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Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface

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boomgoesthegmat Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface

Post Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:55 am
Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, the oceans play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, moderating temperature by the absorption of heat and carbon dioxide, and giving pure water back to the atmosphere through evaporation.

A) Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, the oceans play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, moderating

B) Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface and playing an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, the oceans moderate

C) The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface and play an essential role in maintaining conditions for human existence on land, and by moderating

D) The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface, play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, and moderate

E) The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface, playing an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, and they moderate

A

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Nina1987 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun May 08, 2016 5:16 pm
Experts:

Choice A might be an OA but it sounds quite awkward to me. Here is why -

It seems to me that the intent of the author is to say "Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, the oceans play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, BY moderating temperature by the absorption of heat and carbon dioxide, and BY giving pure water back to the atmosphere through evaporation" i.e. the oceans play an essential role ...BY moderating temperature ....and BY giving pure water.
However, I am not quite sure if I see very often that a participle phrase especially when it occurs at the end of the sentence is used instead of using BY construction. For instance -
Sweeping across the night sky, the bats hunted their prey (sounds quite ok to my ear)
The bats hunted their prey, sweeping across the night sky (sounds awkward)
Second kind of construction is not very common at least for me.

Does it make sense? What Im missing here in terms of GMAT preference?

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fabiocafarelli Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:41 am
boomgoesthegmat wrote:
Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, the oceans play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, moderating temperature by the absorption of heat and carbon dioxide, and giving pure water back to the atmosphere through evaporation.

A) Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, the oceans play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, moderating

B) Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface and playing an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, the oceans moderate

C) The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface and play an essential role in maintaining conditions for human existence on land, and by moderating

D) The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface, play an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, and moderate

E) The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface, playing an essential role in maintaining the conditions for human existence on land, and they moderate

A
If you read the given sentence carefully you will see that after the final comma there is an AND followed by a present participle, GIVING. Since AND must connect what follows it to something previous, the correct answer, in order to be parallel, MUST contain another present participle. This is what you already have in option A: MODERATING TEMPERATURE ..., AND GIVING PURE WATER BACK. This is the only option that contains this construction, and A is therefore the only possible correct answer.

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