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The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject

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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question No.: 735

The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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AbdurRakib wrote:
The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to

Dear AbdurRakib,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is an excellent question about Edward Jenner (1749-1823), the man who conceived of the idea of vaccines.

This has a relatively straightforward solution.

Split #1: verb form
The first action, "if experimental subjects were . . . infected" is in the subjunctive. We have to match this in the second clause. The present "they are" or "they become" are out. The past tense "they became" is a little closer, but the only one that is correct, also in the subjunctive, is "they would become."

Split #2: idiom
The correct idiom is "immune to," whereas "immune from" is 100% incorrect.

Because of both of these splits, the only possible answer is (E).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 23:05
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Imo E
Correct idiom is immune to
This is a conditional sentence so we have to use conditional structure for past .
Example
I am immune to insults or flattery .

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The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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Easy one.

If (simple past) , then (either simple past if event is fact / habit)
OR
If (simple past) , then (would +verb) in case of uncertainty.

Also causing in incorrectly used verb-ing modifier.
We need relative pronoun which to refer to
noun cowpox.
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The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 20:07
The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to

Its a Hypothetical case construction in which if "IF" part contains past tense then "Then" part must contain Would. only option with would is E.
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2017, 09:07
I may be a little off on my basics here, but can someone please clarify the use of 'which' in the correct option:

The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to smallpox.

As per my understanding, 'which' is supposed to clarify the closest noun, i.e. 'cowpox', but then this would mean that the cowpox caused only a mild illness, and not the act of deliberately infecting experimental subjects.
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The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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mikemcgarry wrote:
Split #2: idiom
The correct idiom is "immune to," whereas "immune from" is 100% incorrect.


Hi Mike! Hope you've been well. :)

I thought it might be worthwhile clarifying your comment here, because it might sound like a statement of a general rule. It can definitely sometimes be correct to say "immune from". In a legal context, it is the only correct idiom:

"In Country X, diplomats are immune from prosecution for minor offenses"

Here, it would not be idiomatic to say "immune to". In the question in the original post above though, when talking about infection or disease, "immune to" is always correct. In other situations, I think either usage can be fine. Googling quickly, I saw a headline that read something like "Wall Street is not immune from the effects of the financial crisis", and there it seems to me "immune to" and "immune from" would both be acceptable.
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2017, 02:13
Hi ameyaprabhu

Quote:
and not the act of deliberately infecting experimental subjects.


What do you mean by this? Could you elaborate further?
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2017, 04:29
adkikani wrote:
Hi ameyaprabhu

Quote:
and not the act of deliberately infecting experimental subjects.


What do you mean by this? Could you elaborate further?


My confusion is with what is 'which' modifying here, or what is it that "caused only a mild illness": - did cowpox cause a mild illness, or is it when experimental subjects were deliberately infected caused a mild illness?
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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hi ameyaprabhu

I am not expert,but let me share my two cents.

By default, which and that
are noun modifiers and shall obey touch rule,
simply meaning the noun they modify must be placed as close as possible.

You may check an article by GMATNinja here

There are few exceptions as mentioned in above post. Do try to search for another
noun for which / that to modify only when closest noun does not make sense as in few OG examples in above post.

Coming to your query, I do not see a reason for which to jump over cowpox and modify experimental subjects.
Here if you read sentence closely - cowpox makes lots more sense to cause mild illness than any other noun.

Let me know if this helps!

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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2017, 22:19
mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to

Dear AbdurRakib,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is an excellent question about Edward Jenner (1749-1823), the man who conceived of the idea of vaccines.

This has a relatively straightforward solution.

Split #1: verb form
The first action, "if experimental subjects were . . . infected" is in the subjunctive. We have to match this in the second clause. The present "they are" or "they become" are out. The past tense "they became" is a little closer, but the only one that is correct, also in the subjunctive, is "they would become."

Split #2: idiom
The correct idiom is "immune to," whereas "immune from" is 100% incorrect.

Because of both of these splits, the only possible answer is (E).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)




Hi Experts,

I have one question regarding the if then construction here. I understand the if ... were injected warrants a "would be" tense in the sentence when there is uncertainty. Do you happen to know what introduces uncertainty. I often times get confused with this because when I see an if statement I always assume uncertainty and dont ever see generality.
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The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to


The past tense "they became" is a little closer, but the only one that is correct, also in the subjunctive, is "they would become."

The correct idiom is "immune to," whereas "immune from" is 100% incorrect.


Hey mikemcgarry,

Thank you for the detailed explanation of the question! Follow up query: isn't the past tense "they became immune" acceptable in this sentence? Because this research took place in the past, this situation is not hypothetical (necessitating the subjunctive), but rather conditional.

If he infected subjects with cowpox (and he did), then the subjects became immune to smallpox.

Here's a similar example:

Quote:
Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.

(A) if Freud was to be allowed
(B) if Freud were allowed
(C) should Freud be allowed
(D) if they will allow Freud
(E) should allowance be made for Freud


The OA is (A) because, from a historically factual standpoint, Freud was and was always going to be allowed to leave Vienna - the Nazis just wanted the ransom first.

In our example with Jenner, of course, "would become" in choice (E) is acceptable, and (D) can be ruled out because of the unidiomatic use of "immune from." But I would argue that simple past tense in (D) would be preferred if not for the idiomatic error later in the sentence.
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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NicoleJaneway wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they would become immune to


The past tense "they became" is a little closer, but the only one that is correct, also in the subjunctive, is "they would become."

The correct idiom is "immune to," whereas "immune from" is 100% incorrect.


Hey mikemcgarry,

Thank you for the detailed explanation of the question! Follow up query: isn't the past tense "they became immune" acceptable in this sentence? Because this research took place in the past, this situation is not hypothetical (necessitating the subjunctive), but rather conditional.

If he infected subjects with cowpox (and he did), then the subjects became immune to smallpox.

Here's a similar example:

Quote:
Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.

(A) if Freud was to be allowed
(B) if Freud were allowed
(C) should Freud be allowed
(D) if they will allow Freud
(E) should allowance be made for Freud


The OA is (A) because, from a historically factual standpoint, Freud was and was always going to be allowed to leave Vienna - the Nazis just wanted the ransom first.

In our example with Jenner, of course, "would become" in choice (E) is acceptable, and (D) can be ruled out because of the unidiomatic use of "immune from." But I would argue that simple past tense in (D) would be preferred if not for the idiomatic error later in the sentence.

Dear NicoleJaneway,

I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, I commend you for asking a very intelligent and thoughtful question. :-)

In the first sentence about Jenner, the tense in the OA is necessary to indicate a time lag. We don't use this kind of inoculation any more, but if we did, inoculating someone today would mean that this person would become immune, not today, but in a few days. It's not instantaneous, and this time lag is significant to the situation.

Here's the sentence, as you suggest, with the simple past:
The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they became immune to smallpox.
Technically, the implication of this is that getting the inoculation of cowpox and becoming immune to smallpox are absolutely simultaneous, as if the inoculation has an instantaneous body-wide effect, quicker than lightning. That's not consistent with the meaning of the situation and not realistic at all. Part of the information in the sentence is the time lag between these two events, and we need the conditional "would become" to indicate this.

In a way, what follows the verb "found" is a kind of indirect speech, and so we need to use the rules for sequences of tenses. Again, these rules would favor the use of the conditional over the simple past.

The other sentence, about Freud, is not quite the same. Here, there was no meaningful time lag. In other words, the Nazi's getting the ransom cash in their hot little hands and the granting of the permission for Freud to leave essentially would be simultaneous. For all intents and purposes, there was no meaningful time lag between these two events, so the verb is under no obligation to hold any kind of information about a time lag. That's why we the simple past is enough here.

My intelligent friend, does this make sense? I will be happy to answer any further questions you have or to listen to any additional points you would like to make.

Mike :-)
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject [#permalink]

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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question No.: 735

The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox, which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from smallpox.

A. which caused only a mild illness, they are immune from
B. causing only a mild illness, they become immune from
C. which causes only a mild illness, they are immune to
D. causing only a mild illness, they became immune from
E. which caused only a mild illness, they [color=#0000ff]would[/color] become immune to


With conditional sentences, we typically need only match up the tenses .

1st conditional:
If (simple present) then simple future
If something happens then something else will happen
EXAMPLES:
If Barb sells her car, then she will buy a scooter.
If you touch Neil’s feet, he will cry.

2nd conditional:
If (simple past) then (clause beginning with would)
If something happened then something would happen
EXAMPLES:
If Barb sold her car, then she would buy a scooter.
If you touched Neil’s feet, he would cry.

3rd conditional:
If (past perfect) then (clause beginning with would have)
If something had happened then something would have happened
EXAMPLES:
If Barb had sold her car, then she would have bought a scooter.
If you had touched Neil’s feet, he would have cried.

The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subjects were deliberately infected with cowpox...
Here we have the simple past tense were infected (i.e., 2nd conditional), so we need the second half of this conditional to have a clause beginning with would
Only answer choice E has this structure.

Cheers,
Brent
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Re: The English physician Edward Jenner found that if experimental subject   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2017, 15:18
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