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# S94-14

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 54376

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16 Sep 2014, 01:48
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Difficulty:

25% (medium)

Question Stats:

69% (00:39) correct 31% (00:44) wrong based on 61 sessions

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Reporting that one of their more crippling malfunctions has been the sudden and unexpected failure of the liquid helium cooling system, the engineering squad supervising the Large Hadron Collider requested additional funding to develop better maintenance systems.

A. their more crippling malfunctions has been the sudden
B. their more crippling malfunctions has been the suddenly
C. its more crippling malfunctions is the sudden
D. its more crippling malfunctions had been the sudden
E. its more crippling malfunctions had been the suddenly

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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 54376

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16 Sep 2014, 01:48
1
Official Solution:

Reporting that one of their more crippling malfunctions has been the sudden and unexpected failure of the liquid helium cooling system, the engineering squad supervising the Large Hadron Collider requested additional funding to develop better maintenance systems.

A. their more crippling malfunctions has been the sudden
B. their more crippling malfunctions has been the suddenly
C. its more crippling malfunctions is the sudden
D. its more crippling malfunctions had been the sudden
E. its more crippling malfunctions had been the suddenly

The antecedent for the plural pronoun their is the singular the Large Hadron Collider so this sentence displays a pronoun-antecedent agreement error. A pronoun can come before its antecedent if the pronoun is inside of a describing phrase set off by a comma at the beginning of the sentence. Ofcourse collective nouns, like squad, which refer to a group that acts as a unit, are also singular.

Additionally, the verb tenses used in the sentence as it is written create an illogical sequence of events; in the past, the squad requested additional funding, so what prompted this request must have been an event that took place before before the request was made. However, a malfunction that has been the failure... uses the present perfect (has + participle), which describes an event that began in the past and may continue. An event that may continue does not describe something that came before another event that began and ended in the past.

Choice D changes their to its and has been to had been, fixing both errors. The singular it correctly refers to the singular collective noun engineering squad. The past perfect (had + participle) is always used to describe an event in the far past that came before an event that took place before another event in the more recent past. Before the team requested additional funding..., a crippling malfunction had been the failure.

Choice B retains the plural their and the incorrect has been..., failing to fix either error.

Choice C changes their to its but retains a verb tense error. The present is does not describe an action that took place before the request was made.

Choice E fixes both original errors but changes the adjective sudden to the incorrectly used adverb, suddenly. Adverbs cannot modify nouns; the failure, a noun, must be described as sudden and unexpected.

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Joined: 03 Aug 2016
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08 Jun 2017, 00:26
can someone say what is 'its' referring to ? Engineering Squad or Hadron collider?
Manager
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 57
Location: India
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)

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02 Sep 2017, 07:12
"its" referring to Large Hadron Collider.
Re: S94-14   [#permalink] 02 Sep 2017, 07:12
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# S94-14

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