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# Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than

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Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Oct 2018, 04:02
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66% (01:18) correct 34% (01:27) wrong based on 1443 sessions

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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

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 42: Sentence Correction

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Originally posted by vivek123 on 14 Dec 2005, 03:02.
Last edited by Bunuel on 17 Oct 2018, 04:02, edited 6 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#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: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2005, 08:03
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ETS SC RULE #1: VIRTUALLY ALWAYS CHOOSE RATHER THAN OVER INSTEAD OF UNLESS THE FORMER IS A GRAMMATICAL NIGHTMARE. This pattern has about a 99% accuracy rate.

(A)
##### General Discussion
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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15 May 2012, 16:53
Hi,
The OA is A. Source is GMAT software question pack 1.

Can we have an expert explanation? I realize that the question is testing parallelism, but am having hard time understanding what parts of speech are parallel.

Thank You,
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2013, 02:59
mvamsee wrote:
Hi,
The OA is A. Source is GMAT software question pack 1.

Can we have an expert explanation? I realize that the question is testing parallelism, but am having hard time understanding what parts of speech are parallel.

Thank You,

Experts kindly help here. .

don't really understand the differences between instead, rather than in this example. .
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 22:07
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Sachin9 wrote:
mvamsee wrote:
Hi,
The OA is A. Source is GMAT software question pack 1.

Can we have an expert explanation? I realize that the question is testing parallelism, but am having hard time understanding what parts of speech are parallel.

Thank You,

Experts kindly help here. .

don't really understand the differences between instead, rather than in this example. .

Responding to a pm:

Parallel Structure: Look at the structure of the sentence.

Reptiles, by doing A rather than doing B, can survive on ...

'doing A' and 'doing B' should be parallel.

drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than burning calories to generate it - 'drawing' needs 'burning'

'burn calories to generate heat' is the correct usage. You do 'this' to get 'that' result.
'burn calories for generating heat' is not.

'rather than' shows preference. 'instead of' means 'in stead of' i.e. 'in place of' and doesn't show preference.

He came to my party instead of his wife. - His wife was supposed to come but she couldn't so he came instead.

I would like to invite her rather than her husband. - Only person per couple will be invited and I would like to invite her, not her husband.

Here, reptiles prefer to get the heat directly from the Sun and hence, can survive on little nutrition. So 'rather than' is fine. In fact, even 'instead of' is not incorrect. Hence, even though some options use 'rather than' and some use 'instead of', the choice between these two is not your decision point.
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 13:23
Can someone tell me what the IT is referring to in answer A. I thought the IT is closest to Sun therefore made answer choice A alkward.
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2013, 20:35
"it" correctly refers to "body heat". Please note that there is no rule that indicates that pronoun should refer to the closest noun. The reference by pronoun is determined by understanding the meaning of the sentence. I suggest you review the following two sources to clarify your understanding of pronouns:

1: "Pronouns" Concept file in free trial of e-GMAT. Here is short video for how you can access the free trial.
2: Article on Pronouns

Hope this helps.

Regards,
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2013, 22:28
x rather than Y
X is a prepositional phrase
y should be a prepositional phrase.
in that case D matches.
why "burning for generating" is not correct?
A comes close to ||-ism as well
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2013, 23:23
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
x rather than Y
X is a prepositional phrase
y should be a prepositional phrase.
in that case D matches.
why "burning for generating" is not correct?
A comes close to ||-ism as well

No, 'by' is not a part of X.

Look at the following sentences:

Reptiles, by doing N, can survive on very little food.

Reptiles, by doing X rather than doing Y, can survive on very little food. - Here, 'doing N' is replaced by 'doing X rather than doing Y' (or 'doing X rather than Y' in case the same verb is used for both)

e.g.
Overweight people, by eating healthy food, can reduce their weight.
Overweight people, by eating fruits rather than drinking sweetened juice, can reduce their weight. (eating and drinking are in parallel)
Overweight people, by eating fruits rather than meat, can reduce their weight. ('eating fruits rather than eating meat is assumed)

'to' is the idiomatically correct usage.
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#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: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#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: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2018, 09:43
Hey jennpt

Could you please solve this question for us, i.e. the way you would solve in exam including strategy!! thanks!!
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Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 16:02
I got this question correct, but I do not fully understand why "by burning" in answer choice D is wrong. I eliminated D because of "for -ing" verb BUT I typically prioritize parallelism. Please help!
Re: Reptiles, by drawing their body heat directly from the Sun rather than   [#permalink] 13 Dec 2018, 16:02
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