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Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in

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

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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

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 268: Sentence Correction


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


https://www.nytimes.com/1985/07/27/us/drop-in-drug-cost-may-allow-all-out-attack-on-a-parasite.html

Like other drugs used to treat schistosomiasis, praziquantel does not kill all the parasites in a person's body but reduces their number until the symptoms disappear. Unlike malaria parasites, those for schistosomiasis cannot multiply in the body. Once their population is reduced it remains low unless the victim is infected again.

Freshwater snails are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle, just as mosquitoes are hosts for malaria. The disease is prevalent in hot, humid climates and has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the snails.

Originally posted by getzonator on 25 Jan 2012, 05:17.
Last edited by Bunuel on 21 Sep 2018, 03:24, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in  [#permalink]

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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, 21:14.
Last edited by daagh on 12 May 2017, 21:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2018, 19:13
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Quote:
A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle

I don’t have a whole lot to say about (A). The first thing I notice is the modifier “that are the parasite’s hosts” – and that seems like a reasonable way to modify “the freshwater snails.”

The pronoun “its” also jumps out at me, and that would have to refer to “the parasite’s”, since that’s our nearest (and most logical) singular. And that’s fine, too: “…the freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts for part of [the parasite’s] life cycle…” Reasonable enough.

So I guess we’ll keep (A).

Quote:
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle

The biggest difference between (B) and (A) is the plural pronoun “their” in (B). And that’s a problem: “their” is plural, so it has to refer to either “the freshwater snails” or “the parasite’s hosts” – and those are the same thing, anyway. So that gives us: “… the freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts in part of [the freshwater snails’] life cycle.”

That’s not WRONG, exactly, if you’re willing to assume that the sentence is trying to explain what happens during the snails’ life cycle. But I think that misses the point: schistosomiasis is the grammatical subject of the sentence, and the sentence is clearly trying to explain why the disease has become more common. So presumably, the sentence is interested in explaining that the snails are hosts during part of the parasite’s life cycle. The snail’s life cycle really isn’t of interest to us, and wouldn’t help explain why the parasite has become more common.

So that’s miserably subtle, but it’s basically all we’ve got, unless you want to make an unnecessarily big deal out of the prepositions. (A) is better than (B), so we can eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles

(C) is a little bit easier to eliminate than some of the other options. The phrase “its life cycles” really doesn’t make any sense at all: “its” presumably refers to “the parasite”, since that’s the closest (and most logical) singular noun. But then how is that “the parasite” has multiple “life cycles”? As far as I know, each parasite only has one life cycle. If not, that would be creepy AF.

There’s also a problem with the phrase “freshwater snails which becomes.” Snails are plural, so the verb would have to be “become”, not “becomes.” Plus, “which” is generally a non-restrictive modifier, so it usually follows a comma – though that’s not usually a deciding factor on GMAT questions.

So we have lots of reasons to ditch (C).

Quote:
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles

(D) is a little bit better than (C)… but only a little bit.

I guess it’s nice that “its life cycles” has been changed to “the parasite’s life cycles”, but either way, it’s illogical: a singular parasite presumably has only one life cycle, not multiple “life cycles.”

It’s also nice that the subject-verb issue has been fixed (“snails… become”), but I still don’t think it’s ideal to use “which” in this type of scenario without a comma. But again: the GMAT doesn’t generally make a big deal out of comma placement, and it’s almost never a deciding factor.

And even if you ignore the comma thing, the phrase “parasite’s life cycles” is goofy enough to let us eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

The plural pronoun “their” appears twice in (E), but “parasite’s” is actually singular, so “their” presumably refers to “snails.” And that’s garbage: “… freshwater snails which become [the snails’] hosts during [the snails’] life cycles…”

You could also argue that “which” needs to be preceded by a comma, as we mentioned in (C) and (D) – but again, that’s rarely a deciding factor on the GMAT.

The pronoun thing is a big deal, though. (E) is out, and we’re left with (A).
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2013, 20:14
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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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2013, 07:57
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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!
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2013, 08:43
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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,

"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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2013, 19:18
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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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2014, 07:56
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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... :roll:
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in  [#permalink]

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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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2016, 21:51
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



hi experts, please help me to clarify this problem.
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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2016, 14:08
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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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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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.


Answer: A.
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 17:06
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 prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 03:00
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.

Cheers! :)
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Re: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2017, 09:26
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: QOTD: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2018, 06:42
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IMO A

A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its lifecycle --- Although we have a pronoun in place of possessive noun but it is best among the lot its refer to singular parasite's correct choice
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle – pronoun number agreement their refers to singular parasite's
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--- wrongly stated life cycles should be cycle.
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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Re: QOTD: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2018, 11:23
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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 268: Sentence Correction


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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



"Life cycles" does not make any sense as there is only one life cycle unless you are captain America:P so C, D, E are out. Its the parasite's life cycle not the snail's. Hence only A is left.
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Re: QOTD: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 09:08
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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 268: Sentence Correction


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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 specificity with "the"; idiomatically, "for" is the correct preposition; "its" correctly refers to the singular parasite

(B) the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in [for] part of their [its] life cycle

1) in vs. for: IDIOM. "Part of a life cycle" connotes "a period of time," i.e., an "interval."
To express duration of some amount of time, the preposition is for, not it.
"For" a period of time, or "for" an interval -- not "in" a period of time, not "in" an interval.

2) Pronoun disagreement. Parasite is singular. The pronoun should be its, not their.


(C) [the] freshwater snails which becomes [snails which become] the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles [cycle]

1) Subject/verb agreement: snails is plural. The verb should be the singular "become"

2) Plural "cycles": a singular parasite has one life cycle, not plural life cycles

3) Needs definite article "the" - see below


(D) [the] freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's [its] life cycles [cycle]

1) Plural "cycles." Same problem as that in C: A singular parasite has one life cycle.

2) Use "its" instead of repeating "the parasite" in the second part of the sentence
Somewhat minor and unpredictable - GMAT is not very consistent about concision and repetition.
If you were down to this sentence and another sentence that had "its," however,
you would choose the other sentence

3) Needs definite article "the" - see below


(E) parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts [its host] during their life cycles [whose life cycles? the snails' or the singular parasite's? In number, must be snails: wrong antecedent]

1) Pronoun disagreement: singular parasite needs singular pronoun its, not their

2) Repetitious: . . . hosts, . . . hosts

3) The second THEIR (which oddly makes cycleS correct, but we know
cycleS is not correct from C and D). Wrong antecedent (plural = snails')
or ambiguous (snails or parasite). But second "their" should not consume much mental real
estate because the first "their" is absolutely incorrect.


Although I flagged every error I saw for explanatory purposes,
I do not approach SC this way.

I wish I could convince more understandably anxious test takers
to eliminate wrong answers for ANY or ONE clear grammatical error . . .
not more than one error, not EVERY error . . . and move on.

My approach:

Split #1: Plural vs. singular, whether the issue concerns pronouns, S/V, or noun parallelism

Eliminate
B (parasite - its/their)
C (snails/become, parasite's life cycleS)
D (parasite: its/their, parasite's life cycleS)
E (parasite - its/their)

Done. Answer A.

I think I have seen this question connected
with discussions about the definite article "the."

I caught it, but did not use it to eliminate answers.

For the curious . . .

Split #1 in an alternative universe: definite article THE
(a much harder error to catch, IMO, than singular/plural)

We need a THE for "freshwater snails."

This writer is very specific at each point of causality about the spread of the disease.
The use of "the freshwater snails" accords with this specificity.

WHICH kind of snails are involved in this mess?
The freshwater snails that host the parasite that carries this disease.

Start with what the sentence means and the writer intends to convey.

Certain irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat
of a specific kind of snail (freshwater snails).

These freshwater snails host the parasitic worm
that carries a disease called "Schistosomiasis."

That disease has become more widespread because
the enlarged habitat of the freshwater snails
increases the area in which the snails can carry the disease.

Causality requires specificity here.

X (Schistosomiasis) is caused by a Y (parasitic worm) that infects [a particular kind of =] THE Zs
(Zs = freshwater snails, where "freshwater" are the snails in question)

X is caused by a Y that infects the Zs

This "catch" might be easier for a native ear to hear.

THE appears in three options (A, B, and E).
THE does not appear in two options (C and D).
That disparity should make the reader suspect that some issue
probably lurks around the use or non-use of THE.

C and D can be dismissed because both lack THE.

We have A, B, and E

Split #2 in an alternate universe: Pronoun/noun disagreement

B and E contain plural possessive THEIR instead of ITS

Answer A
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Re: QOTD: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2018, 04:21
GMATNinja

How would you see the usage of that & which in this question.
in Statement A, B - that is used
in C, D, E - which is used.

can they be used interchangeably?
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
A. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle

I don’t have a whole lot to say about (A). The first thing I notice is the modifier “that are the parasite’s hosts” – and that seems like a reasonable way to modify “the freshwater snails.”

The pronoun “its” also jumps out at me, and that would have to refer to “the parasite’s”, since that’s our nearest (and most logical) singular. And that’s fine, too: “…the freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts for part of [the parasite’s] life cycle…” Reasonable enough.

So I guess we’ll keep (A).

Quote:
B. the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts in part of their life cycle

The biggest difference between (B) and (A) is the plural pronoun “their” in (B). And that’s a problem: “their” is plural, so it has to refer to either “the freshwater snails” or “the parasite’s hosts” – and those are the same thing, anyway. So that gives us: “… the freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts in part of [the freshwater snails’] life cycle.”

That’s not WRONG, exactly, if you’re willing to assume that the sentence is trying to explain what happens during the snails’ life cycle. But I think that misses the point: schistosomiasis is the grammatical subject of the sentence, and the sentence is clearly trying to explain why the disease has become more common. So presumably, the sentence is interested in explaining that the snails are hosts during part of the parasite’s life cycle. The snail’s life cycle really isn’t of interest to us, and wouldn’t help explain why the parasite has become more common.

So that’s miserably subtle, but it’s basically all we’ve got, unless you want to make an unnecessarily big deal out of the prepositions. (A) is better than (B), so we can eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. freshwater snails which becomes the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycles

(C) is a little bit easier to eliminate than some of the other options. The phrase “its life cycles” really doesn’t make any sense at all: “its” presumably refers to “the parasite”, since that’s the closest (and most logical) singular noun. But then how is that “the parasite” has multiple “life cycles”? As far as I know, each parasite only has one life cycle. If not, that would be creepy AF.

There’s also a problem with the phrase “freshwater snails which becomes.” Snails are plural, so the verb would have to be “become”, not “becomes.” Plus, “which” is generally a non-restrictive modifier, so it usually follows a comma – though that’s not usually a deciding factor on GMAT questions.

So we have lots of reasons to ditch (C).

Quote:
D. freshwater snails which become the hosts of the parasite during the parasite's life cycles

(D) is a little bit better than (C)… but only a little bit.

I guess it’s nice that “its life cycles” has been changed to “the parasite’s life cycles”, but either way, it’s illogical: a singular parasite presumably has only one life cycle, not multiple “life cycles.”

It’s also nice that the subject-verb issue has been fixed (“snails… become”), but I still don’t think it’s ideal to use “which” in this type of scenario without a comma. But again: the GMAT doesn’t generally make a big deal out of comma placement, and it’s almost never a deciding factor.

And even if you ignore the comma thing, the phrase “parasite’s life cycles” is goofy enough to let us eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. parasite's hosts, freshwater snails which become their hosts during their life cycles

The plural pronoun “their” appears twice in (E), but “parasite’s” is actually singular, so “their” presumably refers to “snails.” And that’s garbage: “… freshwater snails which become [the snails’] hosts during [the snails’] life cycles…”

You could also argue that “which” needs to be preceded by a comma, as we mentioned in (C) and (D) – but again, that’s rarely a deciding factor on the GMAT.

The pronoun thing is a big deal, though. (E) is out, and we’re left with (A).

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Re: QOTD: Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm &nbs [#permalink] 22 May 2018, 04:21

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