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QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like

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QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2017, 22:45
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 130: Sentence Correction


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The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(B) crests and troughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

(C) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

(D) stationary crests and troughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(E) stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is

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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2017, 22:46
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(A) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

This is one of those wordy GMAT sentences that probably has too many commas, so all of the answer choices basically “sound” the same. But in this case, there’s an easy elimination once you catch the subject-verb issue: after the semicolon, we have “the resulting flow pattern, [modifier blah blah], ARE known…”

That’s bad and wrong. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) crests and troughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

We can split some hairs over the differences between (A) and (B), but the subject-verb thing is a still a big, fat problem. (B) is out, too.

Quote:
(C) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

The subject-verb agreement is fine here, so that’s cool. We have perfect reasonable uses of the modifier “that” in both cases: “crests and troughs” are indeed the things “that remain stationary”, and “the air” is the thing “that forms them.” And “them” refers back to “crests and troughs.”

I don’t see any mechanical issues at all, so let’s keep (C).

Quote:
(D) stationary crests and troughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

Same subject-verb problem as in (A) and (B). I like free stuff, and this is basically free stuff. Thank you, GMAT, for taking mercy on us and letting us whittle this down to (C) and (E) in no time at all.

Quote:
(E) stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is

Hm, there’s nothing explicitly WRONG with (E) in terms of grammar. The pronoun is OK (“they” refers to “stationary crests and troughs”), and so is the subject-verb agreement.

As we mentioned in our long-winded beginner’s guide to SC, once you eliminate everything you can based on DEFINITE grammar rules, then you’ll want to compare the remaining pairs side-by-side to see if there’s any meaning difference between the two:

    (C) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is
    (E) stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air

So what are the differences between these two? Well, (C) uses active voice (“the air that forms them is moving rapidly”), while (E) is passive (“they are formed by rapidly moving air”), and we could argue that the active voice is clearer and stronger in this particular case. (Though passive voice can be acceptable on the GMAT – but that’s a longer conversation for another day.)

More importantly, (C) does a better job of emphasizing the heart of the sentence. The thing that is (allegedly?) interesting about the crests and troughs isn’t simply that they are formed by rapidly moving air – and that’s basically what (E) says. The noteworthy thing is that the crests and troughs are stationary even though they are formed by rapidly moving air – and by putting the phrase “that remain stationary” right before “although the air that forms them is moving rapidly”, (C) emphasizes this fact much more clearly than (E) does.

Fun stuff. (C) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2017, 23:14
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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 130: Sentence Correction


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The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(B) crests and toughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

(C) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

(D) stationary crests and toughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(E) stationary crests and toughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is

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.


This is how I approached the question:

"the resulting flow pattern" is singular and a singular verb should follow. Options A, B & D are out since they use "are" instead of the singular verb "is" for "the resulting flow pattern"

Between C and E.
C illustrates the contrast in a much concise and clear manner.

Option C - "X and Y" that remain stationary although the air that forms "X and Y" is moving
Option E - stationary "X and Y" although "X and Y" formed by rapidly moving air

Hence Option C is the best choice.


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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2017, 23:43
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Phrase "the resulting flow pattern" is singular so use of 'are' is incorrect. Option A,B & D are clear out.
Option E is passive & awkward. It also changes the meaning of the sentence by using phrase "formed by rapidly moving air".

By POE, option 'C' is best.
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2017, 00:03
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 130: Sentence Correction


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The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(B) crests and toughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

(C) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

(D) stationary crests and toughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(E) stationary crests and toughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is

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Will go with C. Subject is singular and and agrees with C as meaning is concise.
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 23 Oct 2017, 21:55
craveyourave wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 130: Sentence Correction


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The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(B) crests and toughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

(C) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

(D) stationary crests and toughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(E) stationary crests and toughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is

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.


This is how I approached the question:

"the resulting flow pattern" is singular and a singular verb should follow. Options A, B & D are out since they use "are" instead of the singular verb "is" for "the resulting flow pattern"

Between C and E.
C illustrates the contrast in a much concise and clear manner.

Option C - "X and Y" that remain stationary although the air that forms "X and Y" is moving
Option E - stationary "X and Y" although "X and Y" formed by rapidly moving air

Hence Option C is the best choice.


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Exactly how I went about it - though could use a better explanation to cement why C over E makes sense

Originally posted by rezkazmi on 23 Oct 2017, 00:56.
Last edited by rezkazmi on 23 Oct 2017, 21:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Oct 2017, 12:15
Quote:
The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(B) crests and toughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

(C) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

(D) stationary crests and toughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(E) stationary crests and toughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is


the resulting flow pattern (singular subject) - is (A, B, D out)

C) although - is moving - remain stationary
E) although - are formed - ......................

In E there is no verbal counterpart as in C.

C is correct.
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Originally posted by Scorpi0n on 23 Oct 2017, 09:49.
Last edited by Scorpi0n on 24 Oct 2017, 12:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2017, 18:48
The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are (resulting flow pattern is singular)

(B) crests and toughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are (same as A)

(C) crests and toughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is (correct)

(D) stationary crests and toughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are (same as A)

(E) stationary crests and toughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is (passive)
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 20:21
GMATNinja wrote:

(C) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is
(E) stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air [/list]

(C) emphasizes this fact much more clearly than (E) does. Fun stuff. (C) is the best answer.


Hi,

In C "remain stationary" seems redundant like "prices rise up". Am I missing something?
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 13:21
Hero8888 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:

(C) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is
(E) stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air [/list]

(C) emphasizes this fact much more clearly than (E) does. Fun stuff. (C) is the best answer.


Hi,

In C "remain stationary" seems redundant like "prices rise up". Am I missing something?


OK, this is weird: I just finished a conversation about this exact question a few minutes ago... with somebody else in NYC! I'd wonder if it was you, but your GMAT scores are different.

There are some 100% clear cases of redundancy in GMAT questions. You sometimes see things like this on actual SC questions:

  • Every year, the the government spends over $4 trillion annually...
  • The government program enabled consumers who want to purchase their first home to be able to do so with only a minimal down payment...

Those are unambiguously, horrifically redundant, right? There's zero doubt that they're wrong.

I don't think that's true of the phrase "remain stationary", though. "Remain" and "stationary" certainly aren't synonyms for each other, and we could easily use the word "stationary" without implying that something remained stationary over time:

  • After sprinting downfield, Ronaldo was momentarily stationary as he watched the ball sail into the goal.
  • Upon seeing his shockingly high GMAT score, Souvik became stationary for a few seconds, then gasped and jumped up and down with excitement.

So I would argue that the word "remained" absolutely tells us something that we wouldn't have otherwise known for certain: the crests and troughs were stationary for an extended period of time, not just for a moment.

I hope this helps!
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QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 13:43
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GMATNinja wrote:

OK, this is weird: I just finished a conversation about this exact question a few minutes ago... with somebody else in NYC! I'd wonder if it was you, but your GMAT scores are different.

I don't think that's true of the phrase "remain stationary", though.


I might overthink. Sometimes doing so is even worse than not to think at all.
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Re: QOTD: The peaks of a mountain range, acting like  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 15:43
souvik101990 wrote:
The peaks of a mountain range, acting like rocks in a streambed, produce ripples in the air flowing over them; the resulting flow pattern, with crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are known as "standing waves."

(A) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(B) crests and troughs that remain stationary although they are formed by rapidly moving air, are

(C) crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, is

(D) stationary crests and troughs although the air that forms them is moving rapidly, are

(E) stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air, is


A, B and D: the resulting flow pattern...are
Here, are (plural) does not agree with pattern (singular).
Eliminate A, B and D.

Only PARALLEL FORMS may be compared.
E: stationary crests and troughs although they are formed by rapidly moving air
Here, a MODIFIER (stationary) is illogically compared to an ACTION (are formed by rapidly moving air).
Eliminate E.



OA: crests and troughs that remain stationary although the air that forms them is moving rapidly
Here, one ACTION (remain stationary) is logically compared to another ACTION (is moving rapidly).
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