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# The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon

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The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 02 Nov 2018, 03:54
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The World Wildlife Fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels, will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the environment in ways harmful to their habitats.

(A) a phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels,

(B) a phenomenon most scientists agree that is caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,

(C) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels,

(D) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,

(E) which most scientists agree to be a phenomenon caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,

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Originally posted by city92 on 18 Apr 2009, 15:14.
Last edited by Bunuel on 02 Nov 2018, 03:54, edited 11 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2017, 10:30
51
1
23
Quote:
(A) a phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels,

So if you’re a regular visitor to the verbal forums, you might have noticed that we’re banging away at a theme: if you aren’t strict and literal with the meaning of these sentences, you’re toast. We said a lot about that in our beginners’ guide to SC, and it’s also been a theme in our QOTDs (all of which are available here).

And this is another example of it! The phrase “human beings in burning fossil fuels” sounds like the human beings are... um, in a fiery tank of coal or oil? That sounds unpleasant. Plus, I’m not sold on the phrase “most scientists agree to be caused.” Seems like “is” would be better than “to be” here. Either way, (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) a phenomenon most scientists agree that is caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,

Hm, the modifier “that is caused by fossil fuels” seems misplaced. It could be OK to say “scientists agree that X is true”, but we’re trying to modify the phenomenon here: “a phenomenon that is caused by fossil fuels” seems fine, but I can’t make sense of this one.

If you wanted to be conservative, you could hang onto (B) for now, but we’ll have a better option in a moment.

Quote:
(C) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels,

Pardon my language, but this sounds awkward AF. That’s not a crime, though. (See beginners’ guide to SC, for more on why “awkwardness” shouldn’t be your first worry.) And I can’t see any DEFINITE errors here. The “that” modifier is OK, and I guess I’m cool with the possessive “human beings’ burning of fossil fuels.” I don’t like it. But the GMAT doesn’t care what I like. The meaning makes sense: human beings’ act of burning fossil fuels is indeed the thing that causes global warming.

(C) isn’t wrong. Keep it, perhaps while holding your nose.

Quote:
(D) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,

(D) arguably sounds better than (C), but (D) messes up the meaning. Rearranging slightly, (D) is saying that “scientists agree on global warming as a phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuel.” First, it would make sense to say that scientists agree that global warming is a phenomenon caused by human beings, but scientists agree on it as a phenomenon isn’t right: that’s basically saying that scientists agree that it’s a phenomenon, but that’s pretty meaningless.

Second, it’s awfully weird to say that global warming is “caused by human beings who burn fossil fuel.” The act of burning fossil fuels causes global warming – not “human beings” who happen to burn fossil fuels.

I can’t totally fault you if you picked (D) over (C), but the meaning is much clearer in (C). I’d cross out (D).

Quote:
(E) which most scientists agree to be a phenomenon caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,

The argument is similar for (E) as for (D), except that “agree to be a phenomenon” is a completely wacky phrase that makes even less sense than “agree on as a phenomenon.” And in (E), global warming is caused by the fossil fuels themselves, and that’s not quite right: it’s caused by human beings’ act of burning fossil fuels. So (E) warps the meaning, too.

We’re left with (C). I don’t like it, either. But it does a better, clearer job of conveying the meaning than any of the others.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2012, 23:10
32
11
metallicafan wrote:
The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon most scientsts agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels, will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the enviroment in ways harmful to their habitats.

a) A phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels,
b) a phenomenon most scientists agree that is caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,
c) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings's burning of fossil fuels
d) which most scientists agree on as phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,
e) which most scientsts agree to be a phenomenon caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings

a phenomenon most scientsts agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels
issues:
1. caused by fossil fuels not by human beings so eliminate A,D
2. Looking at answer choices we'll notice, use of "which" is unnecessary. An appositive is better than a which clause here. "Global warming,a phenomenon " is much better. eliminate D, E.
3. a phenomenon most scientists agree that is - "that" modifies the preceding noun. In this case "that" is modifying the word agree. This is incorrect usage. So eliminate B.

Also there is another logic for C looking at the end of the sentence.
global warming is caused by an act not by substance or a person.
B says - global warming is caused by "those fossil fuels" that were burned by humans.
I hope it makes sense
##### General Discussion
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2011, 18:26
15
3
tonebeeze,

I'd take two lessons from this problem.

1. The plural possessive. C refers to the entire collection of human beings and their burning of fossil fuels, so you need to use the plural possessive. Consider some other examples:

"My three brothers' favorite game growing up was making fun of me." --> Here, the game belongs to all three of my brothers.
"Will you please go to the Smiths' house and ask for a cup of sugar?" --> Here, the house belongs to all of the Smiths, so you need that plural possessive.

2. "Sounds awkward" is less reliable then "is grammatically incorrect."

I agree that C) is written in a way that is not ordinary in everyday speech, but when I'm reading and I notice that, I make only a mental note that it might be wrong. I then go to E) and see the incorrect idiom "agree to be" and then unnecessarily passive tense. The problems with E are therefore worse than the "problems" with C even though C isn't the best sentence in the world.

Does that help?

Brett
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2009, 09:47
5
2
city92 wrote:
You can all get the answer and explanation from OG, but one thing is not clear to me. I would appreciate if someone can explain:

if you look at the choice c:
C) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels.

'is caused' make this a full clause isn't it?
a phenomenon "that most scientists agree" is caused by human...

If inserted into the main setnese above, it should be connected by the conjuncion because it is a independent clause, otherwise it looks like this:
A World Wilfe fund has declard that global warming, a phenomenon is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc.....

Obviously, since the answer is C, I suppose i should have interpreted it as
a phenomenon that "most scientists agree" is caused by human...

Then, this will make better sense in main sentense as whole:
A World Wilfe fund has declard that global warming, a phenomenon that is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc.....

If so, what is the grammatical function(or name) for this, yet another clause "most scientists agree" in between? (another full clause with no conjunction)

I think it's simple, mate
c) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings's burning of fossil fuels -->that here is a relative pronoun modifies for a phenomenon

As if we commonly think, it can be written as: a phenomenon that is caused by human .... where that here modifies for a phenomenon and stands at the subject position of the new clause

But this clause offered by the choice (C) here is written as: a phenomenon that most scientist agree is caused ... where a phenomenon here is still modified by that but it plays a role of an object in the clause modifying for it, and therefore, most scientists will be the subject of such clause
More clearly, we can re-write it as: most scientist agree global warming (a phenomenon) is caused by human being's burning of fossil fuels --> you can see the object role of a phenomenon, or global warming, in this re-written clause
Such structure is still called a clause modifying for a Noun, and they are connected by a relative pronoun, whatsoever the role of such Noun (Subject or Object) in the modifying clause. Maybe I can't remember its official name, but as I mentioned, lets simply call Noun-modifying clause
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2014, 21:53
5
pretzel wrote:
Why is D incorrect?

(D) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,

Hi Pretzel,

Before we move on to option D, let’s first understand the meaning of the original sentence:
The World Wildlife Fund has declared (Clause-I)
o that global warming, (Clause-II)
 a phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels, (Clause-III)
o will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the environment in ways harmful to their habitats. (Clause II Contd.)

MEANING

The author tells us about a declaration made by the World Wildlife Fund. According to this declaration the global warming will change the environment and make it harmful to the living places of the migratory birds.
The author also tells us that majority of the scientists agree that global warming is caused by the humans by burning fossil fuels.

Now, let’s move on to option D:
D.) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels,

Now, this sentence has a meaning error. It states that the phenomenon is caused by human beings. These human beings burn fossil fuels is presented only as additional information. This is incorrect. Global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels not by the human beings.

Hope this helps!
Deepak

However this is not the only error in answer choice D. The word "which" is not necessary right?
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2017, 10:35
4
1
The World Wildlife Fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels, will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the environment in ways harmful to their habitats.

(A) a phenomenon most scientists agree to be caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels, -Phenomenon is not caused by human beings
(B) a phenomenon most scientists agree that is caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings, -Phenomenon is not caused by fossil fuels
(C) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels, -Correct. Phenomenon is caused by the act of burning of fossil fuels
(D) which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels, -Phenomenon is not caused by human beings
(E) which most scientists agree to be a phenomenon caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings, -Phenomenon is not caused by fossil fuels
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2009, 20:13
3
Thank you for the explanation.

With so many exceptions and special cases, I feel like my basic grammar understanding never seems to apply in SC. When i first started GMAT prep, I thought SC was the easiest section in verbal. While my CR and RC skills have improved a lot since the beginning of study, my SC skills seem to go nowhere. no matter how much I study, i always stumble on yet another new special cases, which I am not familiar with.

(Is it because I am simply a non-english native? or do english natives find SC difficult as much as non-natives do?)

Anyway, this is great forum. Thanks again for the reply.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2017, 11:07
3
Top Contributor
1
To make life simple, the fact is that Global warming is caused individually neither by human beings nor by the fossil fuels, but by a combination of human beings' burning of the fossils. This combination is stated only in C.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2012, 11:12
2
1
A) a phenomenon...............caused by human beings in burning fossil fuels = Does this make any sense, Does it not sound similar to : X caused by people in boiling pots ? People IN BURNING FUELS ? : Eliminated

The intent : X was caused by burning of fossil fuels

(B) a phenomenon ...........caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings :

(E) a phenomenon..............caused by fossil fuels burned by human beings,

B n E implies : X was caused by fossil fuels in isolation : Eliminated

Left with C n D ,

(D) a phenomenon.............caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels : Implies X was caused by human beings, the emphasis is missing of 'burning fossil fuels ' , seems to convey some descriptive of what human beings do viz who burn fuels, who enjoys partying, who loves to write gmat etc : Eliminated

C) a phenomenon .............caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels : Perfect , human being's burning of fuels givesthe desired emphatic flavour

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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2012, 05:33
2
A- This sentence is saying that the human beings are in the fossil fuels, and because they are in the fossil fuels global warming occurs.
B- The presence of ‘that’ is unnecessary. It is clear that the phenomenon referred to is global warming. ‘Burned’ is also in the past tense, which is incorrect. Global warming is a current event. It should read either WAS caused with BURNED or IS caused with BURNING (prefereably the later because of the phenomenom exists today)
C- Correct
D- This answer changes the meaning slightly to say that scientists agree that global warming is a phenomenon. The original sentence establishes this as fact, but the debate is around the cause. It also put the emphasis on the specific humans who do the burning which takes away from the intention of the sentence which is to associate the activity of humans with global warming.
E- Again, this sentence suggests that scientists agree that global warming is a phenomenon.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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20 May 2018, 18:55
2
pikolo2510 wrote:

Hey GMATNinja

Unfortunately, i didn't get what you are trying to convey here. I even asked a couple of my friends and even they didnt get what you are trying to convey.

Sorry , but can you explain in some other way?

Ha, sorry for the confusion! Let me give it another shot.

pikolo2510 wrote:
Sam's book ----> book of sam

Black panther's fighting skills ----> Fighting skills of Black Panther

human beings' burning of fossil fuel ----> burning of fossil fuel of human beings?

The last one doesn't make sense. Hence I crossed out C.

In all three of these examples, the word "of" indicates possession. Here, have another example: "the delicious crust of my pizza" = "my pizza's delicious crust." (Mmm... pizza.)

Here's the problem: in your examples, you're assuming that the word "of" ALWAYS indicates possession. And that certainly isn't always the case. "Of" can do far more than indicate possession. There are more uses of "of" than I could possibly list here, but here are a few examples again of alternate meanings for the word "of":

• Indicate membership in a broader category: "the state of Colorado" or "the business of education". These do not indicate possession -- Colorado doesn't possess the state, and education doesn't possess the business. But Colorado is an example of a state, and education is a category of business.
• Indicate a directional relationship: "Golden is west of Denver." This doesn't indicate possession, either: Denver does not possess "west" or Golden. The word "of" just helps us understand where two places are in relation to each other.
• Indicate the material being used for something: "a hat made of meat", "a building of stone", or "the burning of fuel." Again, the meat doesn't possess the hat, stone doesn't possess the building, and fuel does not possess the burning. The word "of" just tells us something about the materials being used for a task.

Notice that the last use of the word "of" is consistent with the version in answer choice (C): in the phrase "human beings' burning of fossil fuel", "of fossil fuel" just indicates the materials used for the human beings' act of burning things.

Does that help at all?
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2018, 21:41
2
sandeep86 wrote:
Tks mate. I've read the link, but it doesn't get me through my doubt,
my question is about grammar issue (not meaning).

Why bother to put 'that most scientists agree' in C while all we can say is
'a phenomenon (that most scientists agree) is caused by....', most scientists
agree what ?? it's not a complete clause.

Does 'a phenomenon that most scientist agree to be caused by...' make more sense
and grammatically correct ?

Meaning wise, i agree C is the best, but grammatically i doubt about it. What i am missing ?

Dear sandeep86,

The question at hand in our answer option C uses "that most scientists agree" as the modifier that correctly modifies "a phenomenon".
If we put your chosen words in the same sentence, let's see what it makes:
The World Wildlife Fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon is caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the environment in ways harmful to their habitats.

The modifier "a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels" is a non-essential modifier. if we take off "that most scientists agree". If not grammar in particular, it would distort the meaning of the sentence. The original sentence intents to take the consent of scientists on that particular phenomena.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2009, 15:33
1
You can all get the answer and explanation from OG, but one thing is not clear to me. I would appreciate if someone can explain:

if you look at the choice c:
C) a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels.

'is caused' make this a full clause isn't it?
a phenomenon "that most scientists agree" is caused by human...

If inserted into the main setnese above, it should be connected by the conjuncion because it is a independent clause, otherwise it looks like this:
A World Wilfe fund has declard that global warming, a phenomenon is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc.....

Obviously, since the answer is C, I suppose i should have interpreted it as
a phenomenon that "most scientists agree" is caused by human...

Then, this will make better sense in main sentense as whole:
A World Wilfe fund has declard that global warming, a phenomenon that is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc.....

If so, what is the grammatical function(or name) for this, yet another clause "most scientists agree" in between? (another full clause with no conjunction)
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2012, 03:36
1
Tks mate. I've read the link, but it doesn't get me through my doubt,
my question is about grammar issue (not meaning).

Why bother to put 'that most scientists agree' in C while all we can say is
'a phenomenon (that most scientists agree) is caused by....', most scientists
agree what ?? it's not a complete clause.

Does 'a phenomenon that most scientist agree to be caused by...' make more sense
and grammatically correct ?

Meaning wise, i agree C is the best, but grammatically i doubt about it. What i am missing ?
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2012, 08:40
1
Thanks yashii9.
Quote:
1. there sentence structure in C might sound awkward but isn't incorrect
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Can you articulate what make sentence structure in C sound awkward?

Quote:
2. we should always follow the rules in order while eliminating answers - Grammar first - then meaning -then concision

Don't we go by reverse order, namely - meaning first - then grammar, in this case to make POE and find the answer ?

Also, can you check my previous question, what are the differences among below strutures
and whether all of them are correct:

1. The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon that most scientsts agree is caused by...
2. The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon that most scientsts agree to be caused by...
3. The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon most scientists agree that it is caused by....
4. The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon most scientsts agree to be caused by...
(original sentence)

I am still not convinced that 'The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming,
a phenomenon that most scientsts agree is caused by...' in C is grammatically correct.

Any comments/explanations from others are appreciated.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2012, 22:59
1
Sandeep - you obviously can not work on grammar unless you understand the meaning of the sentence. (logically how will you know which tense to stick to..)

Meaning refers to - checking any changes in the original meaning of the statement. It should not happen that Grammar has been corrected but the original intent of the statement has been altered. You will be able to search several questions on this forum to help clear this point.

I would suggest you go through modifiers chapter from Manhattan SC before solving these questions. That should help.

It's not as difficult a question as it looks.
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2014, 22:42
1
asagraw wrote:

Won't C create a run on sentence in the stem?

Regards,
Ashish

Hi Ashish,
I don't know whether you are still looking for a reply, but here it is anyways.

Let’s take a look at the structure of this sentence with option C:

The World Wildlife Fund has declared (Clause I)
o that global warming, (Clause II)
 a phenomenon
that (Clause III)
o most scientists agree (Clause IV)
is caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels, (Clause III Contd.)
o will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the environment in ways harmful to their habitats. (Clause II Contd. )

Now, as we can see all the clauses in this sentence are properly connected. The structure “a phenomenon that….fossil fuels” is a Noun + Noun modifier, in which "a phenomenon" refers to "global warming" and the part that follows it is the noun modifier. So, option C is the correct answer and it does not create a run-on sentence.

Hope this helps!
Deepak
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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2017, 10:23
1
akash.tripathi wrote:
This explaination seems wrong, how can fossil fuels can cause global warming. Its the burning of fossil fuels by humans so we can say that global warming is caused by human beings by burning of fossil fuels. Also apostrophe with any noun in Gmat is used only when that thing literally belongs to that noun. But here it doesent so D seems legitimate

Dear akash.tripathi,

I'm happy to respond. I am responding to the report you posted on yashii9's post from 2012.09.30

My friend, please DO NOT open a report simply when you disagree or do not understand something. The reports are not for individual students to air their own opinions. Only use a report if you have evidence, say, from another webpage or from the GMAT OG, that the question or OA is incorrect.

My friend, this is a question from the GMAT OG, and you are disagreeing with the answer given by the OG. Do you see the problem with this? You will never get any points for disagreeing with what the GMAT thinks is right, and in fact, deciding that the GMAT is wrong and that you know more than the GMAT constitute perhaps the single most ineffective way to achieve any sort of mastery on the GMAT.

You are citing a rule about what you think the GMAT wants, but you are using it to argue against what the GMAT says is right.

In fact, the use of the possessive is perfectly fine in (C). The possessive is not just used for physical possessions. It can be used for actions with a gerund, as it is used here. Choice (C) is not ideal, but it is definitely the best answer from among the five.

Choice (D) makes a massive idiom mistake: "... which most scientists agree on as a phenomenon..."
This sounds incredibly awkward to any native English speaker. I realize that folks who are not native English speakers face considerably challenges on the GMAT Verbal section: I will simply point out this is all the more reason not to suggest that the GMAT's answer is wrong and another answer is correct.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2017, 09:26
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arvind910619 wrote:
Can anyone explain rule regarding possessive and what all to look out for .

Dear arvind910619,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, with all due respect, i have no idea what you question is. I have no idea what about possessives you understand and what still confuses you. The quality of this question is low because it has failed to make clear what the issue is. I am going to guess that it didn't take you much time or much effort to post this question. in other words, you did not put in time and effort to craft an excellent question. If you aspire to excellence in your GMAT performance, then you need to bring excellent to every aspect of your studies. How you do anything is how you do everything. One of many habits of excellence is knowing how to ask excellent questions. See:
My friend, I hope you understand that I am urging you do more work in crafting your questions precisely because I am ambitious for you. I want to encourage your success in every aspect of your GMAT preparation. The habits of excellence are powerful and can transform even a mediocre student into a wildly successful student.

My challenge to you is to read that blog article, and then ask the most thoughtful and detailed version of this question that you can. If you do that, I will be happy to answer it.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________
Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
Re: The world wildlife fund has declared that global warming, a phenomenon   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2017, 09:26

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