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# Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is

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Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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Question # 92 from the Verbal Review - 2nd Edition of the Official Guide - Sentence Correction (page 310)

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

I said B, which I can see how it's wrong because after reading the answers I understood they meant the life cycle is of the parasite, not the host - so my mistake was more in the meaning of the sentence rather than grammar.

The right answer is A - my questions is this: in MGMAT sentence correction book I remember reading that one should be very careful using a pronoun of a possessive term and that it's usually incorrect. So in A, they are saying that "its" refers to parasite's - this seems wrong. Does anyone else agree? Or am I misunderstanding something? To me it is not clear what "it" refers to because the term parasite is in a possessive term.

Originally posted by getzonator on 25 Jan 2012, 06:17.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 23 Apr 2018, 14:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 12 May 2017, 22:18
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MGMAT( in a reversal from its earlier rigid stand perhaps) says that the issue of possessive poison is not worth worrying about since there has been hardly any case that has been rejected on the score of the possessive pronoun’s antecedence in the realm of GMAT.

The takeaway of possessive pronoun custom is;

1. A possessive pronoun can stand for a possessive noun
2. A possessive pronoun can stand for a non- possessive noun
3. A non-possessive pronoun can stand for a non- possessive noun.
4. The only case where it can‘t be accepted is when a non-possessive is used to stand for a possessive noun

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its lifecycle --- here its is possessive and parasite’s is possessive. So there is no issue. correct choice
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle – pronoun number agreement
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles—snails which becomes – S-V mismatch
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles--- how many life cycles does the parasite have? Secondly, do all the hosts have one parasite? Illogical
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles— parasite is singular while the 'their' is a plural pronoun.
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Originally posted by daagh on 04 Aug 2012, 22:14.
Last edited by daagh on 12 May 2017, 22:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2013, 21:14
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A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
Should keep it
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
For part of its life cycle seems ok
but in part of their life cylce seems not as "parasite" is singular and their is plural.

C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
Which should be preceded by comma.
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
Same as (C).
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles
Changes the meaning and this one says that habitat of parasite's hosts and not of freshwater snails has been enlarged
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2013, 08:57
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ratinarace wrote:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

Can somebody please explain why cant their refer back to the SNAILS...I mean it still would make perfect sense "snail serve as host for a part in their life cycle"

I understand from the explanations that this is not the intended meaning, but how can gmat expect the test taker to peep in the author's brain?

Hi ratinarace, when dealing with pronoun questions, it's always simplest to replace the pronoun by the word it is replacing and verify that the pronoun agrees with the noun.

In this case, the sentence should be:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF the worm's LIFE CYCLE. Who's life cycle are we referring to? The parasite, which in turn is referencing the worm.

If you want it to reference the snails (plural), also note that the sentence is slightly different (in part vs for part). In part usually means "as one of the reasons of" whereas for part usually means "for an incomplete period". I chose this answer in part because the idiom was good for this part of the test.

Between the intention and the phrasing, I agree that A should be the correct answer, but B is a tempting choice as well.

Hope this helps!
-Ron
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2013, 09:43
5
ratinarace wrote:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

Can somebody please explain why cant their refer back to the SNAILS...I mean it still would make perfect sense "snail serve as host for a part in their life cycle"

I understand from the explanations that this is not the intended meaning, but how can gmat expect the test taker to peep in the author's brain?

Hi ratinarace,

"their" can refer to snails and in (B) "their" is in fact referring to "snails", but it shouldn't. The sentence is discussing about the life cycle of the parasite and not the snails. In (B) "their" refers to snails, resulting in change in the meaning of the original sentence.

Well, it may appear that GMAT expects one to peep into the author's brain. But while answering you should keep in mind that the answer choice that changes the meaning of the original sentence is almost always incorrect. If we have two grammatically correct answer choices then the one which preserves the meaning of the original sentence is most likely to be the correct one.

Hope this helps,

Vercules
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2013, 20:18
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To understand this issue correctly, one requires to look at the science of logic and I wonder whether it could have been the intention of the framers of this topic. If you understand the relationship between a host and a parasite, it is like this.

There are millions of hosts of a species and millions of parasites of the same. But it is not essential that the host has to necessarily have a parasite as part of its life cycle. It can continue to live healthily without getting infected by the parasite. For example do we all get malaria? No. we don’t. So a mosquito is not part of our life-cycle.
But not so in the case of the parasite. A parasite has to depend upon its host for some time, if it has to successfully complete its life cycle. Looking therefore from the meaning point, - its - should refer to the parasite in this case. So A.

I am not clear whether this fine tuning is by default or by design by the originators.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2014, 08:56
2
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle - Correct Answer , Its correctly refer to parasite's (both are relative pronouns)
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle - part of parasite's lifecycle, not snail's lifecycle - distorts meaning
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles - parasite can have one life cycle.
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles - parasite can have one life cycle.
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles - Same error as in B

This one is hard...
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2015, 06:35
kanigmat011 wrote:
I somehow could not understand how its in option A is referring to parasite

Hi! its in option A is not referring to parasite, but to parasite's.

its is a possessive pronoun and hence, will refer to possessive noun parasite's.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2015, 05:12
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
host is for part of life cycle not in part
Also their seems to refer snails which is incorrect.

C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
becomes(Singular verb) is not correct for plural noun Snails
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles
their instead of its is repeated and incorrect.
structure is also awkward.

Left with A and D.
I chose D since I felt D removed the pronoun ambiguity.

but D is wrong for below reason

Quote:
A living thing cannot have more than one life cycle.
Incorrect: a tiger's life cycles
Correct: a tiger's LIFE CYCLE

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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2016, 02:05
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ramarao443 Normally we don't switch antecedents for a pronoun. In other words, once we've said that "it=disease," we don't assign "it" or "its" to any other noun. With this in mind, A would seem problematic. However, there are a few complications:

*First, there has been no possessive noun except for "parasite's." We aren't supposed to use a possessive pronoun unless there's an actual possessive noun to refer back to, so this points toward "parasite's" as the antecedent for "its."

*Second, the proximity of the pronoun and its antecedent makes it especially awkward to use the noun again. It would be like saying "My wife and I went to Kay's house for Kay's birthday party." Sure, there are two women in the sentence, but proximity (in conjunction with the possessive and the overall meaning) makes it very clear who's party we're talking about.

*Finally, D has several other grammatical problems. ("Wordy" is usually not an objection we want to accept.) We don't want to say that one parasite has multiple life cycles. We also need to begin the underlined portion with "the" to make it clear that we are talking about a specific group of freshwater snails. With that in mind, we also want to use "that" rather than "which." We use "that" to indicate essential modifiers. These are modifiers that become part of the noun phrase. Non-essential modifiers just add parenthetical information about the noun in general.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2016, 23:19
1
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS.
THE FRESHWATER SNAILS ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS for PART OF parasite's LIFE CYCLE.

Parasite is singular as implied by "a disease caused by a parasitic worm"
Also PARASITE'S ________It's => OK

so B, E out.
Which without "Comma" incorrect so C, D, E out.

A correct
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2016, 22:51
VeritasPrepRon wrote:
ratinarace wrote:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

Can somebody please explain why cant their refer back to the SNAILS...I mean it still would make perfect sense "snail serve as host for a part in their life cycle"

I understand from the explanations that this is not the intended meaning, but how can gmat expect the test taker to peep in the author's brain?

Hi ratinarace, when dealing with pronoun questions, it's always simplest to replace the pronoun by the word it is replacing and verify that the pronoun agrees with the noun.

In this case, the sentence should be:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF the worm's LIFE CYCLE. Who's life cycle are we referring to? The parasite, which in turn is referencing the worm.

If you want it to reference the snails (plural), also note that the sentence is slightly different (in part vs for part). In part usually means "as one of the reasons of" whereas for part usually means "for an incomplete period". I chose this answer in part because the idiom was good for this part of the test.

Between the intention and the phrasing, I agree that A should be the correct answer, but B is a tempting choice as well.

Hope this helps!
-Ron

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of THE FRESHWATER SNAILS THAT ARE THE PARASITE'S HOSTS FOR PART OF ITS LIFE CYCLE.

in the original question, first it clearly refers to a disease (Schistosomiasis)
the second its refers to parasitic worm.
as i have learnt, it should not be the case.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2016, 15:08
1
Thanks! It's interesting to note that while they describe the rule limiting "which" to nonrestrictive clauses as "controversial," the question itself still follows the rule. It's also useful to keep in mind that the explanation writer is not the same as the question writer! One of my colleagues describes the explanation writers as the "B Team."

However, this indication of flexibility does underscore a point I often make: that it's much more important to get good at reading for solid sentence structure (e.g. subject-verb and parallelism) and overall meaning than it is to memorize long lists of idioms or to spend hours agonizing over the use of "because of" vs. "due to." We don't need to be masters of which vs. that to ace this test!

I should add that this rule is indeed controversial. My brother, for instance, refuses to acknowledge it as a rule at all, saying that it was made up by a few fussy 20th-century copy-editors who have no more claim than the rest of us to dictate how the English language should be used. He may well have a point!
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2017, 16:35
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Quote:
It's also useful to keep in mind that the explanation writer is not the same as the question writer! One of my colleagues describes the explanation writers as the "B Team."

Sooooo true! My hunch is that whoever writes the explanations is an intern of some sort, and not necessarily a professional question-writer at all. Plus, a lot of the questions that leak into the official guides are 10 or 15 or 20 years old -- and whoever wrote them originally is probably long gone.

Fun fact: at ETS (the company that writes the TOEFL and GRE, among other tests), the question-writers are literally in a different building from the psychometricians who design the exam. No idea if the same is true at GMAC, but it wouldn't surprise me.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2017, 09:12
1
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

Issues: Diction | Modifier | Verb Tense

Analysis:
1. The sentence talks about a disease caused by a parasitic worm that has become widespread due to enlarging habitat of the freshwater snails.
2. The options have couple of things wrong in them that I have highlighted below.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle

B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
- "in part" does not convey the intended meaning
- "their" (plural) either incorrectly refers to "parasite" (singular) or non-sensically refers "freshwater snails"

C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
- "becomes" does not agree with "freshwater snails" in number
- "life cycles" is incorrect as a worm will only have a single life cycle.

D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
- "becomes the hosts" is wordy and unnecessary
- "during the parasite's life cycles" changes the meaning as the snail is host for only a part of the life-cycle.
- Also, "life cycles" is incorrect as a worm will only have a single life cycle.

E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles
- "their" in two places does not agree with singular "parasite"
- "during their life cycles" changes the meaning as the snail is host for only a part of the life-cycle.

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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 18:06
getzonator wrote:
Question # 92 from the Verbal Review - 2nd Edition of the Official Guide - Sentence Correction (page 310)

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

GMATNinjaTwo "that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle" modifier describing snails

it = schistosomiasis = the parasite

Is it "its" referring to "parasite's" or schistosomiasis?
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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16 May 2017, 04:00
ziyuen wrote:
getzonator wrote:
Question # 92 from the Verbal Review - 2nd Edition of the Official Guide - Sentence Correction (page 310)

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

GMATNinjaTwo "that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle" modifier describing snails

it = schistosomiasis = the parasite

Is it "its" referring to "parasite's" or schistosomiasis?

it in it has become more widespread refers to Schistosomiasis.

its in that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle refers to parasite's. So, effectively, this portion says -- ...the the freshwater snails that are the parasite's host for part of the parasite's life cycle.

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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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20 May 2017, 10:26
neetis5 wrote:
it in it has become more widespread refers to Schistosomiasis.

its in that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle refers to parasite's. So, effectively, this portion says -- ...the the freshwater snails that are the parasite's host for part of the parasite's life cycle.

Cheers!

Thanks neetis5! Yes, "its" is a possessive pronoun referring to the possessive "parasite's".
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2017, 21:32
getzonator wrote:
Question # 92 from the Verbal Review - 2nd Edition of the Official Guide - Sentence Correction (page 310)

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

I said B, which I can see how it's wrong because after reading the answers I understood they meant the life cycle is of the parasite, not the host - so my mistake was more in the meaning of the sentence rather than grammar.

The right answer is A - my questions is this: in MGMAT sentence correction book I remember reading that one should be very careful using a pronoun of a possessive term and that it's usually incorrect. So in A, they are saying that "its" refers to parasite's - this seems wrong. Does anyone else agree? Or am I misunderstanding something? To me it is not clear what "it" refers to because the term parasite is in a possessive term.

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle
Seems ok ... (its referring to Parasite - so no pronoun number agreement issue)

B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle
"their" is incorrect since its plural it now refers to plural antecedent "snails" which is illogical

C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles
"becomes" is singular - we need plural verb become for plural subject snails
Also, "life cycles" - plural- as in each parasite has more than one life cycle !!! Incorrect

D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles
same as Option C (lifecycles)

E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles
"their" - plural pronoun does not have an antecedent ...we need an antecedent for "a parasite worm" which is singular and hence the antecedent shall also be singular. Incorrect
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is  [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2017, 23:05
This question hinges whether parasite's can act as Subject .
Yes they can so A is the correct answer.

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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is &nbs [#permalink] 24 Jun 2017, 23:05
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