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# Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums

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Intern
Joined: 04 Oct 2018
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Location: United States
Schools: Wharton '21
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Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2018, 16:41
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95% (hard)

Question Stats:

24% (01:29) correct 76% (01:31) wrong based on 401 sessions

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Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to discriminate between.

A Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to discriminate between.

B Unlike many other gemstone varieties, the origin of corundums is incredibly easy to identify.

C Unlike those in many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to identify.

D It is incredibly easy, unlike in many other gemstone varieties, to discriminate between natural and synthetic corundums.

E Corundums are unlike many other gemstone varieties in that it is incredibly easy to discriminate between natural and synthetic ones.

Source: PrepScholar

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Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2018, 21:07
2
3
wunstepcloser wrote:
Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to discriminate between.

A Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to discriminate between.

B Unlike many other gemstone varieties, the origin of corundums is incredibly easy to identify.

C Unlike those in many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to identify.

D It is incredibly easy, unlike ____?? in many other gemstone varieties, to discriminate between natural and synthetic corundums.

E Corundums are unlike many other gemstone varieties in that it is incredibly easy to discriminate between natural and synthetic ones.

Source: PrepScholar

Idiom: Unlike X, Y

Meaning: Gemstones can be both natural and synthetic. In many gemstone varieties, it is hard to tell the difference between
natural and synthetic stones. By contrast, it is easy to tell the difference between natural and synthetic corundums (a kind of gemstone).

Split #1: Items being compared must be parallel

Option B compares [gemstone] varieties to [a gemstone's] origin
B compares a noun to a noun, but they do not have the same kind of content.
One means "different kinds" and the other refers to whether the gemstones are "manufactured or mined."

Option C compares those [what? something present IN other gemstones] to corundums
C compares a pronoun (without an antecedent) to a noun

Option D, if it can be described as a comparison, compares a mysterious and unstated something IN to the verb "to discriminate"
D compares a preposition to an infinitive (and the infinitive should be a participle)

Eliminate B, C, and D

Split #2: Certain prepositions should almost never be placed at the end of sentences. High on the list is "between."

The GMAT does not forbid sentences that end in prepositions. Even so, "between" is jarring.

Option A says: ...natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to discriminate between.
Option A SHOULD say: natural and synthetic corundums are incredibly easy to tell apart.

Compared to (E), option A is inferior. Except in extraordinary cases, sentences should not end with the word "between."

Eliminate A.

Possible split #3: parallelism

Arguably option A also violates parallelism.
We could argue that A compares varieties as a noun to natural and synthetic, which are adjectives.
That is, (A) incorrectly compares a noun to adjectives.

Tough call. Every once in a while the GMAT allows the comparison to stand if Y is a noun preceded by adjectives.

Deciding between A and E, though, is not hard.
Option E is clear and captures the meaning described at the beginning of the post.

ANSWER E

Takeaway: in that it is may seem "wordy," but
(1) the phrase is idiomatic (2) it is often used in sophisticated writing, and
(3) it is part of the only answer that makes sense.

P.S. a bit delayed because I haven't seen your posts before, but wunstepcloser , welcome to GMAT Club!
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Joined: 02 Oct 2017
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Re: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2018, 20:12
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Sentence structure is somewhat awkward
Only E clarifies right comparison and intent of sentence
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Re: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2018, 06:56
1
Hi

Had it been

Corundums are unlike many other gemstone varieties in that it is incredibly easy to discriminate between natural and synthetic one(s) without 's' then the pronoun reference error would arrise
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks

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Re: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2019, 02:47
B changes the meaning and is unclear, as does C. D is comparing some noun to a verb. A seems correct but it ends in ‘between’, which is discouraged on the GMAT. E, however, has no errors and no such issues. E is the best option.
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Re: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2019, 10:54
1
In E, the antecedent of 'it' is the plural corundums, which i don't think can be acceptable in GMAT. Experts, please guide.
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Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2019, 21:38
Mudit27021988 wrote:
Hi

Had it been

Corundums are unlike many other gemstone varieties in that it is incredibly easy to discriminate between natural and synthetic one(s) without 's' then the pronoun reference error would arrise
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks

Mudit27021988 , you are correct.

Ones stands in for the noun gemstones, just as you suggest.

That is, ones, plural, is a substitute for gemstones, plural.
If the word were one, that singular one would not match plural gemstones.

Similar correct examples in which a number substitutes for a noun
From that box of chocolates on the table, may I have two, please?
(May I have two chocolates from that box of chocolates, please?)

-- I would like a slice of cake, please, but just a small one. (a small slice of cake)
-- When I eat jellybeans, I avoid the white ones. (I don't like the white jellybeans.)

We can use numbers as substitutes for the noun.
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Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2019, 22:34
Dark_Horse wrote:
In E, the antecedent of 'it' is the plural corundums, which i don't think can be acceptable in GMAT. Experts, please guide.

Dark_Horse , the IT in option E is a different kind of IT.

The word IT is a placeholder. The word does not have a simple antecedent as does the typical "IT" pronoun.

Sentences in English often begin with "It is..."
Correct: It is difficult to learn grammar.
Subject: It = To learn grammar
Verb phrase: is difficult.

The clause in E is similar.

The word IT refers to something that is "incredibly easy" to do: discriminate [spot the difference] between natural and synthetic corundums.

IT stands for the long infinitive phrase to discriminate between natural and synthetic ones.

It in option E is allowed.

For an excellent post on this very subject written by mikemcgarry of Magoosh,
take a look at The Empty ‘It’ on the GMAT Sentence Correction, which you can find here.

I hope that helps.
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Re: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2019, 01:01
I still don't get what "it" refers too....

And how to identify such usage of dummy variable...

Anyone please help.. ?

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Re: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2019, 04:04
rakeshtewatia0105 wrote:
I still don't get what "it" refers too....

Hi Rakesh, option E says:

Corundums are unlike many other gemstone varieties in that it is incredibly easy to discriminate between natural and synthetic ones.

It here refers to the phrase to discriminate between natural and synthetic ones.

So basically, the sentence is conveying:

It (to discriminate between natural and synthetic ones) is incredibly easy.

This sentence represents a case when the pronoun (it) is used before the antecedent.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Pronoun before an antecedent, its 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: Unlike many other gemstone varieties, natural and synthetic corundums   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2019, 04:04
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