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# Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal

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Retired Moderator
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 3185
Location: Germany
Schools: HHL Leipzig
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V47
WE: Corporate Finance (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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30 May 2017, 03:01
1
RMD007 wrote:
Expert,

I went through all the posts but I am unable to find clear answers for my doubts below.

1. In the original sentence, "which" refers to??
-- I think which refers to "concentrations of deposits" because we have a long prepositional modifier after concentrations.
Please confirm if my understanding is correct. I find this to be inconsistent with e-gmat solution where they mentioned that "which" refers to "Sediments".

2. Whats the real difference between "Baltic sea sediments" and "Sediments from baltic sea" ??

1. It does not matter, what "which" refers to. In either case ("concentrations of deposits" / "sediments") the sentence is wrong. The finding is consistent, not concentrations of deposits or sediments. However to answer your question, ideally "which" refers to "sediments" (modifier touch rule).

2. Both mean the same.
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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31 May 2017, 11:52
1
1
RMD007 wrote:
Expert,

I went through all the posts but I am unable to find clear answers for my doubts below.

1. In the original sentence, "which" refers to??
-- I think which refers to "concentrations of deposits" because we have a long prepositional modifier after concentrations.
Please confirm if my understanding is correct. I find this to be inconsistent with e-gmat solution where they mentioned that "which" refers to "Sediments".

Hello RMD007,

Thank you for posting the query.

In a sentence that contains a noun modifier, we first check the noun immediately preceding the noun modifier to check if the modifier makes sense in modifying the immediate preceding noun entity. If the immediate preceding noun fails to make sense with the noun modifier, then we look for a far away noun to see if a far away noun makes sense with the modifier.

In the said official sentence, neither the immediate preceding noun sediments makes sense with which nor the far away noun large concentrations. Hence, it is not incorrect to say that which does not make sense with sediments because the far-away noun also does not make sense with this modifier.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2017, 11:51
Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there.

(A) Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there
Which refers to Sediments here. So, the part - are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there- does not make sense

(B) Baltic Sea sediments, where the growth of industrial activity is consistent with these findings
Where can only refer to location

(C) Baltic Sea sediments, findings consistent with its growth of industrial activity
Its - doubtful. The subject of the clause is Scientists

(D) sediments from the Baltic Sea, findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area
Looks correct

(E) sediments from the Baltic Sea, consistent with the growth of industrial activity there
There - doubtful
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2017, 04:22
Hi egmat

As per the link given in solution regarding noun+noun modifier, this modifiers usually modifies
noun, the placement of which is context dependent.

At first glance seeing a coma, I immediately discarded this choice using HOW/WHY aspect of coma +
verb-ing form. However, as explained by Payal the word functioning acts a a noun here.

I still have query regarding sentence structure here:

Scientists have observed
(scientists have observed two things which needs to be parallel)

large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments,
findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area.

As per logic in the article, the findings should ideally modify noun sediments, but it still does not make sense.
Did I understand correctly that findings modify the verb observed?
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2017, 13:28
1
Hi egmat

As per the link given in solution regarding noun+noun modifier, this modifiers usually modifies
noun, the placement of which is context dependent.

At first glance seeing a coma, I immediately discarded this choice using HOW/WHY aspect of coma +
verb-ing form. However, as explained by Payal the word functioning acts a a noun here.

I still have query regarding sentence structure here:

Scientists have observed
(scientists have observed two things which needs to be parallel)

large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments,
findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area.

As per logic in the article, the findings should ideally modify noun sediments, but it still does not make sense.
Did I understand correctly that findings modify the verb observed?

Thanks for sending the PM for this one.

It seems you have lot of gaps in your understanding at various levels.

regarding noun+noun modifier, this modifiers usually modifies noun, the placement of which is context dependent.

This is not correct. A Noun + Noun Modifier can modify either a noun in the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause. The modification depends on the context and the intended meaning of the sentence. This official sentence is the example in which the Noun + Noun modifier findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area. The modifier is not meant to modify the sediments. It is meant to present more description about the scientists have found.

Scientists have observed
(scientists have observed two things which needs to be parallel)

large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments,
findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area.

There is nothing in this sentence that needs to be parallel.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 00:57
As per the link given in solution regarding noun+noun modifier, this modifiers usually modifies
noun

Hi adkikani, I believe you're referring to the following structure:

findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area

This is an absolute modifier construct and as you rightly mentioned, the structure is: noun (in this case findings)+noun modifier (in this case consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area)

Absolute modifiers are quite flexible in what they modify.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Absolute modifier, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 03:39
Hi EducationAisle egmat

Additional small query: How do you differentiate between function of coma+verb-ing
and a noun + noun modifier that modifies a clause?

WR,
Arpit
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2017, 11:18
1
Hi EducationAisle egmat

Additional small query: How do you differentiate between function of coma+verb-ing
and a noun + noun modifier that modifies a clause?

WR,
Arpit

Just pay attention to the structure. The word findings has been followed by an adjective consistent that describes findings. So obviously we have a Noun + Noun modifier here.

That will not be the case with comma + verb-ing modifier.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2017, 09:48
Edit: This discussion has been retired. Find the new thread here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-scienti ... 44410.html

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Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal &nbs [#permalink] 04 Dec 2017, 09:48

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