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# Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000

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Director
Joined: 03 Jul 2003
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Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2004, 21:26
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Difficulty:

65% (hard)

Question Stats:

56% (01:26) correct 44% (01:26) wrong based on 1311 sessions

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Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000 miles an hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it back toward Earth.

(A) hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it
(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it
(C) hour, once a year orbits the Sun, regularly bringing it on an elliptical path
(D) hour and orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path, regularly bringing it
(E) hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it
Director
Joined: 03 Jul 2003
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Updated on: 07 Apr 2004, 14:33
8
1
aspire wrote:
jo1to6 wrote:
I choose B as well...

All those who choose B tell me what the "it" refers to?

'it' refers to the asteroid. What can come back towards Earth? Not the sun. Not the elliptical path. B says that the the action of the elliptical path brings the asteroid back toward Earth.

Thats my understanding.

Thanks for your explanation. A kid who knows all aspects of grammar
but no knowledge on Astronomy may interpret in different way.

The rule is that the pronun should have a clear antecedent. The writer
should not assume that the reader has knowledge to pick the
correct antecedent.

This is a tough question.

E can be refuted as follows.

Step1: Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000 miles an hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it back toward Earth.

Let us ignore non-restrictive modifier "traveling at 46,000 miles an hour"
Moreover, this part does not have any error. The simplified version.

Step 2: Scientists calculated that the asteroid orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it back toward Earth.

We are end up with following form.

Scientists claculated that <clause 1>
and that <clause 2>

The trouble is that the <clause 2> does not have a subject.

Moreover, can a object pronoun refer to a subject in a parallel clause?
I doubt it can do that!

That being said, B also has ,IMO, pronoun reference issue. It can either
refer to Sun or Astroid.

Finally, it does not matter if we get the question correct or not.
What matters is what we have learned new from this exercise that
can be used in the exam. Thanks folks for your participation.

Originally posted by kpadma on 07 Apr 2004, 14:13.
Last edited by kpadma on 07 Apr 2004, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.
##### General Discussion
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Joined: 15 Dec 2003
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06 Apr 2004, 21:48
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E is best. Also had to change from B
A) "it" seems to refer to the sun and does not make sense
B) correctly links "it" back to "the asteroid" with the conjunction "that". However, "that" also refers back to "the path". "the path" cannot perform any action, not that of "bringing" the asteroid back to Earth
C) "it" is ambiguously refering to "the sun" or "the asteroid". Also "bringing it on an elliptical path" is grammatically faulty, no matter what "it" refers to
D) logically wrong since it seems like it is the asteroid which is "bringing it (the sun?!)" back toward Earth
E) With the introduction of the conjunction "and" it makes it clear that it is the orbiting action which brings the asteroid back to Earth. Also, "calculated that X orbits" is better and more concise than "calculated that X is orbiting" from B

Had to think it twice on this one . I find this question rather tough.
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Paul

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Joined: 06 Apr 2004
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06 Apr 2004, 22:39
I agree with Paul's reasoning for E.

I would have marked B on a test and thought it was correct.
Senior Manager
Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 327
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06 Apr 2004, 23:12
1
B it is, for it is elliptical path that brings back the asteroid towards earth as told in the original choice
Senior Manager
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07 Apr 2004, 05:44
Unless there is a comma before the conjunct and in E, THAT does not refer to the action or nominal equivalent.
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Joined: 30 Oct 2003
Posts: 1763
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07 Apr 2004, 06:34
1
B it is for me.

The choice is between B and E. The part of the sentence after the last "that" has no referent.
Manager
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07 Apr 2004, 11:31
17. Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000 miles an hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it back toward Earth.

(A) hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it
(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it
(C) hour, once a year orbits the Sun, regularly bringing it on an elliptical path
(D) hour and orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path, regularly bringing it
(E) hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it

I stand by E.

B says Asteroid traveling at 46k........orbiting.....once a year. Too many things to list. MOST Importantly if "that" can be questioned in choice E, so can "it" in choice B. Besides, the elliptical path brings it? So the elliptical path just takes the asteroid by its hand and brings it back to earth? hmm, E is better
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07 Apr 2004, 12:31
jo1to6 wrote:
I choose B as well...

All those who choose B tell me what the "it" refers to?

'it' refers to the asteroid. What can come back towards Earth? Not the sun. Not the elliptical path. B says that the the action of the elliptical path brings the asteroid back toward Earth.

Thats my understanding.
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07 Apr 2004, 14:26
Totally agree and nice explanation Kpadma. This was a brutal one
My original pick was B so I would actually have got this right on the exam . Follow your gutt feelings and instinct, it always pays off
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Paul

CEO
Joined: 15 Aug 2003
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07 Apr 2004, 17:31
1
Quote:
17. Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000 miles an hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it back toward Earth.

Quote:
(A) hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it

Wrong here... path does not orbit the sun. the asteroid does.

Quote:
(C) hour, once a year orbits the Sun, regularly bringing it on an elliptical path

-- I would like to see ...orbits the Sun once a year.
-- The orbiting does not bring it on an elliptical path. the path itself is elliptical. and this elliptical path brings the asteriod toward the earth

Quote:
(D) hour and orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path, regularly bringing it

A good example of a run on sentence. Clearly Incorrect.

Quote:
(E) hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it

this is not right.

Unless we want the statement to mean that the scientists found two things, we dont need a conjuction before "that".

for example, the conjunction would be correct in this case.

Scientists said that there exists another planet and that other planets might exist.

So here scientists said TWO things... 1. existence of another planet.

2. other planets might exist.

Here, this is not at all what we want.

The "that" should clearly refer to elliptical path ..because the elliptical path is what brings the asteroid back to earth.

Quote:
(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it

This is really the best answer.

Scientists calculated that the asteroid, xxxxxx, is orbiting the sun once a year on an elliptical path that brings it back to earth.

Here "that" clearly refers to the closest noun elliptical path.

Some might say "it" does not have a clear referent. but then what else can it refer to .... "the sun"??? nope.. put it in there and laugh your heart out .

B is indeed best.

regards
praetorian
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07 Apr 2004, 17:56
Nice analysis Praet. I also suspected "and that" in E.
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Paul

Director
Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2006, 10:26
Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000 miles an hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it back toward Earth.
(A) hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it
(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it
(C) hour, once a year orbits the Sun, regularly bringing it on an elliptical path
(D) hour and orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path, regularly bringing it
(E) hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it

I thought the answer as D. But Dont understand why it is wrong?
Here were my thoughts on this. I think all the choices don't solve the pronoun ambiguity that "it" refers to. I thought D was the best, since it atleast makes me think it referst to the sun, which I know is wrong, but atleast there is a clear distinction on what it refers.

Any thoughts?

Mihir
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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Scientists calculated that the asteroid, traveling at 46,000  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2006, 10:54
1
1
I think 'B' only is the best

(A) hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it
>> changes the meaning due to 'that' a restrictive clause. It suggests as if 'path' itself orbits!

(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it
>> The Best! Though one can contend that 'it' can refer to the Sun too... but this is the best of the rest!

(C) hour, once a year orbits the Sun, regularly bringing it on an elliptical path
>> Awkward! Suggests, the asterois brings something (other than itself) on an elliptical path OR brings the Sun itself!

(D) hour and orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path, regularly bringing it
>> Same as 'C'

(E) hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it
>> This is totally faulty, changes the meaning totally by @#\$^@ing the meaning of whole sentence.
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Re: SC: Scientists and Asteroids  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2006, 11:04
willget800 wrote:
I thought the answer as D. But Dont understand why it is wrong?
Here were my thoughts on this. I think all the choices don't solve the pronoun ambiguity that "it" refers to. I thought D was the best, since it atleast makes me think it referst to the sun, which I know is wrong, but atleast there is a clear distinction on what it refers.

Any thoughts?

Mihir

After reading this question, my head started spinning in a non-eliptical path

In the sentecne "it" should refer to the path on which the asteriod orbits

I think it is B.

A) incorrect because it seems to say that the "path orbits the Sun". It's the asteroid that orbits the Sun
C) distorts the meaning
D) all of them are sentence fragments. No main clause.
E) it's not clear what brings it back toward Earth.
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Director
Joined: 10 Oct 2005
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12 Sep 2006, 20:42
going for B.

the only choice that modifies elliptical path correctly.
VP
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12 Sep 2006, 21:21
(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it

Options are B and E.

E is out due to awkward "that" which can imply the "calculation" brings it back to earth not the orbit.
Director
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12 Sep 2006, 22:48
I will go for 'A' . Not sure If I missed anything

'B' no good because
hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it
the path doesn't bring the asteroid close to earth but the whole process of orbitting in an eeliptical path around the sun
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12 Sep 2006, 23:33
(A) says the elliptical path revolves arnd the sun.
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13 Sep 2006, 01:03
B all the way...

(A) hour, is on an elliptical path that orbits the Sun once a year and regularly brings it - ellptical path that orbits?? WRONG

(B) hour, is orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path that regularly brings it - CORRECT

(C) hour, once a year orbits the Sun, regularly bringing it on an elliptical path - WRONG. Sound like the sun is on an elliptical path

(D) hour and orbiting the Sun once a year on an elliptical path, regularly bringing it - WRONG. sounds like 'it' refers to the Sun.

(E) hour, orbits the Sun on an elliptical path once a year and that regularly brings it - WRONG.and is extra.
&nbs [#permalink] 13 Sep 2006, 01:03

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