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# V08-01

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Senior SC Moderator
Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 2375

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04 Apr 2018, 11:53
souvik101990 wrote:
Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and it is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.

A. Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and it is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
B. Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, which was expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
C. Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and they are expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
D. The outposts lacked fresh water, this problem is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
E. The outposts have a lack of fresh water, a problem expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.

itisSheldon wrote:
ag111 wrote:
Why cant "it"" refers to "lack of fresh water". After all a pronoun can refer to Noun Phrase as well. In that case Option A make sense. Also given the explanation by you earlier that "it" can greater propensity to go with the subject of the preceding clause the sentence is no longer ambiguous whether "it" is modifying "lack of fresh water " or "problem". Please advise.

I have the same doubt as ag111
GMATNinja abhimahna egmat generis

itisSheldon
I think I understand your question.

Some analysis suggests that IT improperly
refers to "lack of water" and instead should refer
to "problem."

You are asking why the pronoun it should not
refer to "lack [of water]."
I agree with you: the pronoun's reference to lack
does not change meaning or cause confusion.

I disagree with the analysis in which it is suggested
that "it" should refer to "problem" instead of "lack."

I would not discard A on this basis.
I would discard A on bases not yet mentioned:
• A is redundant
• A uses the conjunction "AND" improperly.

See below.

I will tackle the pronoun issue in A,
but I do not believe the answer is clear-cut.

The pronoun "it" can refer to problem or to lack.
Does it matter?
Lack (of water) IS the problem.
"Lack" in this context connotes "problematic deficit."

If in doubt, substitute the word or phrase
for the pronoun in question.

Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and [that lack] is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
A little awkward, but not incorrect.

Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and [that problem] is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
Better, rhetoric-wise. Does not rule out "lack."

Both substitutions are possible.
I do not see a change in meaning or clarity
whether "it" refers to "lack" or "problem"

Confusion: Is anyone genuinely confused
by A's pronoun usage?
"lack" is a logical antecedent.
A problematic deficit will continue until help arrives.

Antecedents are determined by contextual meaning
as well as placement. Above substitution shows
not much difference.

BIG TAKEAWAY: Option A has other clear errors.
Those other errors make the pronoun issue recede.

Quote:
After all a pronoun can refer to Noun Phrase as well. In that case [in which IT can refer to LACK] Option A make sense.

Option A can make sense and not be the best answer.
Very often a few options will "make sense."
Then what? Look for other kinds of errors.

The big problem with A is not pronoun ambiguity.
Granted, the pronoun usage is not great.
In a different situation A's pronoun usage could be the decisive factor.

There are at least two big problems with A:
1) redundancy
2) improper use of conjunction AND

FIRST PROBLEM
Most obvious problem is redundancy:
ongoing and expected to continue

SECOND PROBLEM: COMMA, AND.
Correct answer E exposes this problem.
Only option E correctly
constructs the second part of the sentence
as a description of the first part of the sentence.

In that sense, Option A's use of AND is inappropriate.
We don't have two separate ideas expressed in ICs
that are connected by AND.
We have one modifier phrase that describes
the entire first part of the sentence.

The two concepts that AND connects
are NOT distinct.

"expected to continue until reinforcements arrive"
should modify "lack of water."

Option E presents exactly that structure.
The phrase that follows the comma in E
is called an absolute phrase.

Structure of absolute phrase here:
[MAIN CLAUSE], [NOUN][NOUN MODIFIER]
[outposts lack fresh water], [problem][that is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive]

In sum, the major problem with A is not pronouns.
A has at least two other clear problems:

1) redundancy
2) inappropriate use of conjunction "and"

I hope that helps.
_________________

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I was alive then.

—Albert Camus

Senior SC Moderator
Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 2375

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04 Apr 2018, 18:07
1
souvik101990 wrote:
Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and it is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.

A. Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and it is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
B. Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, which was expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
C. Lack of fresh water is an ongoing problem in the outposts, and they are expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
D. The outposts lacked fresh water, this problem is expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.
E. The outposts have a lack of fresh water, a problem expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.

Split #1 - Redundancy
ongoing and expected to continue are redundant
Eliminate A, B, and C

The second part of the sentence
should be constructed as a modifier
of the first part of the sentence.

The best way to do that in this case is Option E
Some people argue that Option A also contains pronoun error;
it should modify problem, not lack.
I am not convinced, , see here.
I would rely instead on A's redundancy and modifier problems.

1) verb tense: IS/WAS. X IS a problem that WAS expected to continue?
2) which incorrectly modifies outposts (the outposts are not expected to continue!)
3) same modifier problem as A

1) Pronoun they incorrectly must reference
outposts (agreement in number)
2) same modifier problem as A

Split #2 - Sentence structure
Option D is a run-on sentence. It contains two independent clauses joined by a comma.
Option D also has verb tense problems
Outposts lacked . . ., this problem is

Eliminate D

Meaning: The outposts' lack of fresh water is a problem expected to
last until reinforcements arrive [with more fresh water].

Option E conveys this sentence's meaning without error:
The outposts have a lack of fresh water, a problem expected to continue until reinforcements arrive

The second part of the sentence in Option E is an "absolute phrase."

Absolute phrases modify an entire independent clause.
They describe that IC.

Often absolute phrases have the structure [NOUN][NOUN MODIFIER]
Option E's absolute phrase follows that structure: [problem][expected to continue until reinforcements arrive]

Another way to think about absolute phrases:
they describe the "other" part of the sentence.

Here, the absolute phrase modifies the entire IC preceding the absolute phrase.
[MAIN CLAUSE],[ABSOLUTE PHRASE]:
The outposts have a lack of fresh water, a problem expected to continue until reinforcements arrive.

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I was alive then.

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06 Apr 2018, 02:39
itisSheldon wrote:
ag111 wrote:
Why cant "it"" refers to "lack of fresh water". After all a pronoun can refer to Noun Phrase as well. In that case Option A make sense. Also given the explanation by you earlier that "it" can greater propensity to go with the subject of the preceding clause the sentence is no longer ambiguous whether "it" is modifying "lack of fresh water " or "problem". Please advise.

I have the same doubt as ag111

Hey itisSheldon ,

I am happy to help.

Looks like you didn't understand the meaning of the sentence clearly and you are looking for only grammatical usage.

Please note that meaning of the sentence is there is an ongoing problem and we are expecting this problem to continue.

Now, option A is implying Lack of water is a problem and Lack of water is expected to continue. Logically, the problem should be expected rather than lack of water itself. Meaning lack of water is causing a problem and this problem is going to continue.

Does that make sense?

pulkitgarg08 wrote:
Can an expert please explain the issue with B? "Which" refers to "problem". Right?

Hey pulkitgarg08 ,

B is a blunder here.

B is implying the problem "is" ongoing and this problem "was" expected to continue.

Do you see the change in tenses and hence the overall meaning of the sentence?

The correct meaning is: Problem is happening at the moment and we are expecting this to continue in future.

I hope that makes sense.
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Re: V08-01 &nbs [#permalink] 06 Apr 2018, 02:39

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# V08-01

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