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There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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This one is copied from NYtimes :
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/nyreg ... .html?_r=0

Original::
There are a few acts of nature, such as the passage of Halley’s comet or the transit of Venus, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtues of patience itself. <<-- here virtues is plural -- I think that's a mistake in this sentence.


There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

Splits are:
1) a dormant volcano exploding V/S an explosion of a dormant volcano
2) so rare and so dramatic as to V/S that are so rare and so dramatic that V/S that are so rare and dramatic enough that/as to
3) itself V/S themselves.

Lets take split-3 first : here itself is used to put emphasis on the virtue of patience. the virtue of patience is singular thus itself is fine. Thus, we can eliminate B ,D and E.

Between A and C: In C pronoun it is not appropriate as few acts of nature is a plural entity.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves

Takeaway :
Itself and themselves can be used as reflexive pronoun or as noun intensifier. For more details refer page 233-234, MGMAT SC.
Check whether itself or themselves is following a verb or a noun, if it is following a verb then there are high chances that it is working as reflexive pronoun, or if it is following a noun then definitely it is used to put emphasis on the presence of that noun in the sentence and accordingly we will have to choose plural or singular form of reflexive pronoun.

Where we use reflexive pronoun : We use reflexive pronoun if action is done by subject on itself. e.g. He killed himself -- action done on self.

Incorrect usage: MR. XYZ will come for lunch with myself. << Incorrect. -- instead of myself use me.
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself – Correct. 'Itself' refers to virtue. Hence correct
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves Incorrect. Themselves is plural whereas virtue is singular
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself – Incorrect ‘it’ is ambiguous. should be plural to refer to acts of nature
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves Incorrect. Themselves is plural whereas virtue is singular
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves Incorrect. Themselves is plural whereas virtue is singular
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2014, 00:47
NeverSurrender wrote:
There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves


OE is as follows:

In a confusing and unusual sentence such as this, it is essential that you find the easiest, most concrete errors first. The easiest error is found in (C) – the “it” improperly refers back to the plural “acts of nature”. (B) and (D) both contain the illogical and incorrect structure “so rare and dramatic enough” and also use “themselves” improperly at the end. “Themselves” is referring to patience so must be singular. (E) is correct until the very end (and contains the “so…that” structure that people prefer over “so as to” ) where it also contains the error with “themselves” It makes no sense to say “that they (the acts of nature) seem to be a metaphor…themselves” Correct – “they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience ITSELF” - emphasizing that the acts are a metaphor for that one core virtue. Many people do not pick (A) because of the unusual “so…as to” idiom but that is exactly the kind of decision point that you are unqualified to make! “So…as to” in this example is perfectly correct and only (A) has all of the other elements correctly structured. Correct answer is (A).
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2015, 23:16
I think 'a dormant volcano exploding' is terrible wording. How they included it in a correct answer?
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There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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PiyushK wrote:
This one is copied from NYtimes :


Original::
There are a few acts of nature, such as the passage of Halley’s comet or the transit of Venus, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtues of patience itself. <<-- here virtues is plural -- I think that's a mistake in this sentence.


There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

Splits are:
1) a dormant volcano exploding V/S an explosion of a dormant volcano
2) so rare and so dramatic as to V/S that are so rare and so dramatic that V/S that are so rare and dramatic enough that/as to
3) itself V/S themselves.

Lets take split-3 first : here itself is used to put emphasis on the virtue of patience. the virtue of patience is singular thus itself is fine. Thus, we can eliminate C,D and E.

Between A and C: In C pronoun it is not appropriate as few acts of nature is a plural entity.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves

Takeaway :
Itself and themselves can be used as reflexive pronoun or as noun intensifier. For more details refer page 233-234, MGMAT SC.
Check whether itself or themselves is following a verb or a noun, if it is following a verb then there are high chances that it is working as reflexive pronoun, or if it is following a noun then definitely it is used to put emphasis on the presence of that noun in the sentence and accordingly we will have to choose plural or singular form of reflexive pronoun.

Where we use reflexive pronoun : We use reflexive pronoun if action is done by subject on itself. e.g. He killed himself -- action done on self.

Incorrect usage: MR. XYZ will come for lunch with myself. << Incorrect. -- instead of myself use me.


Could you please explain the split a dormant volcano exploding V/S an explosion of a dormant volcano ?

Is not such as a total solar eclipse or an explosion of a dormant volcano better than such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding ?
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2015, 03:55
I thought the same, but it seems Veritas thinks differently for reasons obvious only for them.
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 18:44
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Yes, your version is much better. Veritas little twisted the structure of the sentence.

dojha00 wrote:
PiyushK wrote:
This one is copied from NYtimes :


Original::
There are a few acts of nature, such as the passage of Halley’s comet or the transit of Venus, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtues of patience itself. <<-- here virtues is plural -- I think that's a mistake in this sentence.


There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

Splits are:
1) a dormant volcano exploding V/S an explosion of a dormant volcano
2) so rare and so dramatic as to V/S that are so rare and so dramatic that V/S that are so rare and dramatic enough that/as to
3) itself V/S themselves.

Lets take split-3 first : here itself is used to put emphasis on the virtue of patience. the virtue of patience is singular thus itself is fine. Thus, we can eliminate C,D and E.

Between A and C: In C pronoun it is not appropriate as few acts of nature is a plural entity.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves

Takeaway :
Itself and themselves can be used as reflexive pronoun or as noun intensifier. For more details refer page 233-234, MGMAT SC.
Check whether itself or themselves is following a verb or a noun, if it is following a verb then there are high chances that it is working as reflexive pronoun, or if it is following a noun then definitely it is used to put emphasis on the presence of that noun in the sentence and accordingly we will have to choose plural or singular form of reflexive pronoun.

Where we use reflexive pronoun : We use reflexive pronoun if action is done by subject on itself. e.g. He killed himself -- action done on self.

Incorrect usage: MR. XYZ will come for lunch with myself. << Incorrect. -- instead of myself use me.


Could you please explain the split a dormant volcano exploding V/S an explosion of a dormant volcano ?

Is not such as a total solar eclipse or an explosion of a dormant volcano better than such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding ?

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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2015, 11:38
NeverSurrender wrote:
There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves



Can anyone explain spilt between
the explosion of a dormant volcano vs a dormant volcano exploding.

Please help!
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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Ergenekon wrote:
I think 'a dormant volcano exploding' is terrible wording. How they included it in a correct answer?


Hi,

I think it can be correct only for one reason.. "such as... a total solar eclipse or a dormant volvcano exploding"

The "a" preceeding total solar eclipse steals the show.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks.
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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It's a terribly worded question.

"such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding"

Is "a dormant volcano exploding" a noun? :shock: Because I am pretty sure "total solar eclipse" is a noun.
How are these two parallel?

May be "explosion of dormant volcano" or " dormant volcano explosion" would have been a better fit !
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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"dormant volcano exploding" isn't that wrong in the answer ? Someone please explain how is "dormant volcano exploding" parallel to "total solar ecliplse".
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2015, 01:08
NeverSurrender wrote:
There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves



Wouldn't "or" act as a parallel marker in this question? If yes, then it would demand for what follows it to be a noun because " a total solar eclipse" is a noun. "Dormant volcano exploding" on the other hand seems to be a noun phrase.

Please correct. Clarity in this concept would go a long way in strengthening concepts.
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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I came to find the confusion regarding "Dormant volcano exploding".
How can this be right ??

Glad to see I am not the only one. So many verbal gurus are also skeptical :)
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2016, 20:14
Same doubt. Was confused b/w A and C.

"dormant volcano exploding" doesn't seem parallel with a noun.
Can someone from veritas explain.
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There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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rukna wrote:
Same doubt. Was confused b/w A and C.

"dormant volcano exploding" doesn't seem parallel with a noun.
Can someone from veritas explain.


Noun+participle form such as this one may be right when the noun part is emphasized, but is wrong when the participle part is emphasized.

"dormant volcano exploding",noun = volcano and participle = exploding [ignore the adjective dormant for the time being.] Such construction is correct when the volcano part is required to be highlighted.

I saw the volcano exploding: there is no error in the sentence.
John's father was upset about John failing the exam. : the emphasis is on "failing" and therefore the sentence is wrong.

The reason is that the participle is just a modifier used to modify the preceding noun.

The conveyed sense in option A is that there are two examples of acts of nature: solar eclipse and dormant volcano. The present participle "exploding" is just a modifier for the noun "volcano" and not the second object in the list of 2 examples.

However the process of "explosion" is supposed to be the second object, not the volcano itself. Therefore although grammatically Option A is correct, it conveys the wrong meaning.
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 05:47
NeverSurrender wrote:
There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves


Option A , IMHO. My analysis of the question :

Meaning : The author says that there are a few acts of nature that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience. The acts of nature being total solar eclipse and dormant volcano exploding.

Error analysis :

S-V --> correct. are correctly used with acts of nature
Idiom --> So X as to ; correct
Parallelism --> so rare || so dramatic
Pronoun --> Itself correctly refers to virtue

POE :

Option A --> Correct
Option B --> themselves is wrong
Option C --> Idiom usage ? So x as to ought to be used (experts please verify my understanding)
Option D & E --> themselves is wrong.

Answer must be option A.
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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spetznaz wrote:
NeverSurrender wrote:
There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar eclipse or a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself.

A) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience itself
B) an explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough that they seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience themselves
C) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and so dramatic that it seems like a metaphor for the virtue of patience itself
D) the explosion of a dormant volcano, that are so rare and dramatic enough as to seem like a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves
E) a dormant volcano exploding, that are so rare and so dramatic that they seem to be a metaphor for the virtue of patience themselves


Option A , IMHO. My analysis of the question :

Meaning : The author says that there are a few acts of nature that are so rare and so dramatic as to seem like metaphors for the virtue of patience. The acts of nature being total solar eclipse and dormant volcano exploding.

Error analysis :

S-V --> correct. are correctly used with acts of nature
Idiom --> So X as to ; correct
Parallelism --> so rare || so dramatic
Pronoun --> Itself correctly refers to virtue

POE :

Option A --> Correct
Option B --> themselves is wrong
Option C --> Idiom usage ? So x as to ought to be used (experts please verify my understanding)
Option D & E --> themselves is wrong.

Answer must be option A.


As already explained above, "dormant volcano exploding" is not the ideal construction - it should have been "explosion of a dormant volcano". The acts of nature are "eclipse" and "explosion", not "eclipse" and "dormant volcano".
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Re: There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 05:00
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
Same doubt. Was confused b/w A and C.

"dormant volcano exploding" doesn't seem parallel with a noun.
Can someone from veritas explain.


Noun+participle form such as this one may be right when the noun part is emphasized, but is wrong when the participle part is emphasized.

"dormant volcano exploding",noun = volcano and participle = exploding [ignore the adjective dormant for the time being.] Such construction is correct when the volcano part is required to be highlighted.

I saw the volcano exploding: there is no error in the sentence.
John's father was upset about John failing the exam. : the emphasis is on "failing" and therefore the sentence is wrong.

The reason is that the participle is just a modifier used to modify the preceding noun.

The conveyed sense in option A is that there are two examples of acts of nature: solar eclipse and dormant volcano. The present participle "exploding" is just a modifier for the noun "volcano" and not the second object in the list of 2 examples.

However the process of "explosion" is supposed to be the second object, not the volcano itself. Therefore although grammatically Option A is correct, it conveys the wrong meaning.


Hi Sayntan,

I have a doubt about option A.According to MGMAT SC guide a simple gerund can't go parallel with a noun.Only a complex gerund phrase can be parallel with a noun.
So , the exploding of volcano(though sounds terrible) could go parallel with total solar eclipse.

Please enlighten me if I'm wrong.
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There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2017, 04:10
techiesam wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
Same doubt. Was confused b/w A and C.

"dormant volcano exploding" doesn't seem parallel with a noun.
Can someone from veritas explain.


Noun+participle form such as this one may be right when the noun part is emphasized, but is wrong when the participle part is emphasized.

"dormant volcano exploding",noun = volcano and participle = exploding [ignore the adjective dormant for the time being.] Such construction is correct when the volcano part is required to be highlighted.

I saw the volcano exploding: there is no error in the sentence.
John's father was upset about John failing the exam. : the emphasis is on "failing" and therefore the sentence is wrong.

The reason is that the participle is just a modifier used to modify the preceding noun.

The conveyed sense in option A is that there are two examples of acts of nature: solar eclipse and dormant volcano. The present participle "exploding" is just a modifier for the noun "volcano" and not the second object in the list of 2 examples.

However the process of "explosion" is supposed to be the second object, not the volcano itself. Therefore although grammatically Option A is correct, it conveys the wrong meaning.


Hi Sayntan,

I have a doubt about option A.According to MGMAT SC guide a simple gerund can't go parallel with a noun.Only a complex gerund phrase can be parallel with a noun.
So , the exploding of volcano(though sounds terrible) could go parallel with total solar eclipse.

Please enlighten me if I'm wrong.


When there is a noun available, do not use a gerund. When used in parallel with another noun, "explosion" is better than simple or complex gerund.
There are a few acts of nature, such as a total solar   [#permalink] 26 Jan 2017, 04:10

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