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The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of

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GMAT 1: 560 Q38 V29
The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2018, 15:12
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62% (00:59) correct 38% (01:24) wrong based on 203 sessions

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The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of Washington and enabled by the replication of Martian soil, was a follow-on to earlier NASA challenges, for asking researchers to show that earthworms could live in highly alkaline environments.

a. was a follow-on to earlier NASA challenges, for asking

b. were follow-ons to an earlier NASA challenge, which asked

c. were follow-ons to an earlier NASA challenge, for

d. was a follow-on to an earlier NASA challenge, for

e. was a follow-on to an earlier NASA challenge, which asked

Interesting one... couldn't crack it at first hand.
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The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2018, 15:42
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Hi PaterD,

Thank you for your question. When looking over each possible answer quickly, it's clear there are a couple glaring differences between each answer:

1. starting with was/were
2. ending with for/for asking/which asked

Let's start with was/were. This word is referring back to a singular "experiment," so we should only keep answers that use the singular "was." Therefore, we can rule out answers B & C because they use the plural "were," which is wrong.

Now that we have A, D, & E left, let's tackle the ending of each:

A: for asking
This one is wrong because it doesn't follow parallel format for verb tenses. The experiment was conducted in the past, so it needs to have a past tense verb to match.

D: for
Whenever we use a comma + for, we're saying that "for" is being used as a conjunction (it means the same thing as "because"). Since we cannot replace "for" with "because" and have it still make sense, this one is incorrect.

E: which asked
This one is correct because saying "which asked" tells readers the phrase is just giving us more information about what the experiment required. You could easily take this phrase out of the sentence and it wouldn't change the overall meaning, and it is written to clearly show it's just adding non-essential information. Therefore, it's correct.
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Re: The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 22:11
Explanation and errors:
The experiment[subject], conducted by exobiology students at the University of Washington and enabled by the replication of Martian soil, was[verb/past tense] a follow-on to earlier NASA challenges, for asking researchers to show that earthworms could live in highly alkaline environments.

[for asking researchers to show that earthworms could live in highly alkaline environments.] This is a modifier because it provides additional information about NASA challenges. But the verb tense is wrong here. [For asking] indicates that the action is still in present tense. But [could] gives us a hint that it is in past.

Could is used to express possibility or past ability as well as to make suggestions and requests.

Hence A is incorrect

B and C : [were] is wrong because our subject [the experiment] is singular.

D: [For] is used to provide show a reason or cause
Example 1: The town is famous for its cathedral.
The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of Washington and enabled by the replication of Martian soil, was a follow-on to an earlier NASA challenge, for researchers to show that earthworms could live in highly alkaline environments.
This means the experiment was conducted for researchers to show that earthworms could live in highly alkaline environment. This is not what the original sentence conveys. Hence this option is incorrect.

E: [Which asked] : correctly refers to NASA challenges. Hence correctly acts as an non-essential modifier. Correct.
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Re: The experiment, conducted by exobiology students at the University of   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2018, 22:11
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