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Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 06:34
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Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

1) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of
2)prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
3) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
4) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
5) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

The whole issue here is about the modification of the comma plus verb+ed modifier' 'prevented'. It is an error to think that the participle 'comma plus prevented' can modify the distant 'sound'. A past participle modifier separated by a comma and intercepting a clause can only modify the nearest noun namely distances, which is devoid of any meaning in the contest.

Therefore, we can safely dump A and B.

Nor is it any more sensible to say that sound prevented its own acoustic energy from dissipation in order to be able to travel long distances as in E.

Between C and D, it doesn't take too long to kick out D for using the phrase 'being dissipated' as a modifier. Therefore, it is a cake-walk for C.
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New post 11 Dec 2017, 21:01
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GMATNinja, could you help figuring out the difference between option C and E?
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 06:33
deepakgarg1373 wrote:
GMATNinja, could you help figuring out the difference between option C and E?


A present participle ("-ing") modifier may refer to the subject of the preceding clause. In E, the present participle "preventing.." refers to the subject of the previous clause ("sound") - the meaning implied is that the sound itself prevents its (own) acoustic energy from dissipating.

C does not convey this faulty meaning.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 02:31
Hi,

Why option 'C' can't be a run on sentence, as it has two clauses. I eliminated this because it has two clauses without any connector.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 03:17
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suresh918 wrote:
Hi,

Why option 'C' can't be a run on sentence, as it has two clauses. I eliminated this because it has two clauses without any connector.

Hi suresh918, a run-on sentence is when two Independent clauses are connected by a comma.

In C, following is not an Independent clause.

its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by...

It is, what's called, an Absolute modifier: Noun (its acoustic energy) + Noun-modifier (prevented from dissipating by...)

By the way, prevented is used as a past participle here, and not as a verb.

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: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2018, 01:52
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Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
(A) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of
(B) prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
(E) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

POE: I am putting all my learning from all the experts. GMATNinja daagh mikemcgarry egmat. Please correct me if my learning is wrong.
(A) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of- WRONG- Since Verb-ed modifier modifies the preceding noun or the noun phrase therefore, “prevented” here modifies “enormous distance” which is not logically right. It should modify “acoustic energy”
(B) prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by- Same as A
(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by- Correct- IC+comma(,)+ Noun phrase (giving extra information) – Right construction- No problem with clear meaning. Let's keep it for a while till we get a better option
(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of – First usage of BEING is incorrect. From Daagh’s explanation I have taken this “Whenever you see, ‘being’, ask what is being or who is being. If you get a positive answer, then ‘being’ is a modifier and that structure is unacceptable in GMAT.” Here what is being? “Accoustic Energy”. We get the positive answer. Hence out.
(E) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by – WRONG- Whenever Verbing is used, it modifies the preceding clause and is associated with the subject of the preceding clause. Here SOUND is the subject, and it is not PREVENTING “its acoustic energy from dissipating”. Illogical.

Hence C is the answer.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2018, 02:50
Hi egmat,

Thank your for the explanations. In C, the part after the comma becomes fragment, if it is not fragment, what is the difference?

Thanks
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New post 15 Jul 2018, 23:02
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financestudent wrote:
Hi egmat,

Thank your for the explanations. In C, the part after the comma becomes fragment, if it is not fragment, what is the difference?

Thanks
The part that you refer to as a fragment cannot be a complete thought (subject verb combination). If you want, you can take a look at this post and this post for answers to similar questions.
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New post 31 Jul 2018, 12:35
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In the correct option C, what ensures that "its" correctly refers to 'sound',but not to 'water'?


Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

C. Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.


1. Technicals: The word 'acoustic' refers to sound and therefore acoustic energy means sound contained in sound waves. On the contrary, water's energy refers typically to the electricity generated from water.

2. Grammar. A pronoun's first choice of antecedent is always the subject, and if the subject doesn't suit, it may refer to a direct object or an object of the preposition that may be near to it. All in all, the logical meaning rather than the placements plays the decisive role.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 05:30
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stanleygao wrote:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

The correct answer is D. its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by

I am confused with the sentence construction of this question. It looks like there are two complete sentences without a proper conjunction of "and" or ";".
First sentence: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances.
Second sentence: its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

Can anyone explain it to me?


Dear stanleygao,

Two things about the query you raised.
1. "I am confused with the sentence construction of this question. It looks like there are two complete sentences without a proper conjunction of "and" or ";". "
GMAT doesn't allow 2 "two complete sentences"(sentences with subject and verb) to be connected with a conjunction, but rather they are combined with a semicolon(;).
2. In the above mentioned sentence. The first portion before the comma is a clause, but the second portion is a absolute phrase.
2 things here:
1. There isn't a verb in the second portion at all. "Prevented" is a past participle, and dissipating is a present participle, but not active verbs.
2. Absolute phrase:
The part after the comma (called the absolute phrase) has the following characteristics:
1. It starts with a possessive form (his, her, its, their etc.)
2. It only adds to the meaning (just additional or filler information). It is not core information.
3. It contains no verb (it is a phrase).
4. It is adverbial in nature (it goes back to the whole clause, not to a specific noun).
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 01:19
Economist wrote:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

(A) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of
(B) prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
(E) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/27/science/global-thermometer-imperiled-by-dispute.html

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of differing temperatures and densities. In the final version of the experiment, loudspeakers were installed at two sites: one off the northwest coast of Hawaii's Big Island, and the other near Pioneer Seamount, a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean 55 miles from San Francisco. The times of arrival of the sound at thousands of underwater microphones spanning the Pacific Ocean were then recorded and interpreted as water temperatures.



No need to know idioms for this question. It is a plain and simple meaning based question.

Step 1: "its " is referring to sound and not to anything else. Yeah, I knew that because all options have its.
Step 2: All other choices except for C,D renders a meaning that makes sound to actually prevent its own acoustic energy from dissipation.
(A,B,E) implies sound prevents its own acoustic energy. How can sound prevent its own acoustic energy.
Step 3: Between C & D, "being" as a modifier is never agreed on GMAT. Therefore C.
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 23:42
To understand the above question we need to know a about absolute phrases

notice the following sentences (such constructions are considered correct)

1. Joan looked nervous, her fears creeping up on her

2. Narine paled when he came home, her mother standing in the hallway

3.About the bones, ants were ebbing away, their pincers full of meat

In the above examples, part after comma are called absolute phrases

some characteristics about absolute phrases :

1. No verb
2. Starts with a possesive form (its,her,their)
3. only adds to meaning ( filler ) not the core of sentence



The sentence initially tells that sounds can travel through long distances and further eplains why is that so - water layers in ocean prevent its acoustic energy from dissipating.



Now using the above knowldge we can norrow it down to

(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of



D: Now if we try to understand the literal meaning that D conveys, it is not clear whether acoustic energy is prevented from dissipating by water layers or they contribute to energy loss.

(E) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

In option E, the option conveys sounds prevent dissipation of its own acoustic energy
Not the intended meaning.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 07:39
Economist wrote:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.


(A) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of

(B) prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by

(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by

(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of

(E) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by


I was in a fix between options C and E.
1. A lot of explanations state that in option E, verb-ing modifier 'preventing' does not make sense with the subject of preceding clause 'sound' - Sound itself did not prevent its acoustic energy...

But as per the official question ( https://gmatclub.com/forum/between-14-0 ... 42405.html ), we know that verb-ing modifier need not ALWAYS make sense with the subject of the preceding clause. In this official question, it makes sense only with the preceding action- verb-ing is an immediate consequence

Between 14,000 and 8,000 b.c. the ice cap that covered northern Asia, Europe, and America began to melt, uncovering vast new areas that were to be occupied by migrating peoples moving northward.

2. Is the option E incorrect because verb-ing 'preventing' does not even make sense with the preceding action?

3. The North American moose has long legs that enable it to move quickly through the woods, stepping easily over downed trees while predators pursuing it must leap over or go around them

In the above official example, verb-ing modifier modifies the that(which acts as modifier) clause.
What about the case in which 'that' acts as subordinator.
Subject + verb + that(as a subordinator) + subject + verb, verb-ing
In this scenario, will verb-ing refer to subordinate clause(the one that follows 'that') ?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , jennpt , VeritasPrepErika , other experts - please enlighten
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 19:13
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Skywalker18 wrote:
I was in a fix between options C and E.
1. A lot of explanations state that in option E, verb-ing modifier 'preventing' does not make sense with the subject of preceding clause 'sound' - Sound itself did not prevent its acoustic energy...

But as per the official question ( https://gmatclub.com/forum/between-14-0 ... 42405.html ), we know that verb-ing modifier need not ALWAYS make sense with the subject of the preceding clause. In this official question, it makes sense only with the preceding action- verb-ing is an immediate consequence

Between 14,000 and 8,000 b.c. the ice cap that covered northern Asia, Europe, and America began to melt, uncovering vast new areas that were to be occupied by migrating peoples moving northward.

2. Is the option E incorrect because verb-ing 'preventing' does not even make sense with the preceding action?

The ice cap sentence is a little sketchy but basically works, since, as a consequence of the ice cap's melting, the new areas were uncovered.

The version created via the use of (E) in this question is completely illogical. Sound does not come close to preventing its energy dissipating, and further the prevention of the energy dissipating is not a consequence of the traveling.

Quote:
3. The North American moose has long legs that enable it to move quickly through the woods, stepping easily over downed trees while predators pursuing it must leap over or go around them

In the above official example, verb-ing modifier modifies the that(which acts as modifier) clause.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the verb-ing modifier modifies the preceding actor-action pair, as in "it" and "to move quickly."

Quote:
What about the case in which 'that' acts as subordinator.
Subject + verb + that(as a subordinator) + subject + verb, verb-ing
In this scenario, will verb-ing refer to subordinate clause(the one that follows 'that') ?

It may, but it could modify the main clause, taking the subject of the main clause as agent the agent of the participle, as the closing modifier does in the following example:

    John argued that temperatures are going to rise quickly, supporting his case via the use of trend data.

The meaning of the above example is fairly clear.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2019, 13:09
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

Why there is no need for a conjunction after the first half of the sentence?
'its acoustic energy prevented..' is a detailed explanation about the first half of the sentence, right?
I have seen verb+ing filling this explanation function but don't know about this grammatical structure. Can someone give me an insight?

Also, the book says that dissipating is intransitive verb. So I looked up what does that mean exactly. And it means it shouldn't be followed by an object. Dissipating is a new word for me so I feel helpless with this intransitive thing.

I mean, I understand how like is transitively followed by an object but how do I get a hint with dissipating with regards of transitiveness?
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New post 23 Oct 2019, 23:01
Marcab wrote:
Quote:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
1)same as underlined
2)prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
3) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
4) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
5) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by


Responding to a PM
The basic difference between B and C is the subject.
In B, subject is "sound'. So B implies that "sound" is prevented from having its acoustic energy bla bla bla.
C, in which the subject is "acoustic energy", on the other hand implies that "sound's acoustic energy is prevented from dissipating bla bla bla". Moreover the construction that is used in C is of "absolute phrase". Whenever you come across this construction, just ask HOW after the clause just before the absolute phrase. If the Absolute phrase answers your "how" question correctly in exact words then that choice is the answer.
"Sound can travel through water for enormous distances". HOW?
ANSWER: its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

Hope that helps.
Let me know if more clarification is required.


Hi, could you please explain why option E is incorrect? Does "preventing" not correctly modify the clause preceding it ?

Thanks!
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2019, 20:08
This question popped up on our Ask Me Anything About SC thread. Reposting it here just in case it helps somebody else:

sefwow wrote:
Hey gmat ninja,

Was wondering if you could break down c and d for me here as you usually do - question here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/sound-can-tr ... 77588.html

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities

(C) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by

(D) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of

Cheers

The most straightforward decision point here is meaning. If something dissipates, it disperses on its own -- like steam, for example.

If something is being dissipated, it sounds as though there's an outside force causing the dispersion -- a farmer spreading seeds, perhaps. In this case, we're talking about the acoustic energy of sound. It makes far more sense to write that this energy disperses on its own than that a third-party is sprinkling bits of sound through the air. Because "being dissipated" is illogical here, we can eliminate (D).

Note also, that "by" is a cleaner more concise way of expressing "as a result of." So while "as a result of" isn't inherently wrong, in a side-by-side comparison with "by," it's a clear loser.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2019, 21:12
Could you help me out??
It seems to me that the nytimes version is correct but that the answer choice C is not....
In "its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by" the participial "prevented" appears to incorrectly modify "its acoustic energy"

But in the nytimes version, "prevented" appears to correctly modify the sound: "Sound ...., (is) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy by boundaries i... "

What am I missing? Thanks!!

Spoiler: ::
https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/27/scie ... spute.html

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of differing temperatures and densities. In the final version of the experiment, loudspeakers were installed at two sites: one off the northwest coast of Hawaii's Big Island, and the other near Pioneer Seamount, a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean 55 miles from San Francisco. The times of arrival of the sound at thousands of underwater microphones spanning the Pacific Ocean were then recorded and interpreted as water temperatures.
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Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Aug 2020, 05:20
why choice B is wrong?

"do- ed" phrase at the end of the main clause can modify the whole preceding clause and refers to subject of the main clause. so, "prevented..." in choice B is correctly referring to " sound".

the following from gmatprep show my point. (another problem similar is " second only soybean as" . you can google to find."

Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

(A) movies—less than those

(B) movies—fewer than have been

(C) movies, which is less than those

(D) movies, a number lower than the people

(E) movies, fewer than the ones

choice B suffer another error.

"energy dissipated by " is wrong. the correct meaning is active meaning "dissipating". energy can dissipating" . it dont need to be dissipated by something. so. "dissipated by" in choice B is wrong.
in choice B, boundaries dissipate. in choice C, boundaries prevent.

this incorrect meaning is subtle though basic. in the test room, we can hardly realize this error. but the choice C , with clear meaning will be help us in eliminating choice B.

I could come back for more on choice B

as a resulf of should be followed by an action noun not nominal noun like boundaries. so , "as a resulf of " is wrong.

Originally posted by thangvietnam on 24 Dec 2019, 22:51.
Last edited by thangvietnam on 07 Aug 2020, 05:20, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2020, 19:09
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mview wrote:
Could you help me out??
It seems to me that the nytimes version is correct but that the answer choice C is not....
In "its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by" the participial "prevented" appears to incorrectly modify "its acoustic energy"

But in the nytimes version, "prevented" appears to correctly modify the sound: "Sound ...., (is) prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy by boundaries i... "

What am I missing? Thanks!!

Spoiler: ::
https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/27/scie ... spute.html

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of differing temperatures and densities. In the final version of the experiment, loudspeakers were installed at two sites: one off the northwest coast of Hawaii's Big Island, and the other near Pioneer Seamount, a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean 55 miles from San Francisco. The times of arrival of the sound at thousands of underwater microphones spanning the Pacific Ocean were then recorded and interpreted as water temperatures.

Keep in mind that the editors at the NY Times are NOT worried about what GMAC thinks of their articles. :)

Many of the things that we consider "rules" on the GMAT are not strictly followed in the real world, and even writers at the best, most well-respected publications will break them (wait, is "them" too ambiguous??).

On the GMAT, you'll never be asked to look at a single sentence in isolation and decide whether it's right or wrong. Instead, you are asked to "select the answer that produces the most effective sentence" -- that is, the BEST choice out of the five. So even on the test itself, it's not a matter of labeling each sentence as "wrong" or "right". Sure, there are certain errors that allow us to make easy eliminations (i.e. subject-verb agreement errors). But once you've eliminated the ones with obvious errors, you simply have to compare the remaining options and find the BEST answer.

Long story short: don't use the NY Times or any other non-GMAT publication as your source for GMAT grammar "rules"!
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