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# Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit

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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2019, 23:35
1
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Even though the stats for this question show it's a tricky one, we can narrow down to the right option by exploiting the error type clues.

Let's start by looking at the differences in the options:

1. that is so saturated / saturated enough
2. acquires / to acquire
3. character / characteristics

Verb tenses are often an easy place to start narrowing down options, so definitely let's start by tackling #2 on our list: acquires vs. to acquire.

When we use the to+verb combination, it implies intention. This means that when we say the sand wants "to acquire" the characteristics of water, it is a thinking, breathing, intentional being that chooses to go out and get the characteristics of water. We know that sand isn't a living thing that has intentions of its own. Therefore, it isn't appropriate to say "to acquire." Here are some examples:

I want to acquire the rights to that song for my movie. = CORRECT (I'm a person with thoughts and intentions, so it's okay.)

The chair is so short as to acquire the perfect balance for short children. = WRONG (A chair can't want "to acquire" balance from somewhere - it's either balanced or it's not. The chair can't decide for itself what it wants to be!)

The school acquires new students every fall. = CORRECT (Just saying "acquires" doesn't imply intention is involved. It just happens, so it's okay.)

Now, let's use that understanding and we'll be able to decimate the incorrect options. Check it out:

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

There we have it. The only answer that doesn't imply that sand or quicksand "chooses" to take on the characteristics of a liquid is answer B.

Don’t study for the GMAT. Train for it.

hello sir , doesn't the phrase " so saturated with water " in both option (A) and (B) implies we are doing it on purpose / or some external agent is doing it , like we say for any scientific process , for e.g. : metal surface is bombarded with photons excite the electrons , my point is all scientific processes that are carried by external agent are on a purpose and here quicksand is developed artificially , on purpose , so why are thinking of it as sand's intention , that is naturally not implied
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2019, 15:57
siddharth19 wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Even though the stats for this question show it's a tricky one, we can narrow down to the right option by exploiting the error type clues.

Let's start by looking at the differences in the options:

1. that is so saturated / saturated enough
2. acquires / to acquire
3. character / characteristics

Verb tenses are often an easy place to start narrowing down options, so definitely let's start by tackling #2 on our list: acquires vs. to acquire.

When we use the to+verb combination, it implies intention. This means that when we say the sand wants "to acquire" the characteristics of water, it is a thinking, breathing, intentional being that chooses to go out and get the characteristics of water. We know that sand isn't a living thing that has intentions of its own. Therefore, it isn't appropriate to say "to acquire." Here are some examples:

I want to acquire the rights to that song for my movie. = CORRECT (I'm a person with thoughts and intentions, so it's okay.)

The chair is so short as to acquire the perfect balance for short children. = WRONG (A chair can't want "to acquire" balance from somewhere - it's either balanced or it's not. The chair can't decide for itself what it wants to be!)

The school acquires new students every fall. = CORRECT (Just saying "acquires" doesn't imply intention is involved. It just happens, so it's okay.)

Now, let's use that understanding and we'll be able to decimate the incorrect options. Check it out:

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

There we have it. The only answer that doesn't imply that sand or quicksand "chooses" to take on the characteristics of a liquid is answer B.

Don’t study for the GMAT. Train for it.

hello sir , doesn't the phrase " so saturated with water " in both option (A) and (B) implies we are doing it on purpose / or some external agent is doing it , like we say for any scientific process , for e.g. : metal surface is bombarded with photons excite the electrons , my point is all scientific processes that are carried by external agent are on a purpose and here quicksand is developed artificially , on purpose , so why are thinking of it as sand's intention , that is naturally not implied

Hello siddharth19!

Great question! The phrase "so saturated with water" isn't implying that it was done on purpose. It's implying that the sand is saturated with an exceptionally large amount of water. It's the same as saying "the sad was saturated with so much water."

I hope that helps! Keep tagging me at EMPOWERgmatVerbal if you have any other questions!
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2020, 23:38
1
Hi experts / egmat,

There has been a lot of varying discussions on this question. I have two questions:

1) I'm still a little confused on how the two idioms "so...as to..." and "so...that.." is different. Can you please clarify?
2) OG 2019 gives the following explanation of why Option A is wrong:

The matter of degree in this option is introduced with the word so, which is used to indicate that the relevant degree of saturation will be specified with a clause that states a condition-a statement that includes both a subject and a verb-that implies a certain degree of saturation. Lacking a subject, this sentence fails to state a clear condition.

Honestly, I'm having trouble comprehending what the explanation means. Would love your help! Thanks.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2020, 01:06
2
2
Soubhik_Bardhan wrote:
Hi experts / egmat,

There has been a lot of varying discussions on this question. I have two questions:

1) I'm still a little confused on how the two idioms "so...as to..." and "so...that.." is different. Can you please clarify?
2) OG 2019 gives the following explanation of why Option A is wrong:

The matter of degree in this option is introduced with the word so, which is used to indicate that the relevant degree of saturation will be specified with a clause that states a condition-a statement that includes both a subject and a verb-that implies a certain degree of saturation. Lacking a subject, this sentence fails to state a clear condition.

Honestly, I'm having trouble comprehending what the explanation means. Would love your help! Thanks.

Hi Soubhik, in general, whenever the intent is to express a result (of a condition), then so...that should be preferred.

Mike runs so fast that he defeats all his classmates by a comfortable margin.

Condition: Mike runs very fast

Result: he defeats all his classmates by a comfortable margin.

On the other hand, if the intent is to redefine/re-articulate a condition, then so as to is preferred:

The Emperor Augustus, it appears, commissioned an idealized sculpture portrait, the features of which are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an "artificial face."

Condition: features of portrait are so unrealistic

Redefinition of that condition: features of portrait constitute what one scholar calls an "artificial face."
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2020, 07:06
[quote="Bunuel"]Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character (Meaning)

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics (enough is required to be placed before water)

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid (Meaning)

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character (Idiom error so....that is correct)
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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21 May 2020, 21:03
daagh wrote:
Technically, “quicksand” is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

A. that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character--- more ideal than B as it avoids the prickly pronoun issue.

B. that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid-- 'it' may refer to either the term quicksand or just sand.

C. that is saturated with water enough to acquire the liquid characteristics --- Liquid characteristics means different from the character of a liquid.

D. saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid--- so as to acquire in a stretch isn't acceptable. 'So adjective as to' is the correct idiom.

E. saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character-- liquid character changes the meaning.

I agree with you the pronoun "it" is confusing in option B

in the answer choice B. It can even refer to the water. Moreover, it is hinting towards water as per the pronoun touch rule.

Why is this answer choice B correct with an ambiguous pronoun ?
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Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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22 May 2020, 10:58
Quote:
Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.
(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics
(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid
(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

GMATNinja wrote:
Pronoun ambiguity isn't automatically wrong on the GMAT -- for more on that, check out this video.

Looking at the three possible antecedents you mentioned (sand, water, and quicksand), which one makes the most sense? Can a term ("quicksand") acquire the character of a liquid? Can water, which is already a liquid, acquire the character of a liquid? It's pretty clear from the meaning that "it" refers to "sand", and since the pronoun and antecedent are both singular, the pronoun doesn't seem like a huge problem.

GMATNinja
Sir, if term could refer to someone in the following official question, why term can't 'acquire the character of a liquid?' Could you share your thought, sir?
Here is the official question:
Quote:
Although the term “psychopath”is popularly applied to an especially brutal criminal, in psychology it is someone who is apparently incapable of feeling compassion or the pangs of conscience.

(A) it is someone who is
(B) it is a person
(C) they are people who are
(D) it refers to someone who is
(E) it is in reference to people

^^ the correct choice is D for this question.

EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
There we have it. The only answer that doesn't imply that sand or quicksand "chooses" to take on the characteristics of a liquid is answer B.
Don’t study for the GMAT. Train for it.

AjiteshArun wrote:
maaariflo wrote:
I was between A and B - my reasoning for eliminating B was the it. Looking at potential antecedents I saw: water and sand. Therefore, I deemed option B as confusing for having that specific pronoun. Can you guys help me understand whether there's a pronoun ambiguity in this question?

Thanks!
It's reasonably easy for the reader to understand that the it refers to sand. However, pronoun ambiguity is not usually a massive problem, and you generally don't want to remove an option just because it contains an ambiguous pronoun, unless you've already checked the other options for "bigger" errors. In other words, it is possible for an option that is ambiguous to be correct.

daagh wrote:
Technically, “quicksand” is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.
A. that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character--- more ideal than B as it avoids the prickly pronoun issue.
B. that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid-- 'it' may refer to either the term quicksand or just sand.

EMPOWERgmatVerbal, AjiteshArun, daagh
Hello,
I am bit confused after reading these explanation..
The choice B says:
Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid.
It seems that 'quicksand' can be saturated with water. So, the antecedent of IT should be 'quicksand'. How 'sand' is saturated with water? Could you clarify the highlighted part, please?

Hope you are passing good time in this pandemic! And thanks for the help in my study.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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28 May 2020, 23:51
Definition: So X as to Y" means something is SO (big, strong, slow, whatever, but something kind of extreme) that it actually causes something else to happen - something that wouldn't ordinarily happen

in so x as to verb y, "X to verb y” part indicates the extent of x.

1. the examples you have mentioned have "so X(adjective) to Y". Adjective makes sense to show extension of the meaning .
room is so dark as to appear black - Correct
he is so dark as to appear black - Correct
(dark appears like black. extension of dark meaning)

2. If verb then how a non-living thing can take action or show any purpose.the purpose must be denoted by a living thing.

He has so stretched out the cloth so as to tear it.- Correct
(stretched action ; tear action - done by him on cloth-has some purpose-make sense)

Cloth is so stretched out as to torn- WRONG
(stretched action ; tear action - can not be done by cloth itself - doesn't make sense)
(who torn - subject is not clear)- see below question

Cloth is so stretched out that it is torn- Correct
room becomes so dark that it appears black.- Correct

Similarly , sand is so saturated with water as to acquire- should be wrong in options A, C, D and E

Another similar question:
Congress is debating a bill requiring certain employers provide workers with unpaid leave so as to care for sick or newborn children.

(A) provide workers with unpaid leave so as to

(B) to provide workers with unpaid leave so as to

(C) provide workers with unpaid leave in order that they

(D) to provide workers with unpaid leave so that they can

(E) provide workers with unpaid leave and

between choice B and D, B doesn't make sense ( to provide so as to care- who cares subject is not mentioned)
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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29 May 2020, 07:39
GMATGuruNY

Quote:
There are several reasons to eliminate A and choose B.

so X as to Y implies that Y SEEMS TO BE TRUE.
Official examples:
Climatic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable from ordinary fluctuations in the weather.
The features of the idealized sculpture portrait are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an "artificial face."
In each case, the blue portion is something that SEEMS TO BE TRUE about the preceding subject in red.

so X that Y implies that Y ACTUALLY HAPPENS.
An official example:
Everyday life is so brisk that it hampers the ability of some children to distinguishing discrete sounds.
Here, the blue portion is something that ACTUALLY HAPPENS -- an action that is actually performed by the preceding subject in red.

A key difference between the two idioms:
Whereas in the second idiom Y can serve to express an actual action, in the first idiom it cannot.
In the first idiom, Y must serve to express not an actual action but something that merely SEEMS TO BE TRUE about the preceding subject.

A: so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
Here, so X as to Y incorrectly serves to express the action in red.
As noted above, Y in this idiom must serve to express not an actual action but something that merely seems to be true about the preceding subject.

Moreover, the usage of so X as to Y implies that the portion in red does not actually happen.
Not the intended meaning.
A person can DROWN in quicksand.
Thus, quicksand actually DOES acquire the character of a liquid.
To express this meaning, we should use so X that Y, as in the OA:
"Quicksand"...is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid.

Another issue:

A dog's eyes can reveal much about its temperament.
Here, the phrase in blue implies that every dog has UNIQUE eyes -- eyes that can reveal much about the dog's temperament.

A: a liquid's character
This phrase seems to imply that every liquid has a UNIQUE character.
Not the intended meaning.
The intention here is to discuss the general nature of any given liquid.
The OA correctly expresses this meaning:
"Quicksand"... is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid.
Here, THE CHARACTER of a liquid = the general nature of any given liquid.

For all these reasons, eliminate A.

This is a very believable reason of opting B than A.

However I saw a similar question with a sentence where "so X that Y" option was rejected.

Correct Sentence goes like this:-

Immanuel's writings are characterized by sentences so dense and convulated as to pose a significant hurdle for many readers.

here Y = pose a significant hurdle for many readers. --> doesn't seem to fit the SEEMS TO BE TRUE

Could you please help me in understanding how the above sentence is correct and is accepted rather than so X that Y?
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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29 May 2020, 11:36
1
rsrighosh wrote:
I saw a similar question with a sentence where "so X that Y" option was rejected.

Correct Sentence goes like this:-

Immanuel's writings are characterized by sentences so dense and convulated as to pose a significant hurdle for many readers.

here Y = pose a significant hurdle for many readers. --> doesn't seem to fit the SEEMS TO BE TRUE

Could you please help me in understanding how the above sentence is correct and is accepted rather than so X that Y?

The SC comes from Veritas:
A: Immanuel Kant’s writings are characterized by sentences so dense and convoluted as to pose a significant hurdle for many readers who study his works.
C: Immanuel Kant’s writings are characterized by sentences so dense and convoluted that they posed a significant hurdle for many readers who study his works.

In C, the mix of past tense (posed) and present tense (study) is illogical.
Eliminate C.
Option A can be interpreted as follows:
Immanuel Kant’s writings are characterized by sentences so dense that they seem to pose a significant hurdle for many readers.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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30 May 2020, 00:13
What is the difference between the SO x as to Y and SO x that y idiomatic expressions,
how to decide which one to go with. Does this two idiomatic expressions convey the same meaning and can these expressions be used interchangably?
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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31 May 2020, 10:49
2
Quote:
Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.
(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics
(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid
(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

GMATNinja wrote:
Pronoun ambiguity isn't automatically wrong on the GMAT -- for more on that, check out this video.

Looking at the three possible antecedents you mentioned (sand, water, and quicksand), which one makes the most sense? Can a term ("quicksand") acquire the character of a liquid? Can water, which is already a liquid, acquire the character of a liquid? It's pretty clear from the meaning that "it" refers to "sand", and since the pronoun and antecedent are both singular, the pronoun doesn't seem like a huge problem.

GMATNinja
Sir, if term could refer to someone in the following official question, why term can't 'acquire the character of a liquid?' Could you share your thought, sir?
Here is the official question:
Quote:
Although the term “psychopath”is popularly applied to an especially brutal criminal, in psychology it is someone who is apparently incapable of feeling compassion or the pangs of conscience.

(A) it is someone who is
(B) it is a person
(C) they are people who are
(D) it refers to someone who is
(E) it is in reference to people

^^ the correct choice is D for this question.
...

A "term" can certainly refer to something or someone. In fact, that's exactly what a term does, by definition!

But that does not mean that the term, itself, has all of the same characteristics of that something or someone. In other words, a "term" can refer to a person, but that doesn't mean that the "term" and the person are exactly the same thing -- one is the actual thing, and the other (the term) is a word or phrase that simply refers to that person.

Similarly, a "term" can refer to a liquid, but that doesn't mean that the "term" itself can acquire the character of a liquid.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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31 May 2020, 18:05
PS, An Obvious thing : To improve yourself in SC, REVIEW every mistake in every answer choice after you attempt a problem.

Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.
A beautiful Problem which teaches so much about idioms.
One explanation is based on the idiom “to + verb ”.Whenever we use “”, it shows an intent by the Subject .
Here, Sand is a non-living thing so it can’t really have the intention. Hence, all options other than B are incorrect.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
A liquid’s character is incorrect as it points to something unique about every liquid and we want to indicate a general property of a liquid.
So X as to Y is incorrect here.
The Idiom “So X as to Y” indicates the Y option SEEMS to be True but isn’t actually true. This is certainly not the case here As the sand REALLY acquires the character of a liquid.

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
Best of All.

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid.
“So as to ” idiom is used to show purpose. Incorrect usage of the idiom.

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character.
A liquid character is incorrect as it points to something unique about every liquid and we want to indicate a general property of a liquid.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2020, 05:50
This is easy as well as tricky question

to + verb - always shows intention and sand is not a living organism to show intention.

only correct option - B
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2020, 05:44
Hello honorable experts,
VeritasPrepHailey, AnthonyRitz

Can you explain the meaning of the following versions?
1/ Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid.
2/ Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water that it acquires a liquid's character.
3/ Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water that it acquires a liquid's character.

Can we write the number 2 and 3 as a legit sentences for this official SC?

Quote:
Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics
(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid
(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

The correct choice is
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2020, 18:06
Bunuel wrote:
Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

NEW question from GMAT® Official Guide 2019

(SC00971)

Can I ask a silly question ? GMATNinja

Why is the second "that" not referring to the closest noun "water"?

Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2020, 18:06

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