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# The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents,

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The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
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MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Vatsal7794 wrote:
daagh wrote:
My point is: Is there an issue of //ism here? Or are we trying to create a pseudo //ism by fancying something? In matters of list //islm, if you apply a tenet of //ism for one arm, then you must do that for all the rest too. Now in this case, you can not apply //ism of ‘Can be carefully planned’, to ‘weather conditions that cannot be foreseen’ alone. You must also parallelize other arms by saying some thing similar to “accidents that can not be prevented and pilot errors that can not be eliminated” etc” None of the choices does that. So parallelism is not the issue here.

The only difference between B and E is the way the weather conditions have been described. It is a question of idiom. B is better because, it uses the active voice ‘can not be seen’ instead of the passive ‘that are not foreseeable’.

This is simply a question of pronoun error and idiom

AnthonyRitz

Sorry for being bit irritable. Please see the above comment by Daagh Sir. "B is better because, it uses the active voice ‘can not be seen" Because of the bold face I was insisting the first sentence is in the active voice.

"That cannot be foreseen" is an active voice clause.

The subject of the clause is "that." The verb is, essentially, "can."

So, we have the active voice expression "that can (not be foreseen)."

By the way, "that are not foreseeable" is also an active voice expression. So, the difference cited in the above post by daagh does not exist.

Strong disagree, sorry Marty. This is not an active voice sentence. The helping "is" settles it for me, as does the logical meaning, but also note AjiteshArun's helpful examples. The conditional "can" doesn't change anything.

Originally posted by AnthonyRitz on 11 Nov 2021, 22:54.
Last edited by AnthonyRitz on 11 Nov 2021, 23:33, edited 2 times in total.
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The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
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AnthonyRitz wrote:
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Vatsal7794 wrote:
Sorry for being bit irritable. Please see the above comment by Daagh Sir. "B is better because, it uses the active voice ‘can not be seen" Because of the bold face I was insisting the first sentence is in the active voice.

"That cannot be foreseen" is an active voice clause.

The subject of the clause is "that." The verb is, essentially, "can."

So, we have the active voice expression "that can (not be foreseen)."

By the way, "that are not foreseeable" is also an active voice expression. So, the difference cited in the above post by daagh does not exist.

Strong disagree, sorry Marty. This is not an active voice sentence. The helping "is" settles it for me, as does the logical meaning, but also note AjiteshArun's helpful examples. The conditional "can" doesn't change anything.

OK, so you're essentially saying that "can" is simply a helping verb, like "have" in "have been foreseen," which is clearly passive voice.

Makes sense.

That said, the funny thing is that, in this context, the passive voice is preferable, since the focus of that part of the sentence is on the weather conditions, not on who is not able to foresee them. So, the idea that the active voice is better is not correct anyway.
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Re: The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
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MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
AnthonyRitz wrote:

Strong disagree, sorry Marty. This is not an active voice sentence. The helping "is" settles it for me, as does the logical meaning, but also note AjiteshArun's helpful examples. The conditional "can" doesn't change anything.

OK, so you're essentially saying that "can" is simply a helping verb, like "have" in "have been foreseen," which is clearly passive voice.

Makes sense.

That said, the funny thing is that, in this context, the passive voice is preferable, since the focus of that part of the sentence is on the weather conditions, not on who is not able to foresee them. So, the idea that the active voice is better is not correct anyway.

Right. And I agree on the style preference for passive voice here.

Sorry to make an issue of it. I really do respect all of you guys, even when we sometimes disagree on stuff!
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Thanks AnthonyRitz MartyTargetTestPrep AjiteshArun

For the awesome explanation
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Re: The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
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Vatsal7794 wrote:
Hi Experts

GMATNinja VeritasKarishma EducationAisle ChrisLele mikemcgarry AjiteshArun egmat sayantanc2k RonPurewal DmitryFarber MagooshExpert avigutman EMPOWERgmatVerbal MartyTargetTestPrep ExpertsGlobal5 IanStewart
other experts

I got this question right but still I have a doubt

Active voices are those in which subject performs the action now how can " weather conditions that could not be foreseen" this sentence is in active voice.
Weather condition is not performing any actions. Can you please explain where am I wrong?

Thanks alot mentors for always helping.

Hello Vatsal7794,

We hope this finds you well.

Other experts have already weighed in on the question of whether "weather conditions that cannot be foreseen" is active or passive, so we will not focus on that. Instead, we would like to point out that B can be selected over D because "weather conditions that cannot be foreseen" is a more direct version of "weather conditions that are not foreseeable". This is one of those rare questions where the best answer choice is determined by a slight stylistic difference.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Re: The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
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I'll just add to Anthony's point -- the word "can" doesn't matter here. What matters is whether the subject of the verb is performing the action. If you take this sentence:

Amanda can play guitar

that's active, because it's Amanda who "can play" the guitar. If we wanted to make this sentence passive, we get the very ugly sentence:

Playing guitar can be done by Amanda

which is not acceptable writing, even if it's grammatically correct. I was going to add a comment about why we sometimes prefer passive voice to active voice (as we do in the question in this thread), but then I realized I'd already commented about this above, so anyone interested in reading that comment can just scroll up.
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The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
There is lot of issues in this sentence.

Quote:
The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, weather conditions that could not be foreseen, and pilot errors often cause much larger deposits of spray than they had anticipated.

(A) weather conditions that could not be foreseen, and pilot errors often cause much larger deposits of spray than they had

(B) weather conditions that cannot be foreseen, and pilot errors often cause much larger deposits of spray than

(C) unforeseeable weather conditions, and pilot errors are the cause of much larger deposits of spray than they had

(D) weather conditions that [color=#ff0000]are not foreseeable[/color], and pilot errors often cause much larger deposits of spray than

(E) unforeseeable weather conditions, and pilot errors often cause much larger deposits of spray than they had

I think from the intended meaning of the sentence we can infer that
Quote:
Accidents, unforeseeable weather conditions, and pilot errors is a lot that causes X
.

Issues: They do not have any antecedent, and had is not required as there is no item in the sentence with a timeline of "very past (had)" then"past (past tense)" in terms of intended meaning.

Also in "D" the 2nd item weather conditions that are not foreseeable[/color] is not grammatically/structurally parallel with other item which are noun or noun phrases, as the said item is a clause with subject (weather) and (are)verb.

Hence B
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I avoided discussing the distinction earlier between "are not foreseeable" and "cannot be foreseen" because the distinction in meaning is so subtle it's unlikely to ever matter on another GMAT question. I also don't know that everyone will agree that there is any distinction (skimming some earlier posts, it seems some experts don't find any difference in meaning), but to me the two phrases have slightly different meanings.

Anyway, because someone asked in a related thread, I'll explain how I see it. I think it's easier to see the distinction by first using a word other than 'foreseeable'. If you say, for example, that "this mathematical theorem is unprovable", that means no proof is even theoretically possible -- no proof can even exist. You can see why it means that by imagining adding some qualifier to the sentence; you cannot say "this theorem is unprovable without doing a lot of work", because "unprovable" means "cannot be proven at all", so it makes no sense to say "without doing a lot of work" afterwards. If instead you say "this theorem cannot be proven", you might still mean the theorem is unprovable, but you might mean something less absolute, especially in context. You might mean "this theorem cannot be proven with the mathematical techniques currently available to us", for example, or, as will be relevant in this GMAT question, "this theorem cannot be proven by me", if the phrase appears in a longer sentence -- but the point is, it's a phrase you can add a qualifier to, so you can say "this theorem cannot be proven without doing a lot of work", and this now makes perfect sense because the phrase "cannot be proven" is not expressing an absolute truth about the provability of the theorem.

So to my understanding of language, it's not quite correct to say weather conditions "are not foreseeable", because that suggests it is theoretically impossible to foresee what weather might occur -- it suggests the weather is like magic or the lottery and is incapable of prediction. But we know that's not true of the weather, and the sentence only means to express that the weather conditions could not be foreseen by the people spraying the pesticides, not some universal truth about the foreseeability of weather in general, so to me, answer D is wrong on meaning grounds, and answer B is right.

As I said, it's a very subtle distinction, and not one you'll likely need to ever think about on another GMAT question, so if anyone reading finds my post a bit obscure, I'd suggest not worrying about it!

edit: fixed a typo
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Re: The spraying of pesticides can be carefully planned, but accidents, [#permalink]
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