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# Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits

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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
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shanks2020 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja AndrewN

In option C, can a possessive pronoun "its" refer to Baltic sea as given in the explanaiton?
I think Baltic sea is an adjective here for sediments.
Also in general, like pronouns, does possessive pronounced such as its, his etc, also always need a referent?

Sure, shanks2020, why not? We need to pin down its somehow in option (C), and even though Baltic Sea is indeed being used as an adjective there, what else can the pronoun reach back to? The sentence, with (C) dropped in:

Quote:
Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments, findings consistent with its growth of industrial activity.

I suppose you could make a case for heavy-metal, on the same grounds used for Baltic Sea, but that line of thought will terminate about as fast as you can drum it up:

findings consistent with [heavy-metal's] growth of industrial activity

Huh? I have heard of different varieties of rock and metal music, and industrial is indeed one of them, but this interpretation of the sentence is as nonsensical as can be, when considered in its entirety. (That did not keep me from getting a chuckle out of it, though.)

The only other point I would like to address from your post is that the pronoun may, in certain constructs, precede the noun it refers to. An example might be, Its wing caught in a hinge, the fly became paralyzed for the time being. But yes, you should know exactly what such a pronoun refers to, or else what would be the point of using it instead of naming something?

- Andrew
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
AndrewN wrote:
shanks2020 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja AndrewN

In option C, can a possessive pronoun "its" refer to Baltic sea as given in the explanaiton?
I think Baltic sea is an adjective here for sediments.
Also in general, like pronouns, does possessive pronounced such as its, his etc, also always need a referent?

Sure, shanks2020, why not? We need to pin down its somehow in option (C), and even though Baltic Sea is indeed being used as an adjective there, what else can the pronoun reach back to? The sentence, with (C) dropped in:

Quote:
Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments, findings consistent with its growth of industrial activity.

I suppose you could make a case for heavy-metal, on the same grounds used for Baltic Sea, but that line of thought will terminate about as fast as you can drum it up:

findings consistent with [heavy-metal's] growth of industrial activity

Huh? I have heard of different varieties of rock and metal music, and industrial is indeed one of them, but this interpretation of the sentence is as nonsensical as can be, when considered in its entirety. (That did not keep me from getting a chuckle out of it, though.)

The only other point I would like to address from your post is that the pronoun may, in certain constructs, precede the noun it refers to. An example might be, Its wing caught in a hinge, the fly became paralyzed for the time being. But yes, you should know exactly what such a pronoun refers to, or else what would be the point of using it instead of naming something?

- Andrew

Though this option C is a wrong sentence, can you plz. give some examples where a pronoun or a possessive pronoun refers to an adjective?
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
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shanks2020 wrote:
Though this option C is a wrong sentence, can you plz. give some examples where a pronoun or a possessive pronoun refers to an adjective?

I think the point, shanks2020, is that such usage would likely appear in an incorrect answer choice rather than a correct one. Perhaps I should have emphasized that more in my previous response. I will say, however, that you can find at least one official question in which a subject pronoun refers to a possessive noun. Check out this question for reference. A lot of ink has been spilled in that thread, so controversial was the question when unveiled.

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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
Hi everyone,

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

In option D, how can 'findings' be used here? Scientists observed something so shouldn't it be a finding?

Thanks,
Prriyanka
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Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
egmat GMATNinja AndrewN

If I remove findings in choice(D),

Quote:
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.

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

What does this adj phrase -- , consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area -- modify?
If it modifies a preceding clause (Scientists have observed), then the meaning seems wrong. So, we can eliminate choice(E) with this reason, right?
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
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TorGmatGod wrote:
egmat GMATNinja AndrewN

If I remove findings in choice(D),

Quote:
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.

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

What does this adj phrase -- , consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area -- modify?
If it modifies a preceding clause (Scientists have observed), then the meaning seems wrong. So, we can eliminate choice(E) with this reason, right?

Hello, TorGmatGod. It is strange to alter one answer to then ask about another, but regardless of how you approach the issue, yes, I would say that it is hard to pin down the consistent... modifier in (E) (or your altered (D)). It would be easier to attach to a noun such as an observation, as in, an observation consistent... but then we are really just trading findings in (D)—the original (D)—with another encompassing noun.

As others have pointed out, there is problematic at the end of (E), so we do not have to use a more nuanced decision point to eliminate the answer. I like to dig in deep only when I have to.

Thank you for thinking to ask. I hope my response proves helpful to you in some way.

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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
There is only one 'finding' that is being talked about here. How is 'findings' correct? I rejected D because of this
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
ankitapugalia wrote:
There is only one 'finding' that is being talked about here. How is 'findings' correct? I rejected D because of this

Hello ankitapugalia,

We hope this finds you well.

Having gone through your query and the question, we believe that we can help resolve your doubt.

Here, the "findings" refer to the "concentrations" mentioned earlier in the sentence. As it is mentioned that the scientists have observed multiple "concentrations", it can be said that there are multiple "findings" consistent with its growth of industrial activity.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
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GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(A) Baltic Sea sediments, which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity there

"Which" jumps out at me here. It seems to be suggesting that the sediments are consistent with the growth of industrial activity, and that really doesn't make sense. I suppose you could try to argue that this is some sort of violation of the "touch rule", and the phrase "which are consistent with the growth of industrial activity" reaches all the way back to "large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits in the upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments"... but holy crap, that's a stretch. I'm not buying it.

Plus, "there" isn't very clear. The nearest location is the "upper twenty centimeters of Baltic Sea sediments", and that's not where the growth of industrial activity happened. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Baltic Sea sediments, where the growth of industrial activity is consistent with these findings

The problem is similar to that of (A): "where" seems to be modifying "sediments", and that makes no sense. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) Baltic Sea sediments, findings consistent with its growth of industrial activity

The pronoun "its" jumps out at me here, in keeping with our advice in this week's long-winded Topic of the Week. The only singular noun it could refer back to is "Baltic Sea" -- so "the Baltic Sea's growth of industrial activity"?? That doesn't make sense, either. Eliminate (C).

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

OK, this is pretty nice. It's clearer with the repetition of the word "findings", and "in the area" clarifies that the industrial activity is around the Baltic Sea, not in it. Keep (D).

Quote:
(E) sediments from the Baltic Sea, consistent with the growth of industrial activity there

The only real issue for me here is the word "there." The only location that it could plausibly refer back to is the Baltic Sea, and again, that's not where the growth of industrial activity is happening.

So (D) is better than (E).

Hi Ninja, firstly thanks so much for your posts and videos, you are amazing!

I searched for this question to clarify a more general question: When are we able to reach past the nearest noun (i.e., break the 'touch rule')? In this case, the original sentence for example has "Baltic Sea sediments" as the nearest noun for "which"... BUT, one could argue that the nearest noun is "large concentrations", with "OF deposits IN upper centimetres OF sediments", being a three-leveled prepositional phrase? Is that a fair statement, or is there some way to differentiate what can and can't stepped over in search of the noun?

I also recognise that the 'touch rule' is likely different for different kinds of modifiers, so any brief summary that explains that, may be actually the solution to my question? haha

Thank you again, you are appreciated!
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
egmat wrote:
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.

Hi egmat

In option E, we have the phrase "consistent with the growth of industrial activity there" beginning with the adjective "consistent". It seems like consistent is modifying the noun phrase "sediments from the Baltic Sea". Can we reject this option based on this issue?

Thanks
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
KittyDoodles wrote:
egmat wrote:
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.

Hi egmat

In option E, we have the phrase "consistent with the growth of industrial activity there" beginning with the adjective "consistent". It seems like consistent is modifying the noun phrase "sediments from the Baltic Sea". Can we reject this option based on this issue?

Thanks
Kitty

Hello KittyDoodles,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, no; "consistent with the growth..." is actually modifying the phrase "large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits"; "in the upper twenty centimeters of sediments from the Baltic Sea" is a prepositional phrase, so the adjectival modifier will refer to the noun or noun phrase that the prepositional phrase acts upon.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
Quote:
(D) sediments from the Baltic Sea, findings consistent with the growth of industrial activity in the area

OK, this is pretty nice. It's clearer with the repetition of the word "findings", and "in the area" clarifies that the industrial activity is around the Baltic Sea, not in it. Keep (D).

Quote:
(E) sediments from the Baltic Sea, consistent with the growth of industrial activity there

The only real issue for me here is the word "there." The only location that it could plausibly refer back to is the Baltic Sea, and again, that's not where the growth of industrial activity is happening.

So (D) is better than (E).[/quote]

can you explain why "findings" is ok if we are talking about a single observation?
Re: Scientists have observed large concentrations of heavy-metal deposits [#permalink]
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