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The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of

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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 16:52
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varotkorn This is definitely a preference, not a rule, and it's all about clarity of meaning. If I say "She told her" or "it ate it" or "they loved them," and it's 100% clear what each of those pronouns refers to, then there's no problem at all. For instance, "I bought cookies for my nephews and nieces and they loved them." Do you have any doubt that this means that both my nephews and nieces loved the cookies? If I meant anything else, such as that only my nieces loved them, or that the cookies loved the people(!), I'd need to rephrase to make my meaning more clear.

What the GMAT will do, however, is repeat a pronoun in such a way that we'd EXPECT it to refer to one thing, when the meaning requires it to refer to something else. That's where we tend to get into trouble. For instance, in the question linked below, the structure leads in B and C leads us to expect that "their" refers to the same thing (prices) as "they" does.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/while-depres ... l#p2530836

On the other hand, in this next question, it's perfectly clear that "their" and "they" refer to different things in the OA, so yes, there's our official confirmation that this can fly on the GMAT.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/especially-i ... l#p1697230
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The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 20:40
Dear DmitryFarber,

Thank you for your explanation and example sir!

If there are multiple instances of "IT" in a sentence, is it a RULE that those "IT"s refer to the same noun?
In other words, is it possible that first IT refers to X and second IT refers to Y?

If possible, could you give an example of Official questions for the same. :please: :please: :please:

BTW, I've attached a picture from MGMAT SC 6th edition for your reference.
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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2020, 21:35
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I can't supply an official question that switches "it" in this way--the one I sent is the only case I saw in the current OG--but what I said before holds just the same for "it" as for any other pronoun. We have to use context and meaning, and of course we have to work with the available choices. We can't simply cut anything that switches the antecedent.

As for the quote from our guide, we appear to have softened the language in our latest All the Verbal guide (we turned must into should and took out the "unacceptable" part). But even for the edition you're looking at, context is important. Note that this excerpt is under the heading "Some Ambiguity Is Acceptable" and begins with "in theory"! This is definitely not a rule. Honestly, absolute rules are much rarer in English usage than most people would like to think!
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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2020, 04:21
DmitryFarber wrote:
On the other hand, in this next question, it's perfectly clear that "their" and "they" refer to different things in the OA, so yes, there's our official confirmation that this can fly on the GMAT.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/especially-i ... l#p1697230

And this OA as well... :)
Quote:
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite's hosts for part of its life cycle.

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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2020, 03:12
What is 'it' and 'its' referring back to- Structure or compound eye? If its eye then clearly a pronoun (it) is not referring back to the subject of the previous clause (Structure).
Also is ' having hundreds.....ommatidia' modifier correct and what is it modifying? And what is 'with..ommatidia' modifying?
Kindly explain the scenario here.
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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2020, 06:03
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milanshivhare007 wrote:
What is 'it' and 'its' referring back to- Structure or compound eye? If its eye then clearly a pronoun (it) is not referring back to the subject of the previous clause (Structure).

Good questions!

You could make an argument for either "structure of the eye" or "eye" as the referent for "it." Either captures the idea that a larger eye is comprised of lots of smaller eyes. No need to waste any time or brain cells puzzling over which is better. It's not a clear error, so we should move on to other issues.

Also, there's no rule that a pronoun has to refer to the subject of a clause. You might be thinking of the case when the pronoun is itself the subject of an independent clause. In that instance, sure, the subject of the previous clause is the most logical place to look for the referent. But that's not an ironclad rule. And more importantly, in answer choice (E), both pronouns are parts of modifiers rather than subjects of independent clauses, so we're dealing with a different type of construction.

Quote:
Also is ' having hundreds.....ommatidia' modifier correct and what is it modifying? And what is 'with..ommatidia' modifying?

I don't love "having" here, as it kind of makes it sound as though the larger eye possesses the smaller eyes, the way, say, a person might have an old Buick. But I wouldn't say it's wrong and wouldn't be comfortable eliminating (A) and (B) for this reason. Both options have a more concrete error:

In (A), we have subject-verb disagreement: "the intricate structure... help."

And in (B), the phrase, "helps explain why scientists have assumed that they evolved independently of the vertebrate eye," gives the impression that the scientists have evolved independently of the vertebrate eye. While it is undoubtedly true that the evolutionary path for scientists is not identical to the one for the vertebrate eye, it makes far more sense to compare the evolution of the insect eye to the evolution of the vertebrate eye, and that's the comparison we get in (E).

I hope that helps!
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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2020, 17:30
The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, help explain why scientists have assumed that it evolved independently of the vertebrate eye.

Lets analyze each & every part of the sentence.

* Subject Verb Agreement

[ "intricate structure - help" ; "scientists - have assumed" ; "it - evolved"]
- All subjects have verb pair but in "intricate structure - help" singular subject "Intricate" has plural verb " help". Incorrect.

* Tense Form

[ Present & Past Tense]
- Used tense conveys logical intended meaning. Correct.

* If-then Condition

- not used

* Subjunctive Verb

- not used

* Pronoun

[ "it"]
- pronoun "it" has logical antecedent "compound insect eye". Correct.

* Modifier

[ "having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia" modifies "The intricate structure of the compound insect eye"]
- As per the sentence structure,"having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia" modifies the whole clause "The intricate structure of the compound insect eye" which makes illogical.
"having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia" should modify only "compound insect eye". Incorrect.

* Parallelism

- not used

* Comparison

- not used

* Idioms

- seems okay.

While analyzing the whole sentence, only Subject Verb agreement & Modifier error are identified.

(A) having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, help explain why scientists have assumed that it

1. Subject Verb Agreement error; "help" is plural verb for the singular subject " intricate structure"
2. Modifier error ; "having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia" modifying the whole clause.

- Incorrect.


(B) having hundreds of miniature eyes that are called ommatidia, helps explain why scientists have assumed that they

1. Modifier error
2. Pronoun error; "they" is plural and antecedent is singular.

- Incorrect


(C) with its hundreds of miniature eyes that are called ommatidia, helps explain scientists' assuming that they

- Pronoun error; "they" is plural and antecedent is singular.

- Incorrect

(D) with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, help explain scientists' assuming that it

- Subject verb pair agreement error.

- Incorrect.

(E) with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, helps explain why scientists have assumed that it

- it removes the modifying & pronoun error.

- Correct


IMO(E)
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Re: The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of   [#permalink] 27 Jun 2020, 17:30

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