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# Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a

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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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02 May 2017, 20:12
Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

A. one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating overcompensating and
--> by the animal overcompensating is awkward.

B. one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and
--> correct.

C. they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,
-->by the animal overcompensating is awkward. Comma (,) before conjuntion and in this sentence is wrong.

D. they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,
--> Comma (,) before conjuntion and in this sentence is wrong.

E. they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,
--> Comma (,) before conjuntion and in this sentence is wrong.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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12 May 2017, 07:15
macjas wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 114
Page: 693

Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

A one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and
B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and
C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,
D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,
E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,

First Glance

The word if shows up right before the underline; this word is often part of the idiom if X (then) Y. Further, the Parallelism marker and appears at the end of the underline.

Issues

(1) Pronouns: it; they
Parallelism: if X then Y

The original sentence contains this piece: If one arm is lost it quickly replaces it. Check the pronouns.

(A) if one arm is lost...(then) it quickly replaces it
(B) if one arm is lost...(then) it is quickly replaced
(C) if they lose one arm...(then) they quickly replace it
(D) if they lose one arm...(then) they are quickly replaced
(E) if they lose one arm...(then) it is quickly replaced

If one sentence uses the same pronoun to refer to two different things, the sentence is considered ambiguous─and therefore wrong. In answer (A), the first it refers to starfish; the second refers to one arm.

Notice, too, that the noun starfish could be singular or plural. Which is it in this sentence? Check out the verb: starfish have. He have? Or they have? They have is correct, so starfish is plural. The pronoun it is singular, another reason to eliminate (A). Check the remaining answers for both pronoun ambiguity and singular versus plural.

Answer (D) also contains the double pronoun error. The first instance of the plural pronoun they refers to the starfish, while the second refers to one arm (which is also a number mismatch─one arm is singular). Eliminate answers (A) and (D).

This examination also highlights the parallelism required for the idiom if X (then) Y. (Note: The word "then" is optional: this problem doesn't use it) When X and Y are in the form of clauses, the entire clauses should be parallel. A subject pronoun in the second clause should refer to the subject of the first clause. Eliminate answers (A), (D), and (E) for failing to do so.

(2) Meaning

The original sentence indicates that starfish can regenerate an arm, though they sometimes overcompensate and grow extra arms:

(A), (C): by overcompensating and growing an extra one
(B), (D), (E): with the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one

In answers (A) and (C), the preposition by means that the starfish replaces the arm by overcompensating. The meaning is illogical: the first arm grown is not an overcompensation; rather, the first one is the intended replacement arm. Only the extra arms represent overcompensation─and the the extras, by definition, are not the replacement arm. The other choices use the preposition with instead of by, avoiding the meaning error. Eliminate answers (A) and (C).

Correct answer (B) employs a properly parallel structure with the pronoun usage: If one arm is lost it is quickly replaced. This choice also correctly uses with to introduce the extra information that the animal sometimes accidentally grown extra arms.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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16 May 2017, 07:08
macjas wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 114
Page: 693

Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

A one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and
B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and
C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,
D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,
E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,

A "It" does not agree in number with "starfish" (plural).
B Correct.
C The animal doesn't replace it "sometimes" by overcompensating. That's nonsensical. The overcompensation occurs despite any regeneration some of the time.
D "One arm" doesn't agree with "they."
E The animal doesn't replace it "sometimes" by overcompensating. That's nonsensical. The overcompensation occurs despite any regeneration some of the time.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2017, 07:44
Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

A one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and - "it quickly replaced it" very vague and unclear
B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and - CORRECT "it" clearly refers to the "arm"
C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating, - "they" does not work with singular "Starfish" + "and" missing after "overcompensating"
D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating, - "they" does not work with singular "Starfish" + "and" missing after "overcompensating"
E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating, - "they" does not work with singular "Starfish" + "and" missing after "overcompensating"
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2017, 00:57
macjas wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 114
Page: 693

Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

A one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and
B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and
C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,
D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,
E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,

in choice E, "comma+doing" can not modify another doing like "overcompensating" . this pattern is prohibited in grammar.
but the Oa, b has some problem. both covercompensating and growing can not be a separate actions and they can not be connected by "and".
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2017, 19:15
Hi,

Is it possible to eliminate option (A) because of ambiguous antecedents as there are two "IT" and each of them could refer to Starfish or Arm?
In option (B) though "IT" should logically refer to one arm, it may also refer to starfish. Is the use of "IT" right in option B?
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2017, 15:00
1
anandch1994 wrote:
Hi,

Is it possible to eliminate option (A) because of ambiguous antecedents as there are two "IT" and each of them could refer to Starfish or Arm?
In option (B) though "IT" should logically refer to one arm, it may also refer to starfish. Is the use of "IT" right in option B?

Dear anandch1994,

I'm happy to respond.

Yes, the two occurrences of "it" in (A), referring to two different antecedents, are a big pronoun no-no. That's a clear reason why (A) is wrong.

For the "it" in (B), I'll say that there are many levels to the pronoun-antecedent relationship. A sentence can involve grammar, logic, and rhetoric to establish a link between the pronoun and its antecedent. Here, in (B), there are two quite different facets linking "it" and the antecedent "one arm." The first is simply proximity: the noun "one arm" is the closest preceding noun before the pronoun. The second is akin to parallelism, which often plays a huge role in the pronoun-antecedent relation. In the two clauses right next to each other, "one arm" and "it" are subjects of passive verbs, so that establishes a deep logical connection between these two that strengthens the pronoun-antecedent relationship. Those two factors together are enough to cement the relationship.

Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2017, 05:51
Hi Expert,

I did not understand the meaning of the sentence.

My question is -- How an arm can be replced by an AMINAL overcompensating and growing an extra arm?

My reasoning-- an arm should be replaced by an arm, not by an animal.

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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2017, 07:05
1
AR15J wrote:
Hi Expert,

I did not understand the meaning of the sentence.

My question is -- How an arm can be replced by an AMINAL overcompensating and growing an extra arm?

My reasoning-- an arm should be replaced by an arm, not by an animal.

Notice the comma before the prepositional phrase modifier "with the animal sometimes overcompensating and..........". With the comma, this modifier (like present participle -ing modifiers) refers to the entire preceding clause and not just the preceding word. Thus in this case the phrase modifier "with the animal sometimes overcompensating and.........." refers NOT to the verb "replaced", but to the entire preceding clause "it is quickly replaced", describing that not just the arm is replaced, but also additional arms are grown.

In absence of the comma your reasoning would be valid (that an arm cannot be replaced with an animal).
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2017, 12:25
1
AR15J wrote:
Hi Expert,

I did not understand the meaning of the sentence.

My question is -- How an arm can be replced by an AMINAL overcompensating and growing an extra arm?

My reasoning-- an arm should be replaced by an arm, not by an animal.

Hello AR15J,

Let me present to you the original sentence:

Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

Let's now understand the meaning of this sentence.

The sentence talks about starfish. The author of the sentence says that a starfish has some five to eight arms. This creature has a strong ability to regenerate. Then the author presents why he says that a starfish has the great regenerative ability. Whenever a starfish loses an arm, it quickly replaces it by growing another arm. How Sometimes, it even overcompensates and grows an extra one or two arms.

So, it is the starfish that replaces the lost arm by quickly growing another arm or may be two because of its strong regenerative ability.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2017, 10:18
daagh wrote:
The tagging may include SV number agreement, and conjunction, which are also important things tested here. Starfish is treated as plural here as can be seen from the plural verb have in the non-underlined part

A one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and--- [color=#0000FF]it seems as if the plural starfish is pronouned by the first, singular it; in addition in an active voice sentence, the use of by is improper
[/color]
B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and ------- seems ok with the SV problem avoided altogether. Here the it should logically refer to the arm. correct choice

C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating, -----use of by is improper in an active voice setting. It should be with the animal rather than by the animal; overcompensating, growing is improper co-ordination. There should be an and in between

D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,’---use of they means that the starfish themselves are replaced; over compensating should be followed by and

E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating, --- in a passive voice we need to use by rather than with ; in addition overcompensating should be followed by and

sir i have a doubt :is usage of with +noun+ gerund acceptable ????(i have read its is too much action and gmat doesn't like that
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2017, 05:56
Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

This is indeed a very good question AND I got it wrong. Let me try to help others.

A one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and
Here from the non-underlined part it is clear that STARFISH is used in PLURAL form, so the usage of pronoun "it" leads to PRONOUN NUMBER agreement error. Also, here the pronoun "it" is referring to two antecedents, by saying "it quickly replaces it", the first "it" refers to starfish and the second "it" refers to the arm. This usage is leading to confusion and thus, incorrect.

Also, if one arm is lost, it quickly replaces it, here, the IF PART is in PASSIVE VOICE and the THAN PART is in ACTIVE VOICE, even this is not acceptable. The usage of sometimes is also not making sense. Does the starfish only sometimes replace their arms and not the other times? The placement of sometimes is not correct. misplaced modifier.

B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and
CORRECT.

C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,
"they lose one arm" seems that the entire starfish family lose their arms which is leading to a NON-SENSICAL meaning. Sometimes is again misplaced as in choice A. Also we need "and" after overcompensating. INCORRECT.

D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,
Here, "they are quickly replaced" means that the starfish are quickly replaced. This is again a NON-SENSICAL meaning. Also we need "and" after overcompensating.

"they lose one arm" seems that the entire starfish family lose their arms which is leading to a NON-SENSICAL meaning. INCORRECT.

E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,
Also, if they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, here, the IF PART is in ACTIVE VOICE and the THAN PART is in PASSIVE VOICE, this is not acceptable.
"they lose one arm" seems that the entire starfish family lose their arms which is leading to a NON-SENSICAL meaning.
Also we need "and" after overcompensating.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2017, 12:07
mikemcgarry wrote:
anandch1994 wrote:
Hi,

Is it possible to eliminate option (A) because of ambiguous antecedents as there are two "IT" and each of them could refer to Starfish or Arm?
In option (B) though "IT" should logically refer to one arm, it may also refer to starfish. Is the use of "IT" right in option B?

Dear anandch1994,

I'm happy to respond.

Yes, the two occurrences of "it" in (A), referring to two different antecedents, are a big pronoun no-no. That's a clear reason why (A) is wrong.

For the "it" in (B), I'll say that there are many levels to the pronoun-antecedent relationship. A sentence can involve grammar, logic, and rhetoric to establish a link between the pronoun and its antecedent. Here, in (B), there are two quite different facets linking "it" and the antecedent "one arm." The first is simply proximity: the noun "one arm" is the closest preceding noun before the pronoun. The second is akin to parallelism, which often plays a huge role in the pronoun-antecedent relation. In the two clauses right next to each other, "one arm" and "it" are subjects of passive verbs, so that establishes a deep logical connection between these two that strengthens the pronoun-antecedent relationship. Those two factors together are enough to cement the relationship.

Does this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike,
Choice b looks very fine. I went through the Magoosh article on the use of with + noun + participle, and found it very effective.
Option B states - one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.
The animal refers to the starfish. Now the sentence with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two is a descriptive modifier.
there is only one actor performing an action in the main sentence, and the “with” + [noun] + [participle] structure simply acts a noun modifier to provide some additional description to the animal.
Now, in case of doubt- One way to tell the difference is to imagine the sentence without the participle phrase, just “with” + [noun]. If the sentence still makes perfect sense in this form, then the participle was purely descriptive.
Examples- With chloroplasts accounting for much of its biomass, The Euglena can manufacture its own food.
Test- With chloroplast Euglena can manufacture its own food. This sentence logically seems fine.
Now, with our argument, I am finding it hard to tie the sentence.
Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.
Test- With the animal(starfish) sometimes one arm is lost and it is quickly replaced.
Mike, please let me know if the correctness of the test is fine or not.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2017, 05:46
mikemcgarry wrote:
anandch1994 wrote:
Hi,

Is it possible to eliminate option (A) because of ambiguous antecedents as there are two "IT" and each of them could refer to Starfish or Arm?
In option (B) though "IT" should logically refer to one arm, it may also refer to starfish. Is the use of "IT" right in option B?

Dear anandch1994,

I'm happy to respond.

Yes, the two occurrences of "it" in (A), referring to two different antecedents, are a big pronoun no-no. That's a clear reason why (A) is wrong.

For the "it" in (B), I'll say that there are many levels to the pronoun-antecedent relationship. A sentence can involve grammar, logic, and rhetoric to establish a link between the pronoun and its antecedent. Here, in (B), there are two quite different facets linking "it" and the antecedent "one arm." The first is simply proximity: the noun "one arm" is the closest preceding noun before the pronoun. The second is akin to parallelism, which often plays a huge role in the pronoun-antecedent relation. In the two clauses right next to each other, "one arm" and "it" are subjects of passive verbs, so that establishes a deep logical connection between these two that strengthens the pronoun-antecedent relationship. Those two factors together are enough to cement the relationship.

Does this make sense?
Mike

Thanks a lot mike . Really helped me clear my doubts
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2018, 22:14
Hi Experts,

Can you please explain the difference between the phrases "by the animal" and "with the animal"?

Also, please explain why is "by the animal" incorrect in this question.
Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2018, 22:14

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