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Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener

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

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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,


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 151: Sentence Correction


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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 114
Page: 693


Underwater Naturalist, Volume 16 No. 3

They have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two. The top surface of the common sea star is rough-skinned, with tiny spines and bumps. A single bright orange “eye," or madreporite, is located toward the center of the back.

Originally posted by macjas on 12 May 2012, 23:56.
Last edited by Bunuel on 23 Oct 2018, 00:09, edited 7 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2014, 10:16
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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:
Can you please give your expert opinion on B vs E..
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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2017, 02:21
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So there’s an interesting thing in this question: “starfish” could, in theory, be either singular or plural. (Much like the word “media” or “data” or “deer” or diabetes.) The GMAT has a very consistent habit in these cases: the sentence will always give you some other indication of whether the word is singular or plural.

And in this case? In the non-underlined portion, we have the phrase “Starfish… have a strong regenerative capacity…” So “starfish” is definitely plural, at least in the beginning of the sentence. (And yes, this explanation has been edited to correct my original error. File under: even ninjas write dumb things in the wee hours of the morning.)

Quote:
(A) one arm is lost it quickly replaces it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and

Hopefully, the word “it” leaps off the page at you immediately – both of them. Logically, we know that the first “it” needs to refer back to “starfish”, and the second “it” refers back to “arm.” But in its current form, it’s awfully confusing: “it” appears twice in close succession, but the two pronouns refer back to different things? That’s not cool.

And more importantly, “it” can’t refer back to “starfish” anyway, since the beginning of the sentence indicates that “starfish” is plural.

Plus, the meaning of the last part of the underlined portion is funky: the phrase “by the animal overcompensating” suggests that the overcompensation is how the starfish replaces its arm. And that doesn’t actually make sense.

Either way, we can do better than (A).

Quote:
(B) one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating and

OK, this “it” looks much better. The word “arm” is the closest potential referent to “it”, so we’re OK here: “… if one arm is lost [the arm] is quickly replaced…” Cool.

I don’t love the use of “with” here, but I can’t see why it’s wrong, exactly. And the meaning makes sense: sometimes, the animal overcompensates and grows an extra arm. That’s kind of creepy from a biological standpoint, but perfectly OK grammatically. “Overcompensating” and “growing” are two parallel actions that are sometimes taken by the animal – and I see no reason why the two actions can’t be parallel.

Let’s keep (B).

Quote:
(C) they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,

The pronouns aren’t horrible here: “it” clearly refers to the arm and “they” presumably refers to starfish. But I think you could make a case that there MIGHT be a pronoun ambiguity issue with “they”, since “arms” is actually the singular noun that’s closest to the pronoun “they.” This isn’t an automatic elimination, since pronoun ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule on the GMAT, but it’s something you should always notice. (More on pronoun ambiguity in this YouTube video.)

But here’s the really important part: the use of “by the animal overcompensating” still doesn’t make any sense (see answer choice A above). The starfish doesn’t replace the arm by overcompensating; it just happens to overcompensate sometimes and grow an extra arm.

Because of the meaning issue, (C) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) they lose one arm they are quickly replaced, with the animal sometimes overcompensating,

Again, we could argue that the first “they” isn’t automatically wrong, even though it’s potentially ambiguous – “they” could again refer to “arms” or “starfish.” But the second “they” is absolute nonsense, since “arm” is a singular noun in this particular chunk of the sentence. So (D) is gone, too.

Quote:
(E) they lose one arm it is quickly replaced, sometimes with the animal overcompensating,

This is awfully tempting, and I don’t think that there are any DEFINITE reasons to prefer (E) over (B). But there are a bunch of things that make (B) very, very slightly better.

Let’s line this one up with (B) to make it easier to compare them:

    (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,

So we have three meaningful differences here, and none of them are smoking guns, but all of them seem to point in the same direction.

In that first chunk of the sentence, the big difference is that (E) uses the pronoun “they”, which is potentially ambiguous, since it could refer back to “starfish” or “arms” – and since “arms” is the most recent plural, you could argue that “they” is a legit problem here. Honestly, I’m not completely convinced by this – there are plenty of official SC questions with similar ambiguities in the correct answers. But in this case, the pronoun issue gives me a very slight preference for (B).

Second, we have some funny business with the placement of the word “sometimes.” The thing that “sometimes” happens is “overcompensating”, so it makes sense to have “sometimes” right next to that word. Is it totally wrong to say “sometimes with the animal overcompensating”? Nope. But again, I’d have a very slight preference for (B) based on the placement of “sometimes.”

And the third thing? In (B), “overcompensating” and “growing” are two parallel actions. In other words, the animal sometimes does two things: it overcompensates and grows an extra arm or two. That makes enough sense. In (E), “growing” has been turned into a modifier (“sometimes with the animal overcompensating, growing an extra arm or two”), and I’m not sure that it’s wrong, but it seems a little bit odd to me: when do you ever see an "-ing" participle modifying another "-ing" participle? Meaning-wise, I suppose you could argue that “growing” tells us extra information about when happens when the animal is “overcompensating”, but I think it makes more sense to keep the two actions (“growing” and “overcompensating”) parallel.

Honestly, I don’t think that any of these three issues are crystal-clear, slam-dunk reasons to eliminate (E). If I were seeing this question on an actual exam for the very first time, I’d say a quick prayer to the GMAT gods before picking (B) and moving on -- but at least I'd be comforted by the notion that all three of those little issues point in half-assed unison toward (B).
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2013, 04:24
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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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2014, 16:48
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umeshpatil wrote:
I am confused between use of 'with' and 'by'.

Is it that in Active voice, we should use 'with' and in passive voice 'by'. Can we have a good example apart from this question ?


Dear Umesh,

In this question, the choice between “with” and “by” isn’t dependent on a particular voice. The meaning of the sentence determines the same. Let’s have a look at the use of “by” and “with” in the context of this sentence.

In this question, the author intends to share the ability of starfish to regenerate their body parts. The author tells us how these starfish promptly replace a particular part of their body, sometimes going overboard in the process. The highlighted portion is the information given to us in the “with” phrase in the correct choice B. So let’s analyze this choice:

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.

Now, how do you think the highlighted portion after “with” adds to the meaning of the rest of the sentence before it? The simple answer is that it gives us extra information about the action “it is quickly replaced”, right?

Let’s look at another sentence in which the “with” phrase plays a similar role:

We humans have a strong psychological defense mechanism and if faced with bereavement, we quickly go in to a denial mode, with some of us sometimes instead getting fixated on the mundane details of life.

Now in both the sentences, do you think “by” can convey the same meaning as the one conveyed by “with”?

The answer is no. Using “by” in either of the two sentences would mean that we intend to elaborate on the “how” aspect of the preceding clause. This shift in meaning is not correct.

In the example sentence, we are not trying to communicate the process through which some people go in to a denial mode. We are just trying to refer to a particular extreme circumstance in which the denial mode can be observed. Similarly, in the official question, the author intends to convey that in the process of replacing the arms, the creature sometimes ends up overcompensating and growing an extra arm or two. It is not by or through overcompensating that the animal replaces it. Now, one may argue that the original sentence has “by” in it; however, does “by” convey any logical meaning in the sentence. Let’s check the same:

Starfish have a strong regenerative ability, and if one arm is lost it is quickly replaced, sometimes by the animal overcompensating and growing an extra one or two.

Now does it make sense to say that the animal replaces the arm sometimes by/through overcompensating for the same? No it doesn’t! As stated earlier, the overcompensation happens in the process of replacement.

Hope the above discussion helps! :)

Regards,

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

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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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2013, 11:14
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blueseas wrote:
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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 07:15
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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).

The Correct Answer

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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 11:08
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thangvietnam wrote:
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,


I do not like this problem though it is in the latest og book. overcompensating and growing can not be separate actions. so "and" is wrong to connect them. the separateness is tested a lot on gmat sc and is central staple gmat play on us . strange, why gmat make mistake on this point.

or my english grammar is not good enough.

dont worry, there is only one question like this in the latest og book.

Dear thangvietnam,
I'm happy to respond. :-) Yes, this is SC #114, in the OG13 and the OG2015.

It's absolutely true that the OA, (B), is not ideal. The "and" link between the two participles, "overcompensating" and "growing," is certainly questionable. Technically, are those two actions identical? Does losing the arm set off a biological chain of events in the starfish that we would called "overcompensating," and that one result among many of this "overcompensating" is the "growing" of two arms? I certainly don't know enough about the biology of starfish to answer this question either way, but it's at least conceivable that the actions "overcompensating" and "growing" are not coextensively identical and therefore merit an "and" conjunction. Admittedly, this is somewhat ambiguous.

Similarly, the "with" + [noun] + [participle] structure---actually, two participles in parallel---is also questionable. Certainly, this structure, with different emphases, is considered incorrect on some questions. Again, this is iffy.

So, (B) has nothing that is clearly, unambiguously wrong, but it has some "shades of gray" problems. What makes it the right answer is that each other answer has something definitively wrong about it. Choices (A) & (C) & (D) all make trainwreck pronoun errors, so they are not even possibly correct. In (E), the big problem is subtle. In a condition statement, an if-then statement, the "if" part is called the premise, and the "then" part is called the conclusion. The grammar supports the logic of the conditional statement when both premise and conclusion are in the same voice---either both active or both passive. (E) makes the mistake of having an active premise and a passive conclusion, and this sounds undefinably awkward. Since (E) can be right, it only leaves (A) with all its imperfections.

Remember, this is #114 in the OG. There is a rough correlation between question number and difficulty, and since this is a higher question, it is one of the more difficult questions in the OG. This is one characteristic of the more difficult SC questions: the OA is far from ideal, but it's better than the other four answers, each of which is wrong for a clear and discernible reason.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 01:22
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Hi Swati, the sentence uses starfish as plural.

How do we know?

Well the sentence drops a hint:

Starfish have a strong regenerative ability...
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2014, 01:53
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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
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 15:00
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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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 07:05
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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.

Please help


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 strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 12:25
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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.

Please help



Hello AR15J,

I will be glad to help you with this one. :)

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

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New post 08 Nov 2017, 01:39
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GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:


Quote:
(C) they lose one arm they quickly replace it, sometimes by the animal overcompensating,

And now we get into an interesting thing here! “Starfish” could, in theory, be either singular or plural. (Much like the word “media” or “data” or “deer”.) The GMAT has a very consistent habit in these cases: the sentence will always give you some other indication of whether the word is singular or plural.

And in this case? Well, the sentence later refers to “starfish” as “the animal” – singular! So “they” shouldn’t be used here.



Can we also take a hint from "Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regenerative ability" to decide if starfish is singular/plural
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 12:23
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GMATNinja wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Sorry GMATNinja for the late reply. I was ill and couldn't turn on my laptop for a week.
Well coming back to my question, I don't agree with your explanation above. (please correct me if I am wrong anywhere)

My understanding:
Question statement --> Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, havea strong regenerative ability --> states that starfish are PLURAL. So don't understand as to why E is incorrect.

Please correct me if I am wrong. I really don't understand as to how option B is better than E. originally I chose E.

Ugh, sorry that you got that sick! You're feeling better, I hope?

And I think you were writing your response just as I wrote the one above. :-) I made a couple of totally boneheaded mistakes in my original explanation! They're fixed above, and I deliberately addressed your question in the new version of the full explanation. Let me know if that doesn't clear up the doubts?


Thank you sensei, I am doing fine now.

Regarding the problem: I think you must have been devoid of a "Banana Choco-Caramel pudding" that I ate today morning, so you lost your focus ;)

Coming back to the explanation above:

"Let’s line this one up with (B) to make it easier to compare them:

(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,

So we have three meaningful differences here, and none of them are smoking guns, but all of them seem to point in the same direction.

In that first chunk of the sentence, the big difference is that (E) uses the pronoun “they”, which is potentially ambiguous, since it could refer back to “starfish” or “arms” – and since “arms” is the most recent plural, you could argue that “they” is a legit problem here. Honestly, I’m not completely convinced by this – there are plenty of official SC questions with similar ambiguities in the correct answers. But in this case, the pronoun issue gives me a very slight preference for (B).

Second, we have some funny business with the placement of the word “sometimes.” The thing that “sometimes” happens is “overcompensating”, so it makes sense to have “sometimes” right next to that word. Is it totally wrong to say “sometimes with the animal overcompensating”? Nope. But again, I’d have a very slight preference for (B) based on the placement of “sometimes.” "

I think the highlighted part isn't making any sense in context to the question.

But "something" really took the ice on the cake. I think this might be a strong reason to go in favour of B. This helped a lot sire.

Thank you for considering this question and for replying patiently to my doubts.
Regards
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Re: Starfish, with anywhere from five to eight arms, have a strong regener   [#permalink] 13 Nov 2017, 12:23

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