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The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion...

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The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion...  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2013, 03:43
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A
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C
D
E

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Question Stats:

72% (01:08) correct 28% (01:09) wrong based on 248 sessions

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The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion in terms of the release of a “heat substance” from the burning material, but that theory was inconsistent with the increase in mass of the oxides resulting from combustion.

(A) that theory was inconsistent with the increase in mass of the oxides

(B) that theory was inconsistent to the increasing mass of the oxides

(C) that this theory was inconsistent with more mass for the oxides

(D) that this theory was inconsistent for increasing the oxides mass

(E) that theory had inconsistencies in the larger masses of the oxides
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Re: The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion...  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2013, 04:26
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The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion in terms of the release of a “heat substance” from the burning material, but that theory was inconsistent with the increase in mass of the oxides resulting from combustion.

Pre-thinking : The phlogiston theory tried to explain combustion but the theory was inconsistent with a finding.
Notice the usage of comma + but which means we are connecting (in our cases contrasting) two independent clauses (related in ideas)
So, the part after 'but' should be an independent clause.

(A) that theory was inconsistent with the increase in mass of the oxides.
Looks fine as per prethinking. Idiomatic usage of 'inconsistent'.
(B) that theory was inconsistent to the increasing mass of the oxides
Wrong idiom. Something 'inconsistent with' something, is the correct idiom.
(C) that this theory was inconsistent with more mass for the oxides
Isn't a clause. usage of 'for' is wrong.
(D) that this theory was inconsistent for increasing the oxides mass
Isn't a clause. 'inconsistent for' is wrong usage. 'theory' didn't increase the oxides mass.
(E) that theory had inconsistencies in the larger masses of the oxides
'larger masses' is wrong usage. Usage of past perfect tense isn't wrong (states that theory previously had inconsistencies, and currently,the theory attempted to explain..

Additional notes: We are talking about one particular theory. And we are using a co-ordinating conjunction to join independent clauses related in idea. So, even if 'the theory' is used instead of 'that theory', the sentence would still look fine (in fact, 'the theory' is more apt, here)
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Re: The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion...  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 00:57
Split #1: In this sentence, the word “that” is in its role as a demonstrative adjective, so it should simply modify a noun. We don’t need a dependent clause — after the “but“, we simply need another independent clause. Choice (C) & (D) use the word “that” as a subordinate conjunction, which is not appropriate here; those two choices are incorrect.

Split #2: idiom with “inconsistent.” The correct idiom is “inconsistent with.” Choices (B) & (D) & (E) use the wrong idiom and are incorrect.

The only possible answer is choice (A).
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Re: The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion...  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 06:44

Official Explanation


Choice (A) is logically and idiomatically problem-free. This is promising.

Choice (B) has an idiom error: the words “consistent” and “inconsistent” take “with,” not “for.” This choice is incorrect.

Choice (C) has the famous missing verb mistake. After the conjunction “but,” we have a subject “the fact” followed by a noun modifying clause and a participle “resulting,” but not a full verb. This choice is incorrect.

Choice (D) is interesting: it’s 100% grammatically correct, but both awkward and logically flawed. The first part of (D) is simply a long indirect awkward way to convey this information. The end is illogical: it sounds as if the inconsistencies in the theory are the result of combustion! Did someone set this theory on fire? This choice is incorrect.

Choice (E) is too casual and illogical. The theory had inconsistencies “when masses of the oxides increased”—only at those clock times? It was consistent at other times? The casual phrasing illogically implies that the logical consistency of scientific theory is something that changes from one time to the next. This choice is incorrect.

Choice (A) is the only possible answer.
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Re: The Phlogiston theory attempted to explain combustion... &nbs [#permalink] 12 Sep 2018, 06:44
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