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# The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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04 May 2012, 15:29
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sravanth wrote:
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74, and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

Hi, there. I'm happy to help.
First of all, here's a blog article you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/that-vs-which-on-the-gmat/

As for this question, important GMAT idea #1 is --- don't use that/which for human beings; use "who" for human beings. That eliminates (A) and (B) right away.

Answer (E) is wordy and redundant ---- we'll tube that one also.

That leaves (C) & (D), which are remarkably similar. In fact the only difference is the verb tense:

(C) ...smoked...

The first is simple past tense, and the second is past perfect. The past perfect is used to indicate that this verb's action took place before some other event in the past. Here, the main verb of the sentence "focused" is in the past. The question is --- did the smoking and the focusing happen at the same time, or was the smoking clearly before the focusing? Well, by the time the study was created and they focused on folks, those folks already had been smoking for quite some time. The smoking clearly has to happen before the focusing. This necessitates the past perfect structure. That's why (D) is correct and (C) is not.

Does this make sense? Let me know if you have any more questions.

Mike
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 10:51
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There are only two potential candidate for the correct choice are choice C and choice D.

In the non-underlined part, the study focused (simple past). So the subjects of the studies must "had smoked", smoking before the study progress.

So, choice D is the correct one.
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07 May 2012, 12:23
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dvinoth86 wrote:
Who should be placed close to smokers right? It is not following the touch rule!! Please clear my doubt

Dear dvinoth86

Here's what I am going to say. I don't know the source of this question. Not all GMAT prep questions are created equal. The SC questions that appears on the GMAT itself are gems, absolutely superb in their clarity and polish, and some test prep sources produce SC questions of comparably high quality. Other GMAT prep sources, to be honest, produce junk SC.

Let's say, I have my suspicions about this question. This is not a question that would appear on the real GMAT. Here's the sentence with the least offensive answer, (D):

The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years.

Yes, you are correct --- the modifier touch rule requires the modifier ("who had smoked ...") to touch the noun it modifies ("smokers"). This sentence does not do that, and so is less than ideal. Is it out-and-out incorrect? That's a matter of debate.

A vital modifier can intervene between a modifier and its target. See this post for more on that idea:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... modifiers/
Here, the intervening phrase "aged 55 to 74" is clearly not vital. It is set off by commas, which is the hallmark of a non-vital modifier. No clear rule justifies its position between the noun and the modifier.
At the same time, it's very short, and putting it there involves absolutely no ambiguity --- that's not a resounding vote of support, but some folks would argue on that basis that it's correct. Admittedly, there is not universal consensus on the grammar of this particular point.

One further piece of support is that --- any attempt to reword the sentence to eliminate this problem makes the sentence longer and more awkward. For example:
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74 and had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years.
Hardly a model sentence. There is no good way to rework (D) as it stands, which is another sorta argument in its favor.

Mathematics this ain't!!! I'm sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer. On the real GMAT, correct answers will be 100% correct (though not necessary ideal), and incorrect answers will be wrong. On this question, the best answer is in a gray zone ---- not something you will encounter on the real GMAT.

Moral: don't accord the same degree of trust in each and every practice question you see. Some practice questions sources are of much higher quality, and others don't hold up the standard. If you want some high quality questions, follow the link in the signature of the post.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike
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14 May 2012, 12:06
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dvinoth86 wrote:
Thanks a lot Mike..I'm a fan of your blogs..learnt a lot from them

Why, thank you. That means a lot to me. Thank you very much.

Mike
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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2017, 03:59
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dvinoth86 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
sravanth wrote:
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74, and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

Hi, there. I'm happy to help.
First of all, here's a blog article you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/that-vs-which-on-the-gmat/

As for this question, important GMAT idea #1 is --- don't use that/which for human beings; use "who" for human beings. That eliminates (A) and (B) right away.

Answer (E) is wordy and redundant ---- we'll tube that one also.

That leaves (C) & (D), which are remarkably similar. In fact the only difference is the verb tense:

(C) ...smoked...

The first is simple past tense, and the second is past perfect. The past perfect is used to indicate that this verb's action took place before some other event in the past. Here, the main verb of the sentence "focused" is in the past. The question is --- did the smoking and the focusing happen at the same time, or was the smoking clearly before the focusing? Well, by the time the study was created and they focused on folks, those folks already had been smoking for quite some time. The smoking clearly has to happen before the focusing. This necessitates the past perfect structure. That's why (D) is correct and (C) is not.

Does this make sense? Let me know if you have any more questions.

Mike

Who should be placed close to smokers right?
it is not followign the touch rule!!

Sorry for a silly question...

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2017, 14:07
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AR15J wrote:
Thanks Mike for the wonderful explanation, but RMD001's question made me remind of the rule I learned in e-gmat course.

Incorrect usage of past perfect:

use past perfect only to express the sequencing of two related events

Recently scientists learned about the changes in the earth that had happened during the last ice age-- marked incorrect

The reason why above two events are incorrect-- because these are two unrelated events.

Please guide on the above example.

Dear AR15J,

I'm happy to respond.

I don't know whether the way you are reporting this rule is the way that it was taught, but as you are reporting it here, I would say that this rule does not accord with my own understanding of grammar and doesn't seem as if it would be particularly helpful on the GMAT SC.

Among other things, if any two events are discussed in the same sentence, they must be related in some way!

In my understanding, the deciding factor is redundancy--whether the time sequence is already made clear by other elements of the sentence. For example, in this sentence, the past perfect is not needed:
Recently scientists learned about the changes in the earth that happened during the last ice age.
The word "recently" indicates the order of events, as does the phrase "during the last ice age." You don't need to have a technical understanding of exactly when the ice ages were, but it's good to have the rough idea that the last one took place before humans started doing this thing we call "civilization." In other words, it was a long time ago!

By contrast, consider this sentence:
Bohr's model of the atom made clear the origin of spectral lines, an atomic feature that J. J. Thompson's plum-pudding model of the atom had been unable to explain.
Are the two events related? It's unclear what the relation is, if you don't know outside information about the history of atomic physics. The past perfect is necessary in this sentence because the use of this tense is the only grammatical feature in the sentence that lets us know that Thompson did his work before Bohr.

I don't think the question "are the two events related?" is a particularly useful question for determining anything about the sentence.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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06 May 2012, 00:24
mikemcgarry wrote:
sravanth wrote:
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74, and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

Hi, there. I'm happy to help.
First of all, here's a blog article you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/that-vs-which-on-the-gmat/

As for this question, important GMAT idea #1 is --- don't use that/which for human beings; use "who" for human beings. That eliminates (A) and (B) right away.

Answer (E) is wordy and redundant ---- we'll tube that one also.

That leaves (C) & (D), which are remarkably similar. In fact the only difference is the verb tense:

(C) ...smoked...

The first is simple past tense, and the second is past perfect. The past perfect is used to indicate that this verb's action took place before some other event in the past. Here, the main verb of the sentence "focused" is in the past. The question is --- did the smoking and the focusing happen at the same time, or was the smoking clearly before the focusing? Well, by the time the study was created and they focused on folks, those folks already had been smoking for quite some time. The smoking clearly has to happen before the focusing. This necessitates the past perfect structure. That's why (D) is correct and (C) is not.

Does this make sense? Let me know if you have any more questions.

Mike

Who should be placed close to smokers right?
it is not followign the touch rule!!
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07 May 2012, 14:13
sravanth wrote:
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74,and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

hello
here goes my analysis
this question is about testing pronoums
and mainly which that who
the original choice is wrong , as smokers are people hence which can not be used
A is wrong
since we have both former and current smoker the choice of the simple past is impossible
simple past means that an action is over , completed and finished . we can eliminate c

hence we are left with BDE
E is wrong because the use of "were aged "means that the smoker age a long time ago :they were aged 55 to 74
this change the meaning
the higher at least is confusing so
the 2 left choice are B and D
B use that
D use who use to represent a subject

I will go For D

HOPE this help
best regards

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13 May 2012, 07:14
Thanks a lot Mike..I'm a fan of your blogs..learnt a lot from them
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The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 04:24
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The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74,and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years
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Last edited by getgyan on 08 Oct 2012, 20:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 04:49
getgyan wrote:
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74,and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

Between C and D, have to go with D. The past perfect seems necessary.
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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 09:40
who smoked for atleast 30 pack years, clearly shows it is preceding the selection, hence I feel there is no need for past perfect..
My Choice is C, but fingers crossed..

Last edited by Rajesh560 on 08 Oct 2012, 09:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 09:49
The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused on a specific high‐risk group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
A. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aging from 55 to 74, which had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
B. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, that had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
C. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74,and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

aging from is incorrect =? Eliminate A , Who were aged seems to suggest somebody aged them and it was not a natural process => Eliminate E. that is not the correct pronoun here = > Eliminate B .Since this sentence talks about a study which definitely occurred in the past we need past perfect to establish a time sequence here. D wins.

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2012, 20:33
+1 D

OE
A – "aging" distorts the meaning of the sentence. The use of "which' is incorrect.
B – "that" incorrectly refers to "smokers", the correct pronoun should be "who".
C – We need the past perfect tense "had" since the sentence talks about two things occurring at different time periods in the past
E – awkward and wordy construction. Use of "higher than" is also awkward

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2012, 05:06
tuanquang269 wrote:
There are only two potential candidate for the correct choice are choice C and choice D.

In the non-underlined part, the study focused (simple past). So the subjects of the studies must "had smoked", smoking before the study progress.

So, choice D is the correct one.

Hi
Shouldn t it even be "...who ve been smoking..."??
To me D seems wrong as well...
Because it says current and former so the action still continues for some of the group.

R26

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2013, 21:41
R26 wrote:
tuanquang269 wrote:
There are only two potential candidate for the correct choice are choice C and choice D.

In the non-underlined part, the study focused (simple past). So the subjects of the studies must "had smoked", smoking before the study progress.

So, choice D is the correct one.

Hi
Shouldn t it even be "...who ve been smoking..."??
To me D seems wrong as well...
Because it says current and former so the action still continues for some of the group.

R26

Posted from GMAT ToolKit

Yes but here you arr using current and former, so we need to determine whats true for both, for former smokers its not true they have been smoking, and for current smokers who had smoked is also true and who have been also true. So the overlapping part should be considered.

Cheers

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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24 Dec 2013, 04:44
D,

I came down to D and E.

D. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, aged 55 to 74, who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐years
E. group: 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, who were aged 55 to 74,and who had smoked for higher than at least 30 pack‐years

E seems wrong, because "higher than" and "least" will not go along.
Either you say higher than X or at least X.
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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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24 Feb 2015, 12:31
The study, focused on .... ,aged....,who had smoked for at least 30 pack‐year.

The above construction seems perfectly alright .......... Is there any Parallelism?
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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused [#permalink]

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24 Feb 2015, 16:22
My original answer was B, but after reviewing I see why D is the correct answer.

A. Wrong, the group of heavy somkers cannot be aging from 55 to 74.
B. Wrong, cannot use "that" when referring to people.
C. Wrong, "had" is required because the study was already done in the past and the smokers have already been smoking.
D. Correct
E. Wrong, I believe there is a modification error, the item following "heavy smokers" must be re-latable to that group.

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Re: The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial, focused   [#permalink] 24 Feb 2015, 16:22

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