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S94-05

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 50624

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16 Sep 2014, 00:48
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Difficulty:

65% (hard)

Question Stats:

51% (00:48) correct 49% (01:02) wrong based on 159 sessions

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In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different "flavors" of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

A. most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display
B. most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying
C. mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying
D. mostly at least as small as the electron, which display
E. most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying

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16 Sep 2014, 00:48
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Official Solution:

In the last few decades, physicists have identified the existence of different "flavors" of subatomic particles called quarks, most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display a property known as color charge.

A. most of them as small or smaller than the electron, which display
B. most of them as small or smaller than the electron and displaying
C. mostly as small or smaller than the electron, displaying
D. mostly at least as small as the electron, which display
E. most of them at least as small as the electron, displaying

The ERRORs in original are-
1) There is an idiomatic error in this sentence. As small or smaller than is an improper idiom; as X as Y, and more X than Y is correct. However, as small.... than is not correct.

2) Additionally, the adjective clause beginning with- which display- does not logically or grammatically describe the singular electron, the noun before the clause.

ChoiceE is correct. The idiomatic error is fixed, and the participle phrase beginning with displaying refers to the noun quarks. The correct answer is E.

Choices A, B and C all retain as small or smaller than error and can be eliminated.

Choice C improperly uses the adverb mostly, which seems to describe how small the quarks are and not the number of quarks that are as small as the electron.

Choice D contains both modification errors.

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Joined: 05 Apr 2015
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26 May 2015, 06:21
Hi,

If E is the correct answer then displaying is modifying electron and not the quark which is incorrect.

Kindly clarify if I am wrong.

Regards,
Dom.
Intern
Joined: 13 Jun 2015
Posts: 4
Concentration: Healthcare, Finance
GMAT Date: 08-14-2015
WE: General Management (Health Care)

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29 Jul 2015, 07:04
I take E as an answer but I feel there is a meaning error in E.
Size of Quark is either equal to Electron or smaller than Electron.
So quarks are at most as big as electrons.

Please correct me if I am wrong
Manager
Joined: 25 Nov 2014
Posts: 158
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)

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30 Jul 2015, 19:19
1
mudit20111989 wrote:
I take E as an answer but I feel there is a meaning error in E.
Size of Quark is either equal to Electron or smaller than Electron.
So quarks are at most as big as electrons.

Please correct me if I am wrong

"at most as big as" and "at least as small as" are the same thing since both mean that the size of quarks is equal to or less than the electrons.
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Joined: 23 Sep 2015
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29 Aug 2016, 03:44
dominicraj wrote:
Hi,

If E is the correct answer then displaying is modifying electron and not the quark which is incorrect.

Kindly clarify if I am wrong.

Regards,
Dom.

Whether it is 'displaying' or 'which display' , both will modify quarks.
But my doubt is how to decide which on is correct ?

Regards.
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Joined: 13 Sep 2014
Posts: 24
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy

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08 Sep 2016, 18:55
Hello,

Can anyone please how option E retails the original meaning of the question?

Thanks
Akash
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Joined: 10 Jul 2015
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09 Oct 2016, 13:43
AkashKashyap wrote:
Hello,

Can anyone please how option E retails the original meaning of the question?

Thanks
Akash

Hi..

Here are my two cents.
Here we have to remember the Verb-ing modifer rule. If a verb-ing mod. is present after a claus, preceded with a comma, then it does either of two functions
a) presents a new information about the clause
or
b) present result of the preceding clause.

Thus "displaying a property known as color charge" adds information to the preceding clause i.e subatomic particles called quarks and thus makes (E) the correct answer.
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Joined: 12 Mar 2017
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03 Apr 2017, 18:51
If the comma is added after the clause, then the -ing modifier following that comma will modify the entire preceding clause and not just closest noun. Option E would have been nonsensical if the -ing modifier was used without the comma, because then, the modifier modifies the preceding noun which in this case is 'electron'.

I hope this helps.
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Joined: 04 Feb 2013
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17 Jun 2017, 01:28
I think this is a poor-quality question and I don't agree with the explanation. Shouldn't display modify quarks and not electrons?
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Joined: 05 Aug 2017
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16 Aug 2017, 06:31
@e-gmat , kindly explain if we should go with the intended meaning mentioned in the Original sentence !!!
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Joined: 05 Oct 2016
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28 Aug 2017, 01:03
If we are using ing modifier then isnt it true the owner of that ing verb must reside in the main sentence. So can it imply that physicist is working on the verb displaying and if so it would be in correct.

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09 Sep 2017, 03:11
I think this is a high-quality question and I agree with explanation.
Intern
Joined: 21 Aug 2017
Posts: 4

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13 Sep 2017, 12:51
Minor gripe, as somebody who has made a living as a technical writer and copy editor for years:

No doubt, this is a tricky SC question. But, as with too many 700-level SC questions I've seen, the correct answer (E) still yields a sentence that would never be acceptable for print. I would never append an adjective clause beginning with a gerund to a needlessly wordy descriptive phrase like "most of them at least as small as the electron".

I know, I know The GMAT is testing students' ability to recognize 'correct' sentences, but I do hope students remember that 'correct' does not always mean 'acceptable.' Separately, I truly admire the non-native English speakers who attempt the GMAT verbal section -- this is very challenging stuff indeed.
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Joined: 29 Aug 2017
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30 Nov 2017, 23:51
I agree with the idiomatic error of as small or smaller than , however, Displaying modifies the preceding clause- shouldn't the doer of the action and the doer of the modifier be the same? Here the doer of the clause is physicists. The meaning becomes nonsensical that the physicists displayed a property of colour charge by identifying the quarks-please clarify?
Re: S94-05 &nbs [#permalink] 30 Nov 2017, 23:51
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