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Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure

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Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2008, 08:45
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A
B
C
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  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

64% (01:12) correct 36% (01:19) wrong based on 189 sessions

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Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure and their families have a history of high blood pressure are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

(A) and their families have a history of high blood pressure

(B) whose families have a history of high blood pressure

(C) and a history of high blood pressure runs in the family

(D) whose families have a history of high blood pressure running in them

(E) with a history of high blood pressure running in their family

In this problem, I chose A, although I really didn't like this option, but it was the best I found out of all the options. The OA is B, but the reason I didn't choose B is that the "whose families have a history of high blood pressure" seem to talk about the "average blood pressure" that comes right before it rather than about the "young people." The "whose families" should refer back to "young people" if a comma were placed right before option B, then it would make sense to me. The reason a comma is important is that we already have a prepositional phrase "with higher-than-average blood pressure" already after our target subject, so a comma is important so that the relative pronoun "whose" can refer all the way back to our target subject. But there is no comma, so the "whose" part, according to the rules of grammar, must refer to the noun directly attached to it. Can any grammar experts help me out with this? I'll really appreciate it.
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2012, 09:29
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Hi there,

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure and their families have a history of high blood pressure are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

Since the meaning is easy to understand, let’s begin the error analysis: In this sentence the verb “have a history…” does not make sense with the subject “young people with higher-than-average blood pressure and their families”. The position of this clause makes the entire structure ungrammatical. As such, the verb “are” is left without any subject that leads to fragment error.

POE:

(A) and their families have a history of high blood pressure: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

(B) whose families have a history of high blood pressure: Correct. Notice that “whose” is a relative pronoun, a noun modifier that is modifying a little far away noun “young people”. This is so because the prepositional phrase preceding “whose” cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence without affecting the meaning. Hence, the relative pronoun can jump over “with higher-than-average blood pressure” to modify “young people”.
To know, how this modification is possible, read the article by clicking on the following link:
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

(C) and a history of high blood pressure runs in the family: Incorrect. Same fragment error and ungrammatical structure issue as in choice A.

(D) whose families have a history of high blood pressure running in them: Incorrect. The verb-ing modifier “running” is modifying the preceding noun entity “history of high blood pressure”, meaning that the “history of high blood pressure” run in the “young people and their family”. This is illogical.

(E) with a history of high blood pressure running in their family: Incorrect. Use of “running” seems to suggest that “a history” runs in their family. This modification does not make sense.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2008, 02:19
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Ok, i'll rewrite the whole sentence with its correct answer, but i'll also place the qualifiers in parenthesis so that you can see them better:

Studies show that young people (with higher-than-average blood pressure) (whose families have a history of high blood pressure) are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

as you can see, "with higher....." is a discriptive phrase describing "young people," then right after that, we have another descriptive phrase that runs immediately after it (whose families.....). Because it is perfectly fine to have 2 phrases running after each other, the "whose families" is also describing the same noun "young people." If there was also a third phrase that would come right after "whose families.....", THEN we MUST have a comma in order to avoid any reference confusion. However, according to the grammar rule, it is perfectly fine to have two descriptive phrases running after each other like our problem above.

Clear?
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2008, 05:52
I really think it's about being logical about it. Since we know about the rule that 2 descriptive phrases can run after each other, if you think that the second phrase is describing the first phrase, then take a look to see if the connection between the 2 phrases is logical. If the connection isn't logical, then it must be referring to the noun before the first phrase. As long as the grammar rule isn't broken, then it should be acceptable. On the other hand, if the 2 phrases could logically describe each other, but this is not the intension of the sentence, then a comma in this case would be necessary.

Also, when you take a look at other answer choices, doesn't answer choice B seem to be the least damaging answer? Although the correct answer choice may not necessarily present its grammar structure in the most ideal way, the correct answer choice must be the choice that, at least, has the least damage as possible.
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2009, 12:01
Can you please let us know the source of the SC. Also underlying the sentence in the Q would help us :)

IMO, even with OA B (which looks the best among options), it doesn't look correct:

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure whose families have a history of high blood pressure are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

I feel there should be a comma or "and" to connect the two sections

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure, and whose families have a history of high blood pressure, are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2010, 23:25
I dont think we need a COMMA before AND. As per your reasoning ", and whose" is incorrectly modifying the young ppl and also we have two clauses while the second has be an dependent clause.

If you read the last non-underlined part, we have a comparison - are more likely than others. For this likely than others, we need the plural subject modified by some characteristics, which is in B.

I think if we have COMMA before and after the entire part in B then that will be correctly modified correct answer:

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure, whose families have a history of high blood pressure, are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.


gmattokyo wrote:
Can you please let us know the source of the SC. Also underlying the sentence in the Q would help us :)

IMO, even with OA B (which looks the best among options), it doesn't look correct:

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure whose families have a history of high blood pressure are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

I feel there should be a comma or "and" to connect the two sections

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure, and whose families have a history of high blood pressure, are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2012, 07:53
E: young people with higher-than-average blood pressure with a history of high blood pressure running in their family....

Option E seems to nonsensically imply that blood pressure has a history of high blood pressure
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2012, 10:24
is adding "And " to the choice E would have made it OA as well ?

Andwith a history of high blood pressure running in their family
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2012, 10:37
I'm not sure but I would guess its still not the best choice and my reasoning is that "and" would try and make the phrases parallel but the phrase after the "and"(a history of high blood pressure) would be a prepositional phrase while the phrase before the "and" (higher-than-average blood pressure) is not.

On a different note, Shraddha, isn't 'runs/running in the family an idiomatic phrase?
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2012, 11:11
Hi @vishu1414,

The sentence will read as follows if we add “and” before “with”:

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure and with a history of high blood pressure running in their family are more likely than others to develop a severe form of the condition.

The answer will still not be correct because the problem of “running” still persists. Also “and” introduces a list in the sentence. The sentence now talks about two kinds of young people – first kind with higher-than-average blood pressure and the second kind with the history of blood pressure in the family. This certainly is not the intended meaning.

@macjas:
The correct “idiom” is “run/running in the family” alright. But when we use the term history, we say that “he has a history of heart disease in his family”. We do not use “run/running” with history. We can say: Heart diseases run in his family, OR His family has the history of heart diseases.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2012, 02:58
Hey Shraddha thanks for the input. I do have another question about E though.

Concerning the word "with" in the context of the sentence:

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure with a history of high blood pressure running in their family

Does "with" refer back to "young people" or "higher-than-average blood pressure". I don't know if this is a matter of grammar or logic?
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2012, 05:21
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(A) and their families have a history of high blood pressure ; The choice is trying to connect a phrase and an IC (the Main Clause) with a co-ordinating conjunction : one can join only two parallel factors with “and”

(B) whose families have a history of high blood pressure; correct choice; whose modifies the young people rightly, the intervening prepositional phrase is an essential modifier. Please note that pressure cannot have families. Hence, it is logical that whose modifies the somewhat distant people, rather than the proximate but singular pressure.

(C) and a history of high blood pressure runs in the family; same error as in A

(D) whose families have a history of high blood pressure running in; ‘them’ is ambiguous. Does it refer to families or peoole?

(E) with a history of high blood pressure running in their family; The most glaring bad logic is to say that all the young people have one family rather than families.
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Re: Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2012, 07:45
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macjas wrote:
Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure with a history of high blood pressure running in their family

Does "with" refer back to "young people" or "higher-than-average blood pressure". I don't know if this is a matter of grammar or logic?


Hi macjas,

Studies show that young people with higher-than-average blood pressure with a history of high blood pressure running in their family…

If we write the sentence this way, then the second “with” will modify the preceding noun “blood pressure”. Now noun modifiers can modify a little far away noun. However, the prepositional phrases do not qualify in this category. They generally cannot jump over the preceding prepositional phrase to modify the noun. Hence, sentence written this way will be incorrect.

If the second prepositional phrase with “with” is also meant to modify “young people”, then we can add “and” before the second “with”. This way we will introduce a list and both the prepositional phrases will refer to “young people”.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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