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Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from

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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


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.

Originally posted by Economist on 07 Apr 2009, 11:27.
Last edited by Bunuel on 14 Dec 2018, 04:30, edited 4 times in total.
Edited the question.
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New post 27 Feb 2013, 00:10
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Reading the discussion on this thread surely took my head for a spin. I don't know if I could also blame the time (its past midnight here). Anyways, I will give my two cents on this discussion.

But first of all, @marcab, welcome back!!
After reading through your doubts here, I think I can figure out why you are confused between choices B and C. There is two-fold reason for your confusion

1: Use of verb-ed modifier - verb-ed modifiers modify the closest noun phrase. In the context of GMAT, I have not seen a single question in which these modifiers modify the preceding clause. Yes in normal English usage, we do use these modifiers the way we use verb-ing modifiers to modify the preceding clause. Now that being said, your explanation about the use of "prevented" to modify the subject "sound" is not correct.

2: The use of modifier "by boundaries" - The way these choices are constructed lead to two different modifications in the sentence.

Choice B: Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

prevented from what?
prevented from having its acoustic energy what?
prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by what?
prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by boundaries.
Per the logical intended meaning, do the boundaries "dissipate the energy"? No. Boundaries prevent the dissipation.
Another thing - "by boundaries" is too far away from "prevented" to modify it.

Now lets look at choice C
Choice 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.

prevented from what?
prevented from dissipating
prevented by what?
prevented by boundaries
so together we have - prevented from dissipating by boundaries
By contrast, in this choice, "by boundaries" is in good proximity of "prevented" to modify it correctly.

I hope this helps with the meaning clarification!
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New post 30 Jul 2010, 10:51
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checked on other forums and OA is C.

"dissipating by" is the correct idiom.

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 - changes the meaning. "Sound" is not prevented. "acoustic energy" is prevented from dissipating
B. prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by - same as A
C. its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by - CORRECT
D. its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of - wordy and 'being' is incorrect.
E. preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by - same as A. This sounds like sound is preventing its accoustic energy.
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New post 03 Mar 2013, 01:31
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absolute phrase in c shows the context of main clause.

the meaning in c is

in the context that, energy of sound is prevented from dissipating by...., sound can travel a long distance.

the meaing relation between absolute phrase, and main clause should be understood clearly. Unforturenately, there is no grammar book which said about this point.

any one know about the meaning relation between absolute phrase and main clause, pls, share. sc is meaning game. this means we have to diferentiate between the distorted meaning and intended meaning and so, we have to know this meaning relation.
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New post 03 Mar 2013, 07:46
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Quoting your doubt
Quote:
any one know about the meaning relation between absolute phrase and main clause


The trick in order to identify absolute phrase is to check whether the clause contains a verb or not. If the clause contains a verb then it cannot be the AP.
Moreover, an AP will always answer HOW of the preceding clause.
Hope that helps.
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New post 04 Sep 2013, 07:35
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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.
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New post 04 Sep 2013, 13:58
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Marcab 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.
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

I need proper explanations that why correct answer is correct and why incorrect ones are not correct.

If you think that this is a good question, then kudo me.

Will post the OA after some discussion.



Step 1)

I noticed the first phrase before the comma was a complete thought: "Sound can travel through water for enormous distances"

So that means what follows the comma must be a descriptive phrase.

Step 2)

I noticed one of the answer choices was a descriptive -ING verb phrase - so I ask myself: does it make sense that the SOUND is the one that is PREVENTING its acoustic energy from dissipating by X?

No - it does not make sense that sound prevents something.

So that leads me to look at (C) and (D) more carefully.

Step 3)

Between these two choices, (C) is clearly simpler - with fewer words. It also does not have the red flag word "being"in there. So at this point, (C) appears to be the best of the available answer choices.
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New post 12 Sep 2013, 12:55
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Hi fameatop,

This is in response to your PM. :)

Let's analyze the structure of Choice 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.

There is no doubt that the portion before the comma is an Independent Clause with "Sound" as a Subject and "can travel" as a Verb.
Now let's look at the latter portion of the sentence.

its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

This structure is actually Noun + Noun Modifier that modifies the preceding clause.
Noun = its acoustic energy
Noun Modifier = prevented from dissipating...

(For more on this topic, please read the article in this link: noun-noun-modifiers-before-we-start-discussing-about-the-137292.html)

What does this portions says? It says that its (sounds) acoustic energy prevented. Now does it make sense that the sound itself prevents its acoustic energy? No, it does. Now read further. "its acoustic energy prevented... by water layers of different temperatures and densities." Now, does this make sense? Yes, it does. This structure actually provided the characteristic of the acoustic energy in that it says that this acoustic energy is prevented from dissipating by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

In original Choice C, "prevented" CANNOT be a passive voice also because it is not preceded by a helping verb such as is/am/are/was/were etc. So, prevented here id just a verb-ed modifier, a Noun Modifier that modifies the preceding noun entity "its acoustic energy". Together this modified noun + noun modifier modifies the preceding clause by presenting the reason for the main action in the sentence.

Remember, we are talking about the CORRCT OFFICIAL answer choice. It cannot have a grave error of fragment.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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New post 16 Jan 2014, 08:30
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sidpopy wrote:
E is the right answer, how come "C" .
how can one connect two independent sentences with out conjunction. In "C" the two sentence are run on sentences.


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.

E. preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by
What is its referring to? Sound or Water? antecedent is not clear E is wrong.

C. its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
This is called an absolute phrase and modifies the entire clause that precedes it.

Read about absolute phrases on gmatclub and magoosh
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New post 12 Jun 2014, 09:10
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Hi honchos,

This is in response to your PM. :)

Let’s first understand the meaning of the original sentence:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances,
o prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

MEANING

• This sentence represents a fact that sound can travel through water for long distances.
• Then it tells the reason behind this fact: It says that the water layers of different temperatures and densities create boundaries in the ocean. These boundaries prevent the acoustic energy of sound form dissipating.
So, according to the original sentence the action of ‘preventing’ is done by the boundaries created by water layers.


Now, let’s take a look at OPTION E:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances,
o preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

VERB-ing MODIFIER
If a verb-ing modifier is placed after a clause and it is preceded by a comma, then it modifies the preceding clause. This modifier makes sense with the subject of the preceding clause, and it:
i) Either provides additional information about the preceding clause
ii) Or presents the result of the preceding clause.

Tom killed the snake, using a stick. (Additional Information)
The recession adversely affected the company’s business, reducing its profits by 50%. (Result)
In both the above sentences, the subject makes sense with the verb-ing modifier, since it is clear from these sentences that “Tom used the stick” and “The recession reduced the profits”.

Now, in the given sentence, the verb-ing modifier ‘preventing’ presents additional information about the preceding clause. Also, the subject ‘sound’ should make sense with ‘preventing’.
So, this sentence conveys the meaning that sound prevents its acoustic energy from dissipating. This is not the intended meaning of the original sentence since the boundaries did the action of preventing, not the sound.


Hope this helps! :)
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New post 13 Apr 2015, 01:15
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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.

The independent clause is "Sound can travel through water for enormous distances" and rest is the modifier.

A. prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of -> prevented is past participle modifier (verbed modifier) and should modify the nearest noun -> enormous distances -> doesn't make sense.

B. prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by -> Same issue as that of A)

C. its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by -> correct as prevented is modifying the "its acoustic energy" - a noun

D. its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of -> dissipating not as a result of boundaries of ocean but because of boundaries of ocean

E. preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by -> comma + verbing modifier attaches to the subject of the previous clause which means Sound itself is preventing its acoustic energy which is ridiculous.
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New post 17 Apr 2015, 11:40
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souvik101990 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
comma+ed modifier modifies the closest noun - thus incorrect

B. prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
same error as in A.

C. its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
noun+noun modifier used correctly.

D. its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
being is correctly used in 2 cases:
1. when it is used as a noun
2. when it is used in a passive voice construction
none of these cases is here, hence incorrect.

E. preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by
comma+ing modifier modifies entire clause by associating itself with subject and verb of the clause preceded. thus, in this case it is incorrectly used.
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New post 19 Jul 2016, 15:14
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anje29 wrote:
I have a doubt though it is a official guide question and answer C is correct , but I can't understand how the two clauses are just separated by comma not any connecting word .

Experts , please help


The second part after comma is not an independent clause; it is an absolute phrase. Absolute phrases consist of the following structure:
noun (or noun phrase) + noun (noun phrase) modifier

Absolute phrase modifiers modify the adjacent clause as a whole.

Here,
noun phrase= its acoustic energy
noun phrase modifier = prevented from dissipating (prevented is a past participle, not a verb)

The absolute phrase modifier its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating... modifies the clause Sound can travel through water for enormous distances.

Thus the use of comma is alright. Another example of absolute clause is as follows:

His held head high, he left the room.

The underlined part here is the absolute phrase.
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New post 20 Jul 2016, 23:33
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crazykaushik wrote:
Though everybody has agreed at "C" as OA, I still have a doubt regarding this. Doesn't it create a run on sentence construction? There is a clause before comma and then without any coordinating conjunction or there stands another clause starting with its. Experts please explain.

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

In option C, the following portion of the sentence is not an Independent clause:

its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

In fact, it is not even a clause. This kind of a construct is called absolute modifier and has the following structure:

i) Noun (its acoustic energy) +
ii) Noun-modifier (prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities)

This is very frequently tested on GMAT and so, it might be a good idea to make yourself comfortable with this structure.

Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Absolute modifiers, their 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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New post 12 Aug 2016, 06:39
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Sunil01 wrote:
Economist wrote:
Sound can travel through water for enormous distances,prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result ofboundaries 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



hi experts,
I am not getting the usage of comma here.
I know comma is not in the underlined part, but I want to understand the usage of comma.
what is the impact on the sentence if we remove comma.

Thanks & regards,
Sunil01


We need a comma before a non-essential modifier - a modifier that states something extra about the noun or the sentence it modifies and can be omitted without changing the meaning of the rest of the sentence. Here "its acoustic energy...." is a non- essential absolute phrase modifier, and hence a comma is mandatory. Absolute phrase modifiers are always non-essential type.
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New post 09 Feb 2017, 12:07
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?
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New post 13 Feb 2017, 23:23
stanleygao wrote:
Second sentence: its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

Hi stanleygao, this structure is called absolute modifier and is just a phrase (not a clause/sentence). The structure of an absolute modifier typically is:

Noun (its acoustic energy) + Noun modifier (prevented from dissipating....).

Absolute modifiers are quite frequently tested on GMAT and so, test takers need to make themselves comfortable with this usage.

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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New post 23 Apr 2017, 22:43
In Manhattan's SC correction guide, under chapter 10 (page 197) of 5th edition:

"A comma by itself cannot connect two complete sentences (main clauses)"
eg. WRONG: Earl walked to school, he later ate his lunch.


Isn't C doing a similar thing here? connecting two complete sentences?
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New post 23 Apr 2017, 23:28
jasmitkalra wrote:
In Manhattan's SC correction guide, under chapter 10 (page 197) of 5th edition:

"A comma by itself cannot connect two complete sentences (main clauses)"
eg. WRONG: Earl walked to school, he later ate his lunch.


Isn't C doing a similar thing here? connecting two complete sentences?
The second element is not a clause. It's an absolute phrase. One way to see that is to check whether prevented is a (complete) verb. If we try saying its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries, we can see that prevented does not seem to be "combining" with acoustic energy.

Compare these two structures:

Its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries.

Its acoustic energy is prevented from dissipating by boundaries.

Clearly, the second is complete, but the first is not.
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New post 25 Jul 2017, 11:24
Can someone please explain the structure of the sentence"Sound can do X, its _____". Is the second part a modifier?
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