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# To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to

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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2019, 05:49
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.

A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.

Hi,

I do not think that Option E is incorrect because of the absence of comma. Consider this correct official sentence:

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

I do not believe Option E is grammatically incorrect. It's just not as good as the other options because
1) It alters the meaning by considering ricochet and travel as separate actions
2) It does not use the "more parallel" version of slower in this case i.e slowly.
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01 Dec 2019, 03:45
so from this question can I infer that ambiguity in verb-ing's reference is allowed,

also verb-ed and which function same when used after the clause.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2019, 02:35
anand0811 wrote:
so from this question can I infer that ambiguity in verb-ing's reference is allowed

Hi Anand, such participial phrases (that are used towards the end of a sentence/clause and are preceded by a comma) modify the subject of the preceding clause.

In option C, participial phrase traveling most rapidly.. correctly modifies seismic waves, the subject of the preceding clause.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses participial phrases, their application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2019, 07:44
Construction: Modifier, main clause, modifier
A) Rapidly(Adverb) and slower(verb) not parallel.
B) Which modifying interior is incorrect.
C) (A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.)- Correct

D) Same as A
E) Same as A
Is my reasoning enough to eliminate A B D E?
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2020, 21:21
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

POE

A) 'and' is a parallelism marker. rapidly and slower is not parallel.
B) which is incorrectly modifying interior.
C) correct. most rapidly and more slowly is parallel. traveling is the verb- ing modifier modifying the previous clause waves that ricochet around its interior.
D) rapidly and slower is not parallel. comma+and is wrong. we are not trying to frame an independent clause or a list.
E) rapidly and slower is not parallel.
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14 Apr 2020, 03:23
GMATNinja
Hi, Mr Ninja
I am not a native speaker so my writing can be confusing. I've been a big fan of you and Ron since I started preparing for GMAT.
Choice B：interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

QUESTION 1: When we look at option B in this problem, should I think of "which travel most...." is trying to modify the noun "waves" and say "this construction is terrible because it puts two modifiers(modifying the same noun) together" or should I think of the rule that "which" modifies the preceded noun and say "the verb (travel) should be singular?

MY OPINION： I prefer the first thought process because "which" doesn't alway modify the preceding noun, it could sometimes jump around.

QUESTION 2
I also have another question, since "choose the answer that is most effective.... in conveying message" is mentioned in the OG,(OG instruction to SC I believe) should I consider construction when I eliminate 3 choices and end up with 2 choices(when I really have to pick one out of the two)?
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2020, 06:57
[quote="souvik101990"]To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly ( A,B, and C is structure of the sentence. Are we making a list of items/ actions?)

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2020, 03:14
Hey there newspapersalesman
Let me try and help you with your questions

Lets first look at choice B
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

Normally we don't place two noun modifiers together, whether they use "which" or "that". But doing this might not always be wrong. It totally depends on the meaning that the sentence conveys. In this case, the first noun modifier (that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior) ends in a noun 'interior'. The second noun modifier (which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly) incorrectly modifies the preceding noun (interior). This creates a change in logical meaning.

The painting that I made, which is hanging on the wall, describes my relationship with my mother.

Note: In this example, the first noun modifier (that I made) ends in a verb (made) and not a noun. Hence it is clear here that the second noun is modifying (the painting)

Also I would recommend you not to look for splits always in answer choices because not all the questions have them. It is better to follow the meaning-based approach to answer SC questions.
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29 Apr 2020, 17:39
Hi everyone,

If you have a look at the Veritas Prep page about present participles (blog https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2014/1 ... -the-gmat/), it is written that when a present participles is "At the end of a sentence separated from the clause using a comma (clause + comma + present participle phrase) – In this case, the participle phrase modifies the entire preceding sentence."

How come here the present participle modifies the subject of the former clause? I eliminated option C because it wouldn't mean anything if "traveling most rapidly through cold etc." modifies the preceding relative clause.

Can someone help? Thank you.

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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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01 May 2020, 10:09
Hi everyone, the verb after "which" is actually plural (travel instead of travels); therefore, shouldn't this imply that we are talking about seismic waves, the only plural subject in this entire sentence? So choice B would technically make sense? Thanks!
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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28 May 2020, 03:57
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.

A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.

Dear sayantanc2k

The rule you told in the question
Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

is not complying to this below question can you please help

https://gmatclub.com/forum/many-states- ... 05883.html
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2020, 11:51
GMATNinja wrote:
newspapersalesman wrote:
GMATNinja
Hi, Mr Ninja
I am not a native speaker so my writing can be confusing. I've been a big fan of you and Ron since I started preparing for GMAT.
Choice B：interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

QUESTION 1: When we look at option B in this problem, should I think of "which travel most...." is trying to modify the noun "waves" and say "this construction is terrible because it puts two modifiers(modifying the same noun) together" or should I think of the rule that "which" modifies the preceded noun and say "the verb (travel) should be singular?

MY OPINION： I prefer the first thought process because "which" doesn't alway modify the preceding noun, it could sometimes jump around.

QUESTION 2
I also have another question, since "choose the answer that is most effective.... in conveying message" is mentioned in the OG,(OG instruction to SC I believe) should I consider construction when I eliminate 3 choices and end up with 2 choices(when I really have to pick one out of the two)?

Regarding your first question, I think you should consider BOTH of the points you mentioned when eliminating choice (B)!

You are right that "which" doesn't always modify the preceding noun, but in this case we have an entire clause in between the "which" and the thing it should modify. That alone is a pretty strong vote against (B). And, as you said, the "which" can't possibly modify the closest noun ("interior"), since that would require using a singular verb ("travels").

But let's say we're okay with that and assume that "which" correctly modifies "waves". In that case we'd want to use a parallel structure, i.e.: "... seismic waves (1) that originate and ricochet AND (2) that travel...". Instead, choice (B) essentially gives us, "... seismic waves (1) that originate and ricochet, (2) which travel...". The use of two different relative pronouns ("that" and "which") and the lack of an "and" to link the two modifiers makes this structure confusing, at best.

So instead of looking at individual grammar points in a bubble to figure out which "rule" (B) violates the most, just recognize that the logical meaning is much clearer in choice (C).

Grammar issues are, at heart, about clarity and logic. So when comparing two choices, you always want to think about meaning. Do the differences between the two options impact the meaning? Is the meaning more clear/logical/reasonable in one option?

For more on that, check out the our SC guide for beginners, if you haven't already.

I hope that helps!

Hi GMATNinja,

Really liked your explanation of the way you explained option B, in terms of parallelism. I am convinced by your explanation that even if we consider which to modify waves, we lose parallelism as one clause uses that and the other which(without any specific reasons)and even if they do, there is no "and".
Awesome thinking!!!
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2020, 08:17
souvik101990 wrote:
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

http://discovermagazine.com/1996/nov/hotandcoldspotsb935

To map Earth’s interior, geologists use a worldwide network of seismometers that chart the movement of seismic waves generated by earthquakes. These waves, originating in Earth’s crust or upper mantle, ricochet around the interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly through hotter rocks.

First glance

The first three choices place a comma after the word interior. The final two choices remove the comma and use the word and. These two clues together signal possible Modifier, Sentence Structure, or Parallelism issues.

Issues

(1) Parallelism: X and Y

Find the X and Y portions that map to the parallelism marker.

(A) most rapidly traveling … and slower

(B) travel most rapidly … and more slowly

(C) traveling most rapidly … and more slowly

(D) most rapidly travel … and slower

(E) travel most rapidly … and slower

Answers (B) and (C) are definitely parallel because both use the –ly versions of the relevant words (rapidly, slowly). Answers (A), (D), and (E) use slower instead of more slowly. Slower is primarily an adjective, not an adverb. While it can be possible in certain circumstances to use slower as an adverb, when parallelism is in play, it’s better to use the strict adverb form to signal clear parallelism: rapidly and slowly. Eliminate choices (A), (D), and (E).

(2) Modifier: which

Answer (B) employs a comma-which modifier. Check to make sure it’s used correctly.

A comma-which modifier should refer back to the closest main noun before the comma. In this case, that noun is interior, which does not make sense. The prior noun is earth’s crust, but this also does not make sense. The logical word is seismic waves but this is too far back to go with the comma-which modifier. Eliminate choice (B).

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (C) uses the parallel construction most rapidly and more slowly. It also properly uses a comma –ing modifier, which refers back to the prior action, not just the prior main noun. The prior action is the seismic waves ricochet(ing) around the interior of the earth’s crust.

Thanks for the amazing explanation you attached with the question. Almost makes the question look so much simpler than I perceived it to be souvik101990
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27 Jul 2020, 23:17
daagh wrote:
teaser,

"cold, dense" are coordinate adjectives that do not require conjunction between them.

Please google 'coordinate adjectives" and get the correct picture.

About B:

Quote:
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly through hotter rocks.

The simple way to eliminate choice B is for the wrong reference of the pronoun 'which". Earth's interior cannot travel and therefore the pronoun's placement next to 'interior' is a lethal flaw. As we may see, the relative pronoun cannot jump over the verb 'originate' and refer to the waves.

One point in C about the modification of the present participle preceded by a comma should be kept in mind. If there are two clauses before the comma +verbing modifier, we must be always being concerned about the subject and the action of the immediate previous clause and not the farther clause. It would not matter whether the previous clause is a relative clause or a subordinate clause. In the given context, 'geologists', the subject of the main clause, has no locus standi to be in contention with 'waves'.

I rejected C because I wasn't able to figure out "why there is a comma between dense and cold. I thought all three after travelling must be in a parallel structure.

Thanks, for making this clear.

Regards,
Gaurav
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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2020, 01:04
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

As per the meaning of the sentence, author is telling about the seismic waves - how they travel : waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.
waves that
originate ....... and
ricochet ........, traveling through.
When we look closely to the statment it is clear that originate and ricochet are parallel verbs (and these are the only two parallel verbs - as it is in the non-underlined portion of the sentence).
Thus, the rest part decribes the previous clause - traveling ........ Thus, option D and E are eliminated.

in the underlined portion :
most rapidly traveling through ....... and
slower through .....
The use of slower is incorrect as it is not parallel to the portion before "and". "most rapidly traveling" is not paraller to "slower"
If we take elipses then the structure will not be correct : slower (traveling) through..... this does not convey the proper meaning. Hence, the use of slower is not correct. Option A, D & E are eliminated on this basis.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly -> which refers back to interior. This is not the correct meaning of the sentence.

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower
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