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

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

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12 May 2012, 23:56
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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,
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by hazelnut on 12 May 2017, 07:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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13 May 2012, 01:31
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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

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

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02 May 2014, 10:16
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Expert's post
macjas wrote:
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,

JusTLucK04 wrote:
Thank You

Dear JusTLucK04,
I am happy to respond to your p.m.

I realize this is an official question, but I would call this problem one of GMAC's clunkers. It has a clear answer, but it falls short of the standards that the GMAT normally has on SC. In particular, the "with" + [noun] + [participial phrase] structure, as a substitute for a clause, is often something GMAC has considered wrong in other, better written questions, but here it is simply unavoidable. To umeshpatil, I would say: in the active voice, neither "with" nor "by" is ideal; for a new action, ideally we should have a whole new clause.

First of all, the first part is more elegant in (B):
(B) one arm is lost it is quickly replaced = concise and elegant
(E) they lose one arm it is quickly replaced = awkward
The former focuses exclusively on one subject, "one arm;" it has rhetorical focus. The latter jumps back and forth between two subjects --- the "starfish" and the "one arm." If (E) were entirely active, "if they lose one arm, they replace it," then there would be a consistent subject and consistent active voice. As it stands, (E) juxtaposes two subjects and also juxtaposes active vs. passive voice, all in a tiny clause. It's very awkward.

One crucial split in this sentence is the placement of the word "sometimes" --- exactly what should this word modify? We are already talking about the event in which the starfish loses an arm. Obviously, if the arm is replace, the animal is always the one who replaces it. The "sometimes" refers to the events in which multiple arms replace a single arm --- that sometimes happens. The placement in (E),
(E) ... sometimes with the animal overcompensating ...
suggests that sometimes the animal's action replaces the arm, and sometimes is something other than the animal replacing the arm. That's nonsensical. By contrast, (B) has:
(B) ... with the animal sometimes overcompensating and ...
Yes. It's the overcompensating that happens only sometimes, but it is always the action of the animal.

Finally, for the split at the end: this is one respect in which (B) is not ideal. I think it is awkward to put those two participles in parallel, "overcompensating and growing ..." Really, those are not two separate actions. Instead, the latter is an explanation of the former: what do we mean that starfish "overcompensates"? We mean that the starfish sometimes grows extra arms. It is an explanation of the same action, not a new action. Therefore, I think putting the two participles in parallel is less than ideal. It would be much better to give them the relationship that (E) has: "overcompensating, [that is to say] growing ..."

So (B) is the best answer, but it is not ideal. In fact, the entire question is not ideal, and it's no surprise that the GMAT got rid of it in its current material.

Let me know if anyone has any further questions.
Mike
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2013, 13:30
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PiyushK wrote:
In B) "with" is a preposition, then why it's initiating a clause, I heard about only prepositional phrases not clauses. Is it correctly used in this case ?
Kindly clarify.
Thanks

Hi Piyushk

The correct sentence is:

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.

The bold part is modifier. The short form of the sentence is: Starfish have a strong regenerative ability with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two

"with" is technically connected to "have a strong regenerative ability" . Hence, "with" does not initiate a clause.

So, B is correct.

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

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02 Aug 2012, 10:36
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The soldiers follow the orders of their seniors, sometimes by the soldier ferociously, crossing the expectations of the seniors.—this sentence may not pass the test of modification; but what will be acceptable is --- The soldiers follow the orders of their seniors, sometimes ferociously crossing the expectations of the seniors. You can see the impact of the unnecessary intrusion of the preposition by. Similarly in our text, overcompensating, and growing are modifications of strong regenerative ability and not growing. Growing is another parallel modification along overcompensating. Hence, when we say the animal overcompensating, it becomes a present participle modifier, while when we say by the animal overcompensating, we in fact say by the animal’s overcompensating, and the term becomes a gerund.

We may perhaps use past participle to describe this situation; -sometimes overcompensated by the animal- but we must also ensure that the other things are parallel too.

I am unable to comment upon Ron’s view and context. But as far as I see, overcompensating and growing are two independent and parallel features of re-generation and hence we do need to use the and
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2013, 06:27
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Darmody wrote:
thangvietnam wrote:
I fail this question

"overcompensating" and " growing" are not independent actions and the use of "and" is not suitable. A and B are out
the 2 actions are of the same event. comma+doing is used not "and"

I am confused. pls, help

same I crossed B because I thought growing had to modify overcompensate otherwise it does not make sense to have the verb "overcompensate" alone like that. Can somebody explain? And also would it be possible to explain what is exactly is wrong with E? Thx !

Let's Focus on B and E
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.

B one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and
E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,

1 Usage of sometimes : meaning in E is changed, as if sometimes with the animal
Sometimes should come near what it is modifying...they replace it that results something

2. and should separate two different v-ing modifiers...
when we say IC1 , and IC2 then only it means IC1 and IC2 are independent
but when there is a list with common subject we can simply write sub X and Y
when there is a list with 3 or more in the list we need comma + and => x,y, and Z else X and Y
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 11:14
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blueseas wrote:
AMITAGARWAL2 wrote:
it is easy... Straight B..

They is incorrect.. C and D and E are out.
A is missing 'is' after it to maintain parallelism

hi amit
may i know why they is wrong according to you in option CDE

Usage of "they" seems OK in (C) and (E) - but not in (D) because of multiple THEYs.

(D) ", and if they lose one arm they are quickly replaced"

The first they is supposed to = Starfish
But the second they is supposed to = the arm

So ambiguous pronoun references for THEY in (D) makes (D) wrong.

For (C) and (E) - the non-underlined portion says "Starfish.....have.." - so we know Starfish is plural.

So referencing starfish with THEY is OK.

But (C) and (E) have other issues - please see video explanation provided below.

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

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02 Aug 2012, 08:56
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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 importer 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

daagh,
pls calrify the following doubts for the point C:-
"use of by is improper in an active voice" what's wrong with - sometimes by the starfish overcompensating?? and following the same analogy - The soldiers follow the orders of their seniors, sometimes by the soldier ferociously, crossing the expectations of the seniors.

"overcompensating should be followed by and" as per Ron (Thursday with Ron), and should only be used when two events are mutually independent and are not depended on the occurrence of each another or when the events happened in the same chronology. In the said case, don't you think that the clause "sometimes by the animal overcompensating" is acting as a modifier modifying the the act of starfish growing an extra arm or two?

your insight on the above will be highly appreciated.
Any other experts are also welcome to enumerate on the same
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2013, 15:45
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pqhai wrote:
PiyushK wrote:
In B) "with" is a preposition, then why it's initiating a clause, I heard about only prepositional phrases not clauses. Is it correctly used in this case ?
Kindly clarify.
Thanks

Hi Piyushk

The correct sentence is:

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.

The bold part is modifier. The short form of the sentence is: Starfish have a strong regenerative ability with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two

"with" is technically connected to "have a strong regenerative ability" . Hence, "with" does not initiate a clause.

So, B is correct.

Hope it clarifies.

Hi pqhai, I'm sorry but that part is NOT a modifer: if you remove it, the whole sentence does not make sense; and moreover what does it modify?

It starts with "and" and it's a clause.

The part "with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two." explains how a lost arm is replaced, it refers to the preceding clause. This also points to the fact that the preceding part is not a modifier: Starfish have a strong regenerative ability with the animal sometimes overcompensating and growing an extra one or two (of what?)

PiyushK I am not good with technical names but this is an official question, so everything is 100% correct.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2013, 04:30
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Baracuda123 wrote:
The reason I got this question wrong is because of the whole "it" reference as instructed by MGMAT books. I opted out "B" because I thought that "it" cannot refer to arm because the two words are too close to each other. As a result, I chose "C" but I understand now why it is wrong.

Can anyone please explain how can "it" refer to "arm" being that close?

Consider the sentence with C:

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.

C they(plural=Starfish) lose one arm they quickly replace it(=the arm), sometimes by the animal overcompensating,

There is no such rule regading the "distance" between the pronoun and the noun it refers to. As long as the pronoun is correctly used and the meaning is clear, the construct is correct.

Hope it's clear
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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12 May 2014, 20:54
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bagdbmba wrote:
egmat wrote:
Nitinaka19 wrote:
Hi E-GMAT,

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,

My analysis and query, The sentence structure IC {Startfish + modifier+ verb (Have)}, and IC if + then clause+ modifier.

First query is in the "2nd IC" i'm not able to identify the Sub & Verb and

Second query is i'm not able to understand why "with" modifier is correct?
i understand that after the second clause is ended with "replaced" then Verb-ing should come instead of "with". Please correct me ?

and Lastly i always feel with seems to be the incorrect choice in GMAT in general.Could you please help me to correct my concept .

Thanks

Dear Nitin,

You aren't able to identify the subject and the verb because you're taking two clauses to be one clause. Your structure should read "if clause + then clause." The "if" clause is "one arm is lost" and the "then" clause is "it is quickly replaced".

Secondly, prepositional phrases are very versatile modifiers. It is perfectly fine for a prepositional phrase to modify an action. So, this part correctly tells us how the lost arm is replaced.

There is no rule that says that "with" is always in the incorrect choice. This is a complete misconception.

I hope this helps to clarify your doubts.

Regards,
Meghna

Hi Meghna,
I'm confused between option B & C.

B is in passive voice followed by ', with', where as C is in active voice followed by ',...by'. How this is possible ?

As, for passive voice 'by' should be used and 'with' should be for active voice. Still B is the correct answer...! Please clarify why so ? Is it ONLY because an 'and' is required at the end of the underlined part ?

And it'd be great if you share your detail analysis as well.

Thanks!

Dear Bagdmba,

I can understand how the “and” difference between choice B and C may not seem very deterministic. That being said, choice C fails to convey the intended meaning of the author. The issue here is not that of active or passive voice. Please refer to the following post to understand how “by” does not work in the context of the sentence:
[url]
starfish-with-anywhere-from-five-to-eight-arms-have-a-132488-20.html#p1362426[/url]

Also the way choice C is written, it could be taken to nonsensically suggest that multiple starfish (they) collectively loose one arm (it). This issue does not arise in choice B. Please reconsider the question in the light of this discussion and do let me know if you have any other doubts.

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

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18 Apr 2013, 08:00
macjas wrote:
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) Here the use of it is ambiguous........
(B)use of it is correct
(C)here "and" is missing and placement of sometimes is wrong
(D)overcompensating,growing should be overcompensating and growing,Use of they is ambiguous
(E)overcompensating,growing should be overcompensating and growing

B is correct.If i am wrong in analyzing answer choice`s plz inform ne
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2013, 04:21
The reason I got this question wrong is because of the whole "it" reference as instructed by MGMAT books. I opted out "B" because I thought that "it" cannot refer to arm because the two words are too close to each other. As a result, I chose "C" but I understand now why it is wrong.

Can anyone please explain how can "it" refer to "arm" being that close?
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2013, 04:42
Zarrolou wrote:
Baracuda123 wrote:
The reason I got this question wrong is because of the whole "it" reference as instructed by MGMAT books. I opted out "B" because I thought that "it" cannot refer to arm because the two words are too close to each other. As a result, I chose "C" but I understand now why it is wrong.

Can anyone please explain how can "it" refer to "arm" being that close?

Consider the sentence with C:

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.

C they(plural=Starfish) lose one arm they quickly replace it(=the arm), sometimes by the animal overcompensating,

There is no such rule regading the "distance" between the pronoun and the noun it refers to. As long as the pronoun is correctly used and the meaning is clear, the construct is correct.

Hope it's clear

Yes, you are right and I see that now. I looked it up and basically the book confused me. The book mentions Proximity of pronoun reference but I did not fully understand what the author of the book meant. For example, in a sentence "In the station house it is considered taboo..", "it" cannot refer to station house because the two words are too close. Also, the use of "it" is as a placeholder, not pronoun reference.

Now it is clear, thanks!
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2013, 06:04
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.
Pronoun should refer to only one Noun. Here, "it" is referring to Starfish and arm
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

Starfish is singular. So, "they" is wrong. C,D,E are out. [color=#ff0000]r[/color]
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2013, 03:55
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
they definitely refers to starfish. now if there is a singular/plural consideration then i would say it fits better, what say blueseas?

hi,

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.

in the non underlined portion,...we have STARFISH...HAVE==>it means STARFISH==>PLURAL...hence we cant denote starfish with IT.

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

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05 Aug 2013, 23:36
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,

I chose B as well.. Her is my stab at it

A - One arm is lost "it" quickly replaces - Who? the arm or the starfish? Out
B - One arm is lost it is - That resolves the problem with A.. Rest seems to be ok.. Keep
C - They lose one arm they quickly replace - Who? They could refer to five to eight arms or the starfish..... sometimes by - Wrong - Out
D - They lose one arm they "are" quickly - Out
E - They lose one arm it is, sometimes with the animal - Close to being correct in my books but ambiguity exists with the placemement of sometimes, it makes it seems like the arms are grown back only at times.

All in all it was a toss up between B and E.. Chose B
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2013, 04:24
Though many replies already exist, here is my 2 cents.

Starfish, blah blah blah, have a strong Z ability, and if <something happens they fix it>, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two

C,D,E have a similar problem "overcompensating," is followed by "growing an extra one or two". This is a case of misplaced modifier.
Now A & B remains

(A) one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and --> Use of Have in the non-underlined part means we talking about plural star fish.

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

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29 Nov 2013, 12:15
Usage of "they" in choices C,D and E is proper.

C they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,This choice means the animal replaces its lost arm by overcompensating. Change of meaning. Also "and" is missing between two parallel actions "overcompensating" and "growing". Hence wrong.
D they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,"and" is missing between two parallel actions "overcompensating" and "growing". Hence wrong.
E they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,Change of meaning due to wrong placement of "sometimes". "and" is missing between two parallel actions "overcompensating" and "growing". Hence wrong.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2013, 06:37
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

Hi daagh,
As per your explanation 'with' should not be used in passive voice. Right?

Then still B stands out as the correct option. It seems it's kind of selecting the best out of the lot...!!

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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2013, 06:37

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