegant than (A). The only real difference between (A) and (B) isn't the dash itself; it's the stuff that follows the dash, which is intended as a modifier that tells us more about "their discovery." I think it's easier to see the problem if we put (A) and (B) side-by-side:

    (A) ... the discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements...
    (B) ... the discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading to improvements...

Again, the part after the dash is just trying to give us a nice, clear description of “the discovery.” (A) does this much more elegantly, by giving us a definition of “the discovery”: it’s “an advance that has led to improvements…” Structurally, it’s harder to make sense of (B): I might be OK with just “leading” instead of “this advance leading” (especially if we tweaked the punctuation), but I can’t figure out why we would have a noun (“this advance”) followed by a participle (“leading”) in this situation. (Or in any situation, to be honest.)

It’s subtle, but (B) is definitely weaker than (A).

Quote:
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led

(C) isn’t horrible, but it’s not great, either – especially when we compare it to (A). In (A), the stuff after the dash is clearly just a modifier that tells us more about “the discovery.” But in (C), the phrase beginning with “and this advance led…” is structured as a brand-new clause, parallel to the first (independent) clause in the sentence.

In this situation, we have to ask ourselves: which is more appropriate? Are we trying to state two separate, independent, parallel facts (which is what A does)? Or should the last part (beginning with “an advance” or “this advance”) just modify “the discovery”? I’d argue strongly for the latter: there’s absolutely no reason to start up a brand-new, parallel clause in this case, when you think about the meaning of the sentence.

So it’s still pretty subtle, but (C) isn’t as good as (A), either.

Quote:
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading

There are two little problems with (D). First, it’s awfully weird to talk about “the discovery of plastic’s ability” in this case. Literally, that sentence suggests that plastic inherently has the ability to be electrically conductive, and scientists just happened to discover that inherent ability. And that doesn’t make sense: what we’re really trying to say is that plastic can be made electrically conductive – presumably with some modifications or whatever.

Second, this seems like a classic, crappy use of “with.” The word “with” suggests some sort of accompaniment (“I eat burritos with Tapatio sauce” or “Mike went to the movies with his non-girlfriend”), and I can’t figure out why we would use “with” here. Especially since we have a much clearer alternative in answer choice (A), that gives us a very clear modifier that gives us more information about “the discovery”.

So (D) isn’t a total disaster, but it’s also inferior to (A).

Let’s line up (A) and (E) side-by-side, since they aren’t all that different from each other:

Quote:
A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led

That first part of the underlined portion in (E) is pretty ugly. At the very least, it’s far less elegant than (A), and there’s no good reason to use the phrase “being able to be made” when we could just use “can be made.”

But I think there’s also a meaning argument here, similar to the argument I made for eliminating (D): the phrase “discovery of plastic being able to be made…” sounds like scientists either just discovered plastic itself, or just discovered plastic’s inherent ability to be electrically conductive. And that’s not quite right: scientists just discovered that plastic can be made electrically conductive – again, perhaps with some innovative modifications. But (E) seems to suggest that plastic inherently can be made conductive, and that doesn’t work.

So (A) is the best we can do.
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Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 01:18
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 166: Sentence Correction


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The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led

[/textarea]

A) Correct
B) Awarding is not an advancement WRONG
C) this refers to what? WRONG
D) Discovery of ability is WRONG
E) Use of being



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Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 01:31
[quote="souvik101990"]

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 166: Sentence Correction


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The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led

ANSWER OPTION A

OPTION A-Absolutely correct. MEaning is intact....AN ADVANCE(modifier) is modifying previous clause..
OPTION B-after dash there is no verb-VERB is required to complete the sense-leading is a participle
OPTION C-two independent activities are shown rather than one leading to another.
OPTION D-Scientist did not discover plastic ability-CHANGE OF MEANING
OPTION E-Discovery that plastic being able to????? that means as of now plastic is not electrically conducive, then what they discovered???
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QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 02:09
The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading wrong usage of 'this' as pronoun-no precedent +no verb in sentence
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led - red portion caused my ears to bleed

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led - removed the pronoun error regarding 'this'
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Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 06:40
The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led - Correct
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading - "this advance leading" is wrong
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led - to be is wrong; and is wrongly used
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading -discovery that is correct; modifier can't start with "with"
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led -discovery that is correct; being able to is very awkward
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Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 08:56
[quote="souvik101990"]

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 166: Sentence Correction


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For All QOTD Questions Click Here



The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led


A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led - A noun + Noun Modifier correctly modifying and advance in such invention
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading - Incorrect use of pronoun This
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading - Incorrect meaning - Plastic's ability
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
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Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 15:05
Hello everyone,

I have read all the analyses so far, and almost of them say that use of pronoun this is incorrect in Choice B because it has no antecedent.

However, this is not the case.

This is a demonstrative pronoun that has been correctly used in Choice B as it has been followed by the noun entity it is supposed to refer to - advance.

Like Choice A, Choice B also uses Noun + Noun Modifier this advance leading to... in which this advance = Noun and leading to... = Noun Modifier.

The real trouble with Choice B is the usage of the verb-ing modifier leading to. If we were to write equivalent verb for leading to, it would be leads to.

Usage of leading to... suggests that it is the general characteristic of the advance to lead to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

However, from the context of the sentence, it is clear that improvements took place at a particular point in time. This meaning has been correctly conveyed by the usage of the verb has led to in Choice A, the usage that makes Choice A the winner.



Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists [#permalink]

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[quote="souvik101990"]

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 166: Sentence Correction


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For All QOTD Questions Click Here



The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led to improvements in film, television screens, and windows.

A. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led
B. that plastic can be made electrically conductive—this advance leading
C. that plastic can be made to be electrically conductive, and this advance led
D. of plastic's ability to be made electrically conductive, with this advance leading
E. of plastic being able to be made electrically conductive—an advance that has led

why b is wrong?. very hard. I try to explain.
normally in the pattern
main clause+noun+doing

noun+doing show a attendent circumstance which happen at the same time of main clause action and work as an adverb showing context, reason, and effect of main clause.

many person learn english in vietnam, its government paying for leaning english.

choice B can not be in the pattern logically. 'this advance leading..." can not show a context, reason or effect of main clause.

choice A is a different pattern. in this pattern, "an advance the has led..." is a summury of the main clause

main clause+ a+ noun+ noun modifier

is different pattern, in which "a +noun+ modifier" show a summary of the main clause

I like mba, a fact many persons know.

in this problem , pattern second is fit logically.
Re: QOTD: The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2017, 01:18
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