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V09-03

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During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.

A. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.
B. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
C. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience, who had a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
D. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience experiencing a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
E. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience’s reactions to her conclusions, which were mixed.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2015, 21:36
Official Solution:

During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.

A. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.
B. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
C. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience, who had a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
D. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience experiencing a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
E. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience’s reactions to her conclusions, which were mixed.


(A) The sentence has an incorrect modifier. During her thesis defense should refer to the graduate student instead of the audience

(B) This sentence has the same modifier error as choice A. Also, the audience’s mixed reaction should be to the student’s conclusions, not to her thesis

(C) Correct. The opening clause correctly modifies the graduate student; the pronoun who correctly refers to audience

(D) This sentence incorrectly implies that the student paid careful attention to the audience experiencing a mixed reaction, rather than to the mixed reaction itself

(E) This sentence incorrectly implies that the student’s conclusions were mixed, instead of the audience’s reactions


Answer: C
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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2015, 10:41
souvik101990 wrote:
Official Solution:

During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.

A. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.
B. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
C. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
D. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience experiencing a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
E. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience’s reactions to her conclusions, which were mixed.


(A) The sentence has an incorrect modifier. During her thesis defense should refer to the graduate student instead of the audience

(B) This sentence has the same modifier error as choice A. Also, the audience’s mixed reaction should be to the student’s conclusions, not to her thesis

(C) Correct. The opening clause correctly modifies the graduate student; the pronoun who correctly refers to audience

(D) This sentence incorrectly implies that the student paid careful attention to the audience experiencing a mixed reaction, rather than to the mixed reaction itself

(E) This sentence incorrectly implies that the student’s conclusions were mixed, instead of the audience’s reactions


Answer: C


Hello souvik101990
In answer C we don't have pronoun who. So explanation of variant C contains an error.

And also I confused with variant C
"During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it."

According to this variant her refer to audience but as I understand this question it is the graduent student who has a thesis defense.
Also she refers to the student, but in this variant we have not student but student's and pronoun she can't refer to posessive.

Could you please clarify these moments?
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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2015, 06:24
I think this is a poor-quality question. B C options look the same?

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2015, 23:48
I guess it has a wrong solution..!!

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2015, 05:11
I think this is a poor-quality question. In option C , only the possesive pronoun for can be used .One can not use she as pronoun until somewhere subject noun is mentioned. Student's is possesive form ,so we cant use She to mean studen.
So should not C be wrong?

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2016, 10:49
souvik101990 wrote:
During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.

A. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.
B. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
C. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience, who had a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
D. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience experiencing a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
E. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience’s reactions to her conclusions, which were mixed.


Hi Souvik,

I wanted to check on the following. In option C the way who is used is slightly confusing.
Does not the option mean that the graduate student was selectively paying careful attention to ONLY those people in the audience who had a mixed reaction and not to everyone.
1) Is my understanding correct?
2) If Yes. Isnt this a change in meaning ?
3) If no. Can you please guide me how i can avoid this mistake in future. What concept am I missing ?

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2016, 12:00
korhiyatryinghard wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.

A. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.
B. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
C. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience, who had a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
D. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience experiencing a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
E. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience’s reactions to her conclusions, which were mixed.


Hi Souvik,

I wanted to check on the following. In option C the way who is used is slightly confusing.
Does not the option mean that the graduate student was selectively paying careful attention to ONLY those people in the audience who had a mixed reaction and not to everyone.
1) Is my understanding correct?
2) If Yes. Isnt this a change in meaning ?
3) If no. Can you please guide me how i can avoid this mistake in future. What concept am I missing ?


Option C is alright and the meaning you indicated would be conveyed if there were no comma before "who". Let me briefly summarize the difference between essential and non-essential modifiers:

Essential modifier:
mandatory- required to define the noun it refers to - no comma - removal of the modifier changes the meaning of the sentence.
example: I hate men who brag.
meaning: Say there are 100 men and 30 of them brag. I hate only those 30 bragging men ("selectively" as you mentioned).
Removal of the modifier would imply that I hate all 100 men rather than just those 30 bragging men - meaning changes.

Non-essential modifier:
not mandatory - says something extra about the noun it refers to - comma required - removal of the modifier does not change the meaning of the sentence.
example: I hate men, who brag.
meaning: Say there are 100 men. I hate all 100 of them. Extra information- those 100 men brag.
Removal of the modifier would still imply that I hate all 100 men - the meaning does not change.

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2016, 20:26
sayantanc2k wrote:
korhiyatryinghard wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.

A. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the conclusions of the graduate student, who paid careful attention to it.
B. During her thesis defense, the audience had a mixed reaction to the graduate student’s thesis, and she paid careful attention to it.
C. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience, who had a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
D. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience experiencing a mixed reaction to her conclusions.
E. During her thesis defense, the graduate student paid careful attention to her audience’s reactions to her conclusions, which were mixed.


Hi Souvik,

I wanted to check on the following. In option C the way who is used is slightly confusing.
Does not the option mean that the graduate student was selectively paying careful attention to ONLY those people in the audience who had a mixed reaction and not to everyone.
1) Is my understanding correct?
2) If Yes. Isnt this a change in meaning ?
3) If no. Can you please guide me how i can avoid this mistake in future. What concept am I missing ?


Option C is alright and the meaning you indicated would be conveyed if there were no comma before "who". Let me briefly summarize the difference between essential and non-essential modifiers:

Essential modifier:
mandatory- required to define the noun it refers to - no comma - removal of the modifier changes the meaning of the sentence.
example: I hate men who brag.
meaning: Say there are 100 men and 30 of them brag. I hate only those 30 bragging men ("selectively" as you mentioned).
Removal of the modifier would imply that I hate all 100 men rather than just those 30 bragging men - meaning changes.

Non-essential modifier:
not mandatory - says something extra about the noun it refers to - comma required - removal of the modifier does not change the meaning of the sentence.
example: I hate men, who brag.
meaning: Say there are 100 men. I hate all 100 of them. Extra information- those 100 men brag.
Removal of the modifier would still imply that I hate all 100 men - the meaning does not change.



Thanks a lot. Your explanation is spot on
I got what i was missing - The comma was playing the devil in my mind.

I have the following follow up questions -
1) Is it true that all non essential modifiers contain a comma ALWAYS. Considering which is a non essential modifier if it occurs without a comma i can rule this out as a wrong option?
2) Is it true that all essential modifier never contain a comma. I think you have stated the same but wanted to clarify one more time.

Apologies for dragging...

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V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2016, 04:52
korhiyatryinghard wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
korhiyatryinghard wrote:
Hi Souvik,

I wanted to check on the following. In option C the way who is used is slightly confusing.
Does not the option mean that the graduate student was selectively paying careful attention to ONLY those people in the audience who had a mixed reaction and not to everyone.
1) Is my understanding correct?
2) If Yes. Isnt this a change in meaning ?
3) If no. Can you please guide me how i can avoid this mistake in future. What concept am I missing ?


Option C is alright and the meaning you indicated would be conveyed if there were no comma before "who". Let me briefly summarize the difference between essential and non-essential modifiers:

Essential modifier:
mandatory- required to define the noun it refers to - no comma - removal of the modifier changes the meaning of the sentence.
example: I hate men who brag.
meaning: Say there are 100 men and 30 of them brag. I hate only those 30 bragging men ("selectively" as you mentioned).
Removal of the modifier would imply that I hate all 100 men rather than just those 30 bragging men - meaning changes.

Non-essential modifier:
not mandatory - says something extra about the noun it refers to - comma required - removal of the modifier does not change the meaning of the sentence.
example: I hate men, who brag.
meaning: Say there are 100 men. I hate all 100 of them. Extra information- those 100 men brag.
Removal of the modifier would still imply that I hate all 100 men - the meaning does not change.



Thanks a lot. Your explanation is spot on
I got what i was missing - The comma was playing the devil in my mind.

I have the following follow up questions -
1) Is it true that all non essential modifiers contain a comma ALWAYS. Considering which is a non essential modifier if it occurs without a comma i can rule this out as a wrong option?
2) Is it true that all essential modifier never contain a comma. I think you have stated the same but wanted to clarify one more time.

Apologies for dragging...


A non-essential modifier takes comma, whereas an essential does not - this is a grammar rule. Nonetheless, in GMAT I have not come across any question that distinguishes a right answer from a wrong only because of punctuation - there should generally be at least another distinguishing error.

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2017, 07:10
Just to be sure, "who" can be used to refer to subjects that describe a group of people such as the team, the class, etc.? I thought "the audience" cannot really be considered human and ruled out answer choice c based on that ...

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2017, 08:47
mdella wrote:
Just to be sure, "who" can be used to refer to subjects that describe a group of people such as the team, the class, etc.? I thought "the audience" cannot really be considered human and ruled out answer choice c based on that ...


Logically, "group" should take the relative pronoun "which", because " group" itself is not some people, but made up of people.

However there is difference in opinion over this issue. The best that I may suggest is that when the meaning indicated is "a single entity", then use "which", but when the meaning indicated is "a number of people", use "who" (as one would do for a plural noun referring to humans). If I come across an official example confirming or refuting this, I shall get back to you.

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Re: V09-03 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2017, 03:05
Can anyone please explain me option D.


(D) This sentence incorrectly implies that the student paid careful attention to the audience experiencing a mixed reaction, rather than to the mixed reaction itself

My understanding was verb+ing without comma modify the previous noun. In this case experiencing is a modifying audience. hence the meaning should be clear enough.

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Re: V09-03   [#permalink] 09 Nov 2017, 03:05
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