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Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s

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Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the suburban downtown, but due to unstable bedrock in that region, the entire project may have to be canceled.

(A) due to unstable bedrock in that region, the entire project may have to be canceled

(B) the cancellation of the entire project may be brought about, due to unstable bedrock in that region

(C) cancelling the entire project, an unavoidable consequence, because of unstable bedrock in that region

(D) with the unstable bedrock in that region, the entire project is possibly canceled

(E) unstable bedrock in that region may necessitate the cancellation of this entire project


Even many native speakers fall prey to the "due to" mistake. For a full discussion of how the GMAT tests this, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT Sentence Correction: the “Due To” Mistake

Mike :-)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2016, 04:38
Hi Mike,

The usage of due to is correct if it modifies a noun. In option A due to modifies the bedrock region also cancelled is parallel to planned can you please explain why A is incorrect ?

The OA provided uses noun form (cancellation), isn't it true that verb forms are prefered over noun forms ? Also the usage of this is redundant (my opinion ). Kindly help to understand this question

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Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s [#permalink]

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anuj11 wrote:
Hi Mike,

The usage of due to is correct if it modifies a noun. In option A due to modifies the bedrock region also cancelled is parallel to planned can you please explain why A is incorrect ?

The OA provided uses noun form (cancellation), isn't it true that verb forms are prefered over noun forms ? Also the usage of this is redundant (my opinion ). Kindly help to understand this question


No, in option A "due to" wrongly modifies the compound verb "may have to be cancelled". Compare with the following:

The game stopped because of rain... correct (verb: stopped, hence adverbial phrase "because of")
The stoppage was due to rain.... correct (noun: stoppage, hence adjectival phrase "due to")

The mistake in option A is similar to that in the following:
The game stopped due to rain.. wrong ( "due to" does not refer to "rain" - it wrongly refers to "stopped")

As "rain" does not have any role in determining whether "due to" or "because of" is to be used, "bedrock region" does not play any role either.

The following would be grammatically correct:
The project may have to be cancelled because of unstable bedrock.
The cancellation was due to unstable bedrock. (though meaning is different.)

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Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 21:40
Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the suburban downtown, but due to unstable bedrock in that region, the entire project may have to be canceled.

(A) due to unstable bedrock in that region, the entire project may have to be canceled

(B) the cancellation of the entire project may be brought about, due to unstable bedrock in that region

(C) cancelling the entire project, an unavoidable consequence, because of unstable bedrock in that region
--> awkward.

(D) with the unstable bedrock in that region, the entire project is possibly canceled
--> with wrongly modifies the entire project. Passive voice is not preferred when an active voice is available.

(E) unstable bedrock in that region may necessitate the cancellation of this entire project
--> correct.
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Re: Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 07:17
sayantanc2k wrote:
anuj11 wrote:
Hi Mike,

The usage of due to is correct if it modifies a noun. In option A due to modifies the bedrock region also cancelled is parallel to planned can you please explain why A is incorrect ?

The OA provided uses noun form (cancellation), isn't it true that verb forms are prefered over noun forms ? Also the usage of this is redundant (my opinion ). Kindly help to understand this question


No, in option A "due to" wrongly modifies the compound verb "may have to be cancelled". Compare with the following:

The game stopped because of rain... correct (verb: stopped, hence adverbial phrase "because of")
The stoppage was due to rain.... correct (noun: stoppage, hence adjectival phrase "due to")

The mistake in option A is similar to that in the following:
The game stopped due to rain.. wrong ( "due to" does not refer to "rain" - it wrongly refers to "stopped")

As "rain" does not have any role in determining whether "due to" or "because of" is to be used, "bedrock region" does not play any role either.

The following would be grammatically correct:
The project may have to be cancelled because of unstable bedrock.
The cancellation was due to unstable bedrock. (though meaning is different.)


sayantanc2k

Don't you think the use of "this" in answer choice E is a little awkward.

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techiesam wrote:
sayantanc2k

Don't you think the use of "this" in answer choice E is a little awkward.

Dear techiesam,

I'm happy to respond. :-) This is Mike McGarry, the author of the question. I'll respond in the place of my brilliant colleague sayantanc2k.

The word "this" has two different uses. The first is as a pronoun (technically, a demonstrative pronoun). Many of the "this" mistakes on the GMAT SC involves the misuse of "this" as a pronoun--often, the intended antecedent is an action.
Stocks declined for the third month, and this made investors nervous.
That's a classic kind of GMAT SC mistake involving the word "this."

The other use is as an adjective, a noun-modifier. The word is used in this sense in (E). Here's (E), the OA:
Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the suburban downtown, but unstable bedrock in that region may necessitate the cancellation of this entire project.

The word "this" creates unity across the sentence. The "project" mentioned at the end is of course the building project, building "a ten-story building the suburban downtown." This would be logically clear even if we simply said "... of the entire project." The word "this" tightens this logical connection in the sentence, enhancing its logical unity.

Why do you think there is any problem at all with the word "this" in (E)?

Mike :-)
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Re: Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2017, 19:37
Hi Mike,

Why is option B faulty?

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 00:11
sayantanc2k wrote:
anuj11 wrote:
Hi Mike,

The usage of due to is correct if it modifies a noun. In option A due to modifies the bedrock region also cancelled is parallel to planned can you please explain why A is incorrect ?

The OA provided uses noun form (cancellation), isn't it true that verb forms are prefered over noun forms ? Also the usage of this is redundant (my opinion ). Kindly help to understand this question


No, in option A "due to" wrongly modifies the compound verb "may have to be cancelled". Compare with the following:

The game stopped because of rain... correct (verb: stopped, hence adverbial phrase "because of")
The stoppage was due to rain.... correct (noun: stoppage, hence adjectival phrase "due to")

The mistake in option A is similar to that in the following:
The game stopped due to rain.. wrong ( "due to" does not refer to "rain" - it wrongly refers to "stopped")

As "rain" does not have any role in determining whether "due to" or "because of" is to be used, "bedrock region" does not play any role either.

The following would be grammatically correct:
The project may have to be cancelled because of unstable bedrock.
The cancellation was due to unstable bedrock. (though meaning is different.)



Thanks for explaining,Can you please explain why the option B is incorrect ? if we go by the above rule- 'Due to' modifies the noun cancellation.

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 20:23
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anuj.gmat wrote:
Hi Mike,

Why is option B faulty?

mggmat17 wrote:
Thanks for explaining,Can you please explain why the option B is incorrect ? if we go by the above rule- 'Due to' modifies the noun cancellation.

Dear anuj.gmat and mggmat17,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Choice (B) is a train wreck disaster. First of all, it is unclear whether this version intends the "due to" to modify the object "cancellation" or the action of the verb "brought about." The former would be grammatical correct and the latter would not be.

Let's change (B) to eliminate that problem:
(B1) = the cancellation of the entire project, due to unstable bedrock in that region, may be brought about

This is 100% grammatical correct and still a disaster. This is precisely the kind of answer choice that is such a powerful trap for non-native speakers looking exclusively at grammar, precisely because it certainly is 100% correct at the level of grammar, and yet, it is so bad as an answer choice that it deserves to be taken out back and shot.

You see, the GMAT SC is NOT primarily a test of grammar. It is a test of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and it examines the ways that these three elements reinforce one another to produce meaning.

This version is flawless grammatically and yet a rhetorical disaster. The action, the doing, is congealed into a noun, "cancellation" and the verb, what should be the vital driving center of this clause, is the lily-livered "may be brought about." It is as if there were a contest to say the facts in as indirect and punchless a way as possible: this version could be the winner of that contest.

Effective writing makes locates the action of the clause, the principal doing, in the verb itself. Putting the main action in a noun and having a non-action verb of being is a sure-fire way to make the sentence flaccid and spineless--in other words, a rhetorical failure.

This is why (B) doesn't even come within a 100 meters of being correct, even though it has no grammatical flaws.

Choice (E) doesn't make "cancel" the verb, but it has the verb "may necessitate," which is a logically powerful verb, a far more powerful center than "may be brought about."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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New post 17 Jul 2017, 00:40
sayantanc2k wrote:
anuj11 wrote:
Hi Mike,

The usage of due to is correct if it modifies a noun. In option A due to modifies the bedrock region also cancelled is parallel to planned can you please explain why A is incorrect ?

The OA provided uses noun form (cancellation), isn't it true that verb forms are prefered over noun forms ? Also the usage of this is redundant (my opinion ). Kindly help to understand this question


No, in option A "due to" wrongly modifies the compound verb "may have to be cancelled". Compare with the following:

The game stopped because of rain... correct (verb: stopped, hence adverbial phrase "because of")
The stoppage was due to rain.... correct (noun: stoppage, hence adjectival phrase "due to")

The mistake in option A is similar to that in the following:
The game stopped due to rain.. wrong ( "due to" does not refer to "rain" - it wrongly refers to "stopped")

As "rain" does not have any role in determining whether "due to" or "because of" is to be used, "bedrock region" does not play any role either.

The following would be grammatically correct:
The project may have to be cancelled because of unstable bedrock.
The cancellation was due to unstable bedrock. (though meaning is different.)



Hey,

I don't understand. I think I am missing the proper approach. I would really appreciate, if you could explain it to a beginner like I am.
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New post 31 Oct 2017, 08:16
mikemcgarry wrote:
techiesam wrote:
sayantanc2k

Don't you think the use of "this" in answer choice E is a little awkward.

Dear techiesam,

I'm happy to respond. :-) This is Mike McGarry, the author of the question. I'll respond in the place of my brilliant colleague sayantanc2k.

The word "this" has two different uses. The first is as a pronoun (technically, a demonstrative pronoun). Many of the "this" mistakes on the GMAT SC involves the misuse of "this" as a pronoun--often, the intended antecedent is an action.
Stocks declined for the third month, and this made investors nervous.
That's a classic kind of GMAT SC mistake involving the word "this."


Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

Would you please present the correct form of this sentence along with one more example to highlight the faulty usage of 'this'? Would have this sentence been correct had it been - "Stocks declined for the third month, and it made investors nervous"?
Thank you :)
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Re: Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2017, 09:16
TaN1213 wrote:
Hi Mike,

Would you please present the correct form of this sentence along with one more example to highlight the faulty usage of 'this'? Would have this sentence been correct had it been - "Stocks declined for the third month, and it made investors nervous"?
Thank you :)

Dear TaN1213,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, a pronoun can represent only a noun. It is always 100% wrong to have any pronoun refer to the action of a verb. It doesn't make any difference whether the pronoun is a personal pronoun ("it") or a demonstrative pronoun ("this"). No pronoun can represent the action of a verb.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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New post 31 Oct 2017, 10:37
mikemcgarry wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
Hi Mike,

Would you please present the correct form of this sentence along with one more example to highlight the faulty usage of 'this'? Would have this sentence been correct had it been - "Stocks declined for the third month, and it made investors nervous"?
Thank you :)

Dear TaN1213,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, a pronoun can represent only a noun. It is always 100% wrong to have any pronoun refer to the action of a verb. It doesn't make any difference whether the pronoun is a personal pronoun ("it") or a demonstrative pronoun ("this"). No pronoun can represent the action of a verb.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


Thanks Mike. Need to be wary of such usage now. :)
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Re: Elysium Field Construction planned to build a ten-story building the s   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2017, 10:37
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