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hey_thr67 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(A) A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

(B) After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(C) After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(D) Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

(E) The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

OA is D

My doubt: Why Mass is the subject of correct answer choice but star ?

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Thu May 10, 2012 10:24 am
hey_thr67 wrote:
My doubt: Why Mass is the subject of correct answer choice but star ?
Hi there,

Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

If you notice, this sentence has two clauses:
Cl 1: Mass determines
Cl 2: whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
Now, “Mass” is the subject of the first clause that has the verb “determines”. “star” is the subject of the dependent clause that has the verb “will compress”. So, the action of compressing is associated with its subject “star” and not with the subject of the first clause “Mass”.
So, the meaning conveyed by this sentence is clear.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

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agarwalva Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Fri May 11, 2012 3:33 pm
whats the problem with A

A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

Please can someone explain what is depending on mass modifying

I am pretty sure it would modify "it passes through a red giant stage" if there was a comma before this clause something like

A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole, after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

ikaplan Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Sat May 12, 2012 1:47 am
IMO, (A) has a problem with the relative pronoun "it"; we don't whether "it" refers to a 'black hole', to a 'neutron star' or to the star that compresses itself.

Can someone please clarify that the problem with (B) is the improper usage of the relative pronoun "its"?

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hey_thr67 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Mon May 14, 2012 9:35 am

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Wed May 16, 2012 11:13 am
hey_thr67 wrote:
Hi there,
I guess I did not get your question in the first go. I guess you are to see that the original sentence starts with “A star”, the subject of the sentence, but the correct answer begins with “Mass”, a completely different subject. So how this transition is possible?
If this indeed is your confusion, then let us first understand the meaning of the sentence and then then see how Choice D makes sense in this case.

A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass.

The sentence means that a star can compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant shape. Now what this star compresses itself into depends upon the mass of the star.

Error Analysis

The verb-ing modifier “depending on mass” is placed after a comma. This means that it modifies the preceding clause. Now there are two clauses in this sentence before this modifier. It is really ambiguous which clause is this modifier referring to. From the meaning of the sentence we know that it should modify the first clause. But the way this modifier is placed, it leads to an ambiguity. This is the error in this sentence.

POE:

Choice A: A star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole after it passes through a red giant stage, depending on mass. Incorrect for the reason stated above.

Choice B: After passing through a red giant stage, depending on its mass, a star will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. Incorrect. There are two modifiers in the beginning of the sentence that are not connected properly. Also the verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma should modify the preceding clause. Here there is no clause before the comma.

Choice C: After passing through a red giant stage, a star’s mass will determine if it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. Incorrect. The opening modifier is illogically modifying “a star’s mass”. It is not “a star’s mass” that passes through a red giant star but a star does that.

Choice D: Mass determines whether a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will compress itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. Correct. This sentence correctly conveys the meaning that the mass of the star determines what the star will compress itself into after it passes though the red giant stage.

Choice E: The mass of a star, after passing through the red giant stage, will determine whether it compresses itself into a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. Incorrect. The sentence illogically seems to suggest that the mass of the star passes through the red giant stage.

Hope this helps.

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hey_thr67 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Wed May 16, 2012 10:44 pm
Ok... So the learnings are,

1- Since "depending upon its mass" is a noun modifier, it should touch its noun.
2- In ans choice 1 since the clause is not touching its noun and also, it is trying to act as a verb modifier, we can not say clearly which clause it is trying to modify.
3- Correct answer choice has broken one modifier.

Thanks for you explanation. It has helped me now. So, is it often that GMAT tries to break one of the modifier in correct answer choice ( if the sentence has more than one modifier) to ease out the problem.

hey_thr67 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Thu May 17, 2012 10:34 am
Could somebody explain the following in modifier terms...
I am confused over what role the different modifiers are playing and how do start with prepositions ?

http://www.beatthegmat.com/exporter-of-honey-t42742.html

hey_thr67 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:11 am
Is it always necessary that Verb-ing modifier refer to preceding clause but not the clause after it.

Is the sentence below in-correct ?

Quote:
Depending on mass, a star will compress into white dwarf, red dwarf or neutral star.

Also is the following sentence better than the above ?

Quote:
a star will compress into white dwarf, red dwarf or neutral star, depending on its mass.
If the former sentence is also correct then how the choice B is wrong ?

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Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:08 am
Coma ing at end -> modifies the whole clause ( describes it or concludes results of some activity)

Coma ing at begining --> modifies the noun and/or the clause.

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