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

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Joined: 10 Jul 2017
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2020, 03:00
1
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

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

Choice A: In Option A, we observe a parallelism error between "rapidly traveling" and "slower"; the word "rapidly" is an adverb, while "slower" is primarily an adjective that is being used as an adverb in this case. Thus, Option A is incorrect.

Choice B: In Option B, we see a modifier error; the word "which" is preceded by a comma and a noun, meaning that "which" will refer to the noun "interior". This modification alters the meaning of the sentence by implying that "the interior" is what is traveling, rather than the "waves". Thus, Option B is incorrect.

Choice C: Option C maintains parallelism throughout the sentence. Moreover, this option avoids the modifier error found in Option B; it does so by utilizing the modifier ", traveling..." which affects the preceding action, rather than the preceding noun. Thus, Option C is correct.

Choice D: Option D repeats the parallelism error seen in Option A. Thus, Option D is incorrect.

Choice E: Option E repeats the parallelism error seen in Options A and E. Moreover, Option E is needlessly wordy as it includes a second conjunction and "that" to describe how the waves travel through the different regions. It would be more concise to apply a modifying phrase to the verb "ricochet", as this verb is a component of how the waves travel. Thus, Option E is incorrect.

Hence, C is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of using "Which, Who, Whose, and Where on GMAT”, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):

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

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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

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

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28 Apr 2020, 12:18
1
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!
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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.

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

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01 May 2020, 13:16
1
1
jiaxin wrote:
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!

Hello, jiaxin. I would not eliminate (B) on the grounds of which travel, but instead because of the comma preceding and. Compare (B) and (C):

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.

(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

In the sentence at hand, cold, dense is acting as a coordinate adjective to modify regions. The comma is necessary because the sentence could just as easily reverse the order of the adjectives, as in, dense, cold regions. If you follow the shell of the sentence with each answer choice, you get a comma that cannot be justified in (B), since and is just acting to join two adverbs that describe how waves travel, A and B, rather than introduce the final item in a list or join two independent clauses. Consider:

1) Geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly through hotter rocks.
2) Geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly through hotter rocks.

Although I have seen people place a comma in the slot I am drawing attention to in (B), I have NOT seen such usage in a correct SC answer on the GMAT™. I hope that helps clarify any lingering doubts you may have harbored; if not, I would be happy to discuss the question further.

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

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02 May 2020, 10:17
1
Jbbaille wrote:
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.

JB

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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.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/many-states- ... 05883.html
Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to   [#permalink] 28 May 2020, 03:57

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