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Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia

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Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 11:58
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Hello Everyone!

This is a tricky question, so let's dive in! To start, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.

A. wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of
B. wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of
C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all
D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely
E. living in a society that is highly cooperative, organized, and it consists of almost all

After a quick glance over the options, there are a couple things we can focus on:

1. wasps living/wasps that live/which means they/which means that/living (Modifiers)
2. How each options ends (Punctuation/Pronouns/Meaning)


Let's start with #1 on our list: Modifiers. We first need to determine if the word "which" is necessary, and then check to make sure the modifiers don't screw up meaning:

A. wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of --> OK (Clear the modifier is referring back to "social wasps," and giving more detail about them.)

B. wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of --> OK (Also clear the modifier is referring to and giving more information on what "social wasps" are.)

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all --> WRONG (Starting the phrase with "which" means it must modify THE ENTIRE PHRASE before the comma, and that's not what it should be modifying. It should only modify "social wasps.")

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely --> WRONG (Again, starting a modifier with the word "which" means it must modify THE ENTIRE phrase before the comma, and not just "social wasps.")

E. living in a society that is highly cooperative, organized, and it consists of almost all --> WRONG (The -ing modifier must modify THE ENTIRE PHRASE before the comma, and that's not what we're trying to modify here.)

We can eliminate options C, D, & E because they use the wrong kinds of modifiers for the sentence.

Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let's tackle any issues with meaning, modifiers, and punctuation. To make problems easier to spot, I've included the non-underlined portions of the sentence:

A. Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.

This is INCORRECT because we have a vague pronoun! It's not clear what "they" is referring to: yellow jackets, social wasps, society, species? If a pronoun isn't 100% clear, that's a big red flag on the GMAT that this is likely an incorrect choice.

B. Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.

This is CORRECT! It uses modifiers correctly, and there are no problems with pronouns, punctuation, or meaning here!


There you go - option B is the correct choice!


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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2019, 13:12
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all --> WRONG (Starting the phrase with "which" means it must modify THE ENTIRE PHRASE before the comma, and that's not what it should be modifying. It should only modify "social wasps.")

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely --> WRONG (Again, starting a modifier with the word "which" means it must modify THE ENTIRE phrase before the comma, and not just "social wasps.")



Hello EMPOWERgmatVerbal! Quick question: I learned that WHICH refers to the immediate preceding noun. Why is this "which" modifying an entire phrase?
Thanks!
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2019, 10:32
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mekhdi wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all --> WRONG (Starting the phrase with "which" means it must modify THE ENTIRE PHRASE before the comma, and that's not what it should be modifying. It should only modify "social wasps.")

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely --> WRONG (Again, starting a modifier with the word "which" means it must modify THE ENTIRE phrase before the comma, and not just "social wasps.")



Hello EMPOWERgmatVerbal! Quick question: I learned that WHICH refers to the immediate preceding noun. Why is this "which" modifying an entire phrase?
Thanks!


Hello mekhdi!

Another way of looking at these modifiers is to read for meaning. Here are options C & D with the entire sentence worked in:

C. Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all females—the queen and her sterile female workers.
The problem with this is that by starting a phrase with "which means," it suggests a cause/effect relationship between the two phrases. This sentence says that yellow jackets are highly cooperative and organized BECAUSE they are a type of social wasp - which isn't exactly true. They just happen to be that way.

D. Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely females—the queen and her sterile female workers.
Again, this one suggests that yellow jackets are cooperative and organized BECAUSE they are a type of social wasp, which is not true - they just happen to be that way.

I hope that helps! The problem lies more in the fact that the modifier says "which means," and that creates a bit of a meaning problem.
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 14:54
Please help! Is the first sentence "Yellow jacket......" the legendary Nominative absolute or absolute phrase that can be added in front or at the end of the sentence to modify WASP? That is why the sentence is not a run on and not making "...social wasp, wasp..." weird?
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2019, 20:19
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hedgehuglove wrote:
Please help! Is the first sentence "Yellow jacket......" the legendary Nominative absolute or absolute phrase that can be added in front or at the end of the sentence to modify WASP? That is why the sentence is not a run on and not making "...social wasp, wasp..." weird?
No. That is the main subject-verb pair. The second wasps that you see is the one that is a modifier (for social wasps).

Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2019, 17:10
Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.


A. wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of

B. wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely

E. living in a society that is highly cooperative, organized, and it consists of almost all

IN C AND D, Which is referring to world's social wasps or only wasps. Please suggest.
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2019, 22:09
DLMD wrote:
Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.


A. wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of

B. wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely

E. living in a society that is highly cooperative, organized, and it consists of almost all


The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 776
Page:





A. wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of --- 'they is ambiguous". Moreover, 'where' after society doesn't make sense. Society is not a place here.

B. wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of -- No error. the 'wasps just after a 'wasp' and comma make it look awkward, but that's how we can write 'that' after a comma.

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all --- Wrong usage of 'which'. It means wasps means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society,

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely -- Same as in C

E. living in a society that is highly cooperative, organized, and it consists of almost all -- usage of 'it' is wrong here. Is it referring to Wasps or something else. It is not clear.
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2019, 05:22
Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's social wasps, wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of females—the queen and her sterile female workers.


A. wasps living in a highly cooperative and organized society where they consist almost entirely of

They —> ambigious WRONG

B. wasps that live in a highly cooperative and organized society consisting almost entirely of

CORRECT

C. which means they live in a highly cooperative and organized society, almost all

WHICH uses is WRONG

D. which means that their society is highly cooperative, organized, and it is almost entirely

WHICH uses is WRONG

E. living in a society that is highly cooperative, organized, and it consists of almost all

And it consists not coming as a list. SO WRONG
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Re: Yellow jackets number among the 900 or so species of the world's socia   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2019, 05:22

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