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# Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be

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Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2012, 17:04
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Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists
using a metal detector.
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in
the sand and dirt by a hobbyist.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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10 Aug 2012, 19:23
The answer is C, modifying phrase is closest (and appropriately so) with the word it's modifying. Other choices are awkward and also, C is in Active voice.
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10 Aug 2012, 19:52
Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.[/u]

Meaning;
Hobbists use metal detector to locate the old coins and other valuables which are buried in sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.
correct-"using" is modifying the hobbyist ,"they" is referring to old coins and valuables.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists
using a metal detector.
buried in....using a metal detector-incorrect
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in
the sand and dirt by a hobbyist.
hobbyist never buried the old coins and valuable !!

(C) wins
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10 Aug 2012, 21:29
thevenus wrote:
Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.[/u]

Meaning;
Hobbists use metal detector to locate the old coins and other valuables which are buried in sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.
correct-"using" is modifying the hobbyist ,"they" is referring to old coins and valuables.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists
using a metal detector.
buried in....using a metal detector-incorrect
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in
the sand and dirt by a hobbyist.
hobbyist never buried the old coins and valuable !!

(C) wins

Can you pls explain in detail on why D can be rejected ???

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11 Aug 2012, 03:48
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D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector.

The problem with this option is that "buried in the sand and dirt" is only modifying old coins and NOT valuables. The original sentence implies that both old coins and other valuables are buried in the sand and dirt. Also this sentence is in passive voice and there is another option in active voice. Eliminate because of meaning change and passive voice.

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11 Aug 2012, 10:01
thevenus wrote:
Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.[/u]

Meaning;
Hobbists use metal detector to locate the old coins and other valuables which are buried in sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.
correct-"using" is modifying the hobbyist ,"they" is referring to old coins and valuables.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists
using a metal detector.
buried in....using a metal detector-incorrect
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in
the sand and dirt by a hobbyist.
hobbyist never buried the old coins and valuable !!

(C) wins

Can you pls explain in detail on why D can be rejected ???

I think there is no issue with pronoun they in both B & C. They is referring to old coins & valuables. Coz in this context its nonsensical for 'they' to refer hobbyist. If it were so then, in option C: 'They' can also refer to hobbyist.

I think since B & D are in passive voice construction, we can eliminate them. We have a more proper active voice const. i,e C (Correct answer)
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11 Aug 2012, 15:26
thevenus wrote:
Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.[/u]

Meaning;
Hobbists use metal detector to locate the old coins and other valuables which are buried in sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
"they" is ambiguous -they should refer to coins and valuables but here it seems that "them"is referring to hobbyists-incorrect
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.
correct-"using" is modifying the hobbyist ,"they" is referring to old coins and valuables.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists
using a metal detector.
buried in....using a metal detector-incorrect
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in
the sand and dirt by a hobbyist.
hobbyist never buried the old coins and valuable !!

(C) wins

Can you pls explain in detail on why D can be rejected ???

If you have to choose between two answer choices, I would choose the one with the active voice. For example, choose an answer choice that says someone did something instead of an answer choice that says something was done by someone.

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12 Aug 2012, 00:33
Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even
though they are buried in the sand and dirt.
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though
they are buried in the sand and dirt.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists
using a metal detector.
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in
the sand and dirt by a hobbyist.

I'm not sure between C & D. Can someone clarify my below comments?
-> C has confusing "they", which is either referring to hobbyists or old coins and other valuables. Am I correct?
-> D has passive voice and has modifier issue -"Buried in the sand and dirt" is modifying ONLY "old coins". Am I correct?

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12 Aug 2012, 01:56
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C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though they are buried in the sand and dirt. ---- I think pronoun reference is passable in C because, logically the hobbyists are not burial objects and even if buried cannot be expected to locate some coins or some such thighs in the burial state.

D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector --- Whether the adjectival participial modifier modifies only THE COINS after the comma, is little more tricky. Even here, logic can rescue us.

If we single out the coins as the modified noun, what is the status of ‘the valuables’? It is simply dangling. If on the contrary if you treat the second part as an IC, then ‘the coins’ will have no verb. That is why the coins and the other valuable become one entity and have be treated on par with each other, either for modification or for verbing.

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12 Aug 2012, 02:06
daagh wrote:
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though they are buried in the sand and dirt. ---- I think pronoun reference is passable in C because, logically the hobbyists are not burial objects and even if buried cannot be expected to locate some coins or some such thighs in the burial state.

D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector --- Whether the adjectival participial modifier modifies only THE COINS after the comma, is little more tricky. Even here, logic can rescue us.

If we single out the coins as the modified noun, what is the status of ‘the valuables’? It is simply dangling. If on the contrary if you treat the second part as an IC, then ‘the coins’ will have no verb. That is why the coins and the other valuable become one entity and have be treated on par with each other, either for modification or for verbing.

Good explanation daagh, I completely missed that. So can we say as a general rule, that if two nouns joined by "and" have only one working verb, we have to treat it as a compound noun and consequently, any modifier would modify the compound noun? If I'm seeing this correctly, this would be an exception to the modifier "touch" rule?

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12 Aug 2012, 06:32
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Must be so I think; But a rigid modifier touch rule is usable only in the case of essential modifiers that are not set off by commas. In the case of present participial(verb+ing) modifiers, they can modify any of the suitable theme, action or even the entire sentence that befits the context, not necessarily the noun before.
But the touch rule is more prominent in relative pronouns such as, which and that or who etc, which are supposed to be fidel to the noun lying before. But even here, sometimes we have seen the pronouns hopping over the nearest nouns before, if they happen to be essential modifiers of another noun lying farther. Remember the ‘Emily Dickinson’s Letters’ topic?

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else. ….. This is the correct choice; but you will see that the pronoun ‘which’ does not refer to Dickinson, but to the letters, since the prepositional phrase ‘to Susan Huntington Dickinson’ is taken as an essential modifier of the letters
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12 Aug 2012, 07:31
daagh wrote:
@macjas
Must be so I think; But a rigid modifier touch rule is usable only in the case of essential modifiers that are not set off by commas. In the case of present participial(verb+ing) modifiers, they can modify any of the suitable theme, action or even the entire sentence that befits the context, not necessarily the noun before.
But the touch rule is more prominent in relative pronouns such as, which and that or who etc, which are supposed to be fidel to the noun lying before. But even here, sometimes we have seen the pronouns hopping over the nearest nouns before, if they happen to be essential modifiers of another noun lying farther. Remember the ‘Emily Dickinson’s Letters’ topic?

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else. ….. This is the correct choice; but you will see that the pronoun ‘which’ does not refer to Dickinson, but to the letters, since the prepositional phrase ‘to Susan Huntington Dickinson’ is taken as an essential modifier of the letters

hey daagh, thanks for elaborating on this. Actually I do remember that Emily Dickinson SC and I also remember getting it wrong. I chose A; I realized that the verb-ing/present participle "outnumbering" was quite far from the subject "letters" but I thought that "which" HAS to refer to the noun closest to it. Now I know that which still refers to "letters" since Susan Huntington Dickinson is an essential and modifying prepositional phrase.

For those interested, the Emily Dickinson discussion thread can be found here..

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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2013, 02:51
I have a gold metal detector, but I found no old coins by it.

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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2014, 14:23
Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though they are buried in the sand and dirt.

A) Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists even though they are buried in the sand and dirt. --- wrong Using must precede Hobbyists not coins.
B) Old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector even though they are buried in the sand and dirt. --- As per grammatical parallelism, subject of subordinate clause is considered logically parallel to subject of main clause. Thus, B is second best choice.
C) Using a metal detector, hobbyists can locate old coins and other valuables even though they are buried in the sand and dirt. --- As explained for B in C they refers to hobbyists subject of subordinate clause to main clause.
D) Buried in the sand and dirt, old coins and other valuables can be located by hobbyists using a metal detector. --- ed modifier modifying compound noun coins and valuables (can be located by hobbyists) using participle modifier without comma is modifying hobbyists. No pronoun ambiguity as it is in B. --- Thus this option is better than option B.
E) A metal detector can be used to locate old coins and other valuables that are buried in the sand and dirt by a hobbyist. --- meaning has changed in this option it appears that coins and valuables are buried in sand by hobbyist.
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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2014, 17:15
B.I.G question here, how is 'they' in answer choice C not ambigouos?

Could anyone clarify this? I found only 1 acceptable answer choice and that was D, even though the sentence was written in passive voice

I need some explanations and would be happy to throw some Kudos out there

Cheers!
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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2014, 14:50
I marked the answer as 'D' as well....'they' in 'C' seems ambiguous to me. I also felt D 'may' not be right since it is written in passive voice....how do we choose the 'better' option in such cases?

Any Expert opinion?

Raghu.

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Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2014, 21:30
What is the source of this question?

The intended meaning of the sentence seems to be that, "even though" coins and valuables are buried, they can be located. A contrast is implied.

C maintains that contrast, and uses the active voice (preferred). "They" does seem to be a slightly ambiguous pronoun reference. In such cases, the pronoun will refer to the nearest noun (unless that noun is used to qualify some other word).

D removes that contrast. D is essentially saying:
Old coins and other valuables are buried in the sand.
Old coins and other valuables can be detected by hobbyists using a metal detector.

Some phrase suggesting contrast should have been part of the opening modifier.

There is another, more subtle, error in D. In "hobbyists using a metal detector", there is no comma after "hobbyists". The construction suggests that "only" hobbyists "who use" a metal detector can detect the coins, and not the intended "ALL hobbyists can detect the coins BY USING a metal detector".

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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2014, 19:35
jlgdr wrote:
B.I.G question here, how is 'they' in answer choice C not ambigouos?

Could anyone clarify this? I found only 1 acceptable answer choice and that was D, even though the sentence was written in passive voice

I need some explanations and would be happy to throw some Kudos out there

Cheers!
J

I completely agree with Jldgr. In option C "they " is ambiguous. Besides C is only passive but not grammatically incorrect.

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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2014, 23:28
They is ambiguous and only option left is D but doesnt have the contrast that is present in the original meaning ...... doubt the source

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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2015, 10:05
mikemcgarry

Can you please elaborate on the use of "they" in answer choice b and c.
Is they vague in both the answer choices??

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Re: Using a metal detector, old coins and other valuables can be   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2015, 10:05

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