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# Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2016, 13:58
1
umg wrote:
jyotsnasarabu wrote:
D) By studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance and also a time-honored experimental subject, the secrets of how embryos develop are beginning to be unraveled by scientists.

I just wana make sure that in D, we have a dangling modifier. I mean making the independent clause Passive doesn't fix that problem.. Right?

Dear umg,

I'm happy to respond. Yes, we have a dangling modifier in (D), because the "secrets of how ..." are not "studying the fruit fly." That is 100% wrong, a profound logical mistake.

The passive construction in the independent clause is lily-livered and indirect. That alone might be enough to doom this choice, but the logical problem with the modifier completely torpedoes it.

Notice, incidentally, if we rearranged the passive to active, we also would solve the modifier problem:
By studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance and also a time-honored experimental subject, scientists are beginning to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.
This would be flawless, but this version is not an answer choice in the question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2016, 01:11
I have a question in option E

The study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

In this, the subject is the study but the modifier "a household nuisance" modifies the fruit fly. Shouldn't this be wrong?
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2016, 05:27
saaror wrote:
I have a question in option E

The study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

In this, the subject is the study but the modifier "a household nuisance" modifies the fruit fly. Shouldn't this be wrong?

It is alright. The standard rule is that a modifier modifies the noun it touches. Here the modifier "a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject" touches "fruit fly" and correctly modifies it. This is a standard placement of modifier.
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23 Oct 2016, 11:22
option E shows the best way in which the modifier and sentence is logical.
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2016, 10:07
saaror wrote:
I have a question in option E

The study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

In this, the subject is the study but the modifier "a household nuisance" modifies the fruit fly. Shouldn't this be wrong?

Dear saaror,

Yes, the Modifier Touch Rule is a very big rule, a very important pattern in grammar. It's important to know this rule and its typical exceptions.

In this particular sentence, the noun modifier is something called an appositive phrase. This kind of noun modifier is a little more likely to follow the strict Touch Rule than are other kinds of noun modifiers.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 06:26
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Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled the secrets of how embryos develop to begin to be unraveled by scientists.

A) Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled the secrets of how embryos develop to begin to be unraveled by scientists.

Wrong - The intended meaning of the sentence is SCIENTISTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO UNRAVEL THE SECRETS. It's not "WHAT THE SECRETS CAN OR CAN NOT DO"

B) By the study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance and also a time-honored experimental subject, it was possible for the secrets of how embryos develop to begin to be unraveled by scientists.

Wrong - Like (A)

C) By studying a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, the fruit fly enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

Wrong - The fly does not study anything.

D) By studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance and also a time-honored experimental subject, the secrets of how embryos develop are beginning to be unraveled by scientists.

Wrong - The secrets do not study anything.

E) The study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

Right - Properly matches the intended meaning of the sentence - SCIENTISTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO UNRAVEL THE SECRETS.
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 09:35
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SISDIT wrote:
Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled the secrets of how embryos develop to begin to be unraveled by scientists.

A) Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled the secrets of how embryos develop to begin to be unraveled by scientists.

Wrong - The intended meaning of the sentence is SCIENTISTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO UNRAVEL THE SECRETS. It's not "WHAT THE SECRETS CAN OR CAN NOT DO"

B) By the study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance and also a time-honored experimental subject, it was possible for the secrets of how embryos develop to begin to be unraveled by scientists.

Wrong - Like (A)

C) By studying a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, the fruit fly enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

Wrong - The fly does not study anything.

D) By studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance and also a time-honored experimental subject, the secrets of how embryos develop are beginning to be unraveled by scientists.

Wrong - The secrets do not study anything.

E) The study of the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experimental subject, has enabled scientists to begin to unravel the secrets of how embryos develop.

Right - Properly matches the intended meaning of the sentence - SCIENTISTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO UNRAVEL THE SECRETS.

Hello SISDIT,

Very good analysis there, I must say. I am glad to see such a meaning-based approach to solve an SC problem.

I would just like to add that Choices B and D can also be rejected for the use of incorrect connector and in place of but.

The original sentence logically explains that a fruit-fly is a household nuisance, a characteristic negative in nature. Then it says that the fruit fly is a time-honored experimental subject, a characteristic positive in nature. Hence, use of but in the original sentence to join these two contrasting characteristics is correct.

With the use of and in choices B and D, this contrast is taken away.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 11:37
Imo E
Option E correctly conveys the intended meaning

Option B is wordy and awkward.
Option C makes the modifier of noun essential but changes meaning.
Option D uses present continuous tense
Option A tells that fruit fly has enables the secrets which is clearly wrong

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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2018, 09:25
Hang Tuah wrote:
Was thinking between D & E

Opted for E coz I thought that D is in passive voice. Any other explanation on why D is wrong? Views appreciated!

A, B, C are definitely wrong due to ambiguity, akward sentence structure, etc.

'By studying the fruit fly' should modify 'Scientists' in option D.
It should have been
'By studying the fruit fly, Scientists....'
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2019, 00:41
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Re: Studying the fruit fly, a household nuisance but a time-honored experi   [#permalink] 01 Feb 2019, 00:41

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