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OG'17

This topic has 6 expert replies and 5 member replies
fiza gupta Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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OG'17

Post Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:01 am
In some types of pine tree, a thick layer of needles protects the buds from which new growth proceeds; consequently they are able to withstand forest fires relatively well.

A) a thick layer of needles protects the buds from which new growth proceeds; consequently they are able to withstand forest fires relatively well
B) a thick needle layer protects buds from where new growth proceeds, so that they can withstand forest fires relatively well
C) a thick layer of needles protect the buds from which new growth proceeds; thus, they are able to withstand relatively well any forest fires
D) since the buds from which new growth proceeds are protected by a thick layer needle layer, consequently they can therefore withstand forest fires relatively well
E) because the buds where new growth happens are protected by a thick layer of needles, they are able to withstand forest fires relatively easily as a result

OA:A

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noiceman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun May 28, 2017 11:06 pm
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
This question is primarily testing SENTENCE STRUCTURE (clauses) and LOGICAL MEANING.

In some types of pine tree, a thick layer of needles protects the buds from which new growth proceeds; consequently they are able to withstand forest fires relatively well.

A) a thick layer of needles protects the buds from which new growth proceeds; consequently they are able to withstand forest fires relatively well

Correct!
- we have an independent clause on either side of the semicolon. (Remember that whenever we see a SEMICOLON, we must have a full independent clause on either side).
- all modifiers logically modify the intended thing

B) a thick needle layer protects buds from where new growth proceeds, so that they can withstand forest fires relatively well
- "so that" implies intentionality. Are the trees doing this on purpose? Can trees be said to do anything on purpose?
- idiomatically, we cannot say "from where." "Where" cannot be an object of a preposition. We can only say "from which" (for anything non-human) or "from whom" (human).

C) a thick layer of needles protect the buds from which new growth proceeds; thus, they are able to withstand relatively well any forest fires
- the correct verb is "a thick layer [of needles] protects..."

D) since the buds from which new growth proceeds are protected by a thick layer needle layer, consequently they can therefore withstand forest fires relatively well
- If we start the sentence with a prepositional phrase ("In some types..."), we should follow it with the independent clause, not a dependent clause ("since...")
- "consequently" is redundant if we've already said "since", and "therefore" is doubly redundant

E) because the buds where new growth happens are protected by a thick layer of needles, they are able to withstand forest fires relatively easily as a result
- same as in D - we shouldn't begin a dependent clause ("because") after an opening prepositional phrase.
- we can't use "where" to modify "buds." "where" should only refer to a physical / geographical location.

The answer is A.
Hi Ceilidh,
Thank you for the explanation.
Could you elaborate "we shouldn't begin a dependent clause ("because") after an opening prepositional phrase", please?
It will help a lot.

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Post Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:53 am
akara2500 wrote:
Could you please more clarify, as far as I see, for this case "from which" is not the modifier for buds, since it has to be protect the bud from sth (protect sth from sth). So it's ok with protect the buds from where new growth proceeds. "where new growth proceeds" is just sth to protect the buds from
The "from which" clause does modify "buds":
- needles protect buds
- new growth proceeds from buds


So the sentence needs to convey:
... a thick layer of needles protects the buds (the things that new growth proceeds from)...
We often end phrases in prepositions colloquially, but the GMAT will prefer the more proper PREPOSITION + RELATIVE PRONOUN.

"Where" should only refer to a geographical place: a city, a country, a building, etc. Something with a fixed location. "Buds" are objects found on muliples trees in multiple locations, so it's better to use "which."

For whatever reason, "from where" is never used in English. In old-fashioned usage, you might see "from whence." But in modern English, you would see "from which" even when referring to geographical places: New Orleans, a city from which numerous jazz artists emerged...

I hope this answers your question!

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noiceman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun May 28, 2017 11:06 pm
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
This question is primarily testing SENTENCE STRUCTURE (clauses) and LOGICAL MEANING.

In some types of pine tree, a thick layer of needles protects the buds from which new growth proceeds; consequently they are able to withstand forest fires relatively well.

A) a thick layer of needles protects the buds from which new growth proceeds; consequently they are able to withstand forest fires relatively well

Correct!
- we have an independent clause on either side of the semicolon. (Remember that whenever we see a SEMICOLON, we must have a full independent clause on either side).
- all modifiers logically modify the intended thing

B) a thick needle layer protects buds from where new growth proceeds, so that they can withstand forest fires relatively well
- "so that" implies intentionality. Are the trees doing this on purpose? Can trees be said to do anything on purpose?
- idiomatically, we cannot say "from where." "Where" cannot be an object of a preposition. We can only say "from which" (for anything non-human) or "from whom" (human).

C) a thick layer of needles protect the buds from which new growth proceeds; thus, they are able to withstand relatively well any forest fires
- the correct verb is "a thick layer [of needles] protects..."

D) since the buds from which new growth proceeds are protected by a thick layer needle layer, consequently they can therefore withstand forest fires relatively well
- If we start the sentence with a prepositional phrase ("In some types..."), we should follow it with the independent clause, not a dependent clause ("since...")
- "consequently" is redundant if we've already said "since", and "therefore" is doubly redundant

E) because the buds where new growth happens are protected by a thick layer of needles, they are able to withstand forest fires relatively easily as a result
- same as in D - we shouldn't begin a dependent clause ("because") after an opening prepositional phrase.
- we can't use "where" to modify "buds." "where" should only refer to a physical / geographical location.

The answer is A.
Hi Ceilidh,
Thank you for the explanation.
Could you elaborate "we shouldn't begin a dependent clause ("because") after an opening prepositional phrase", please?
It will help a lot.

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Post Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:53 am
akara2500 wrote:
Could you please more clarify, as far as I see, for this case "from which" is not the modifier for buds, since it has to be protect the bud from sth (protect sth from sth). So it's ok with protect the buds from where new growth proceeds. "where new growth proceeds" is just sth to protect the buds from
The "from which" clause does modify "buds":
- needles protect buds
- new growth proceeds from buds


So the sentence needs to convey:
... a thick layer of needles protects the buds (the things that new growth proceeds from)...
We often end phrases in prepositions colloquially, but the GMAT will prefer the more proper PREPOSITION + RELATIVE PRONOUN.

"Where" should only refer to a geographical place: a city, a country, a building, etc. Something with a fixed location. "Buds" are objects found on muliples trees in multiple locations, so it's better to use "which."

For whatever reason, "from where" is never used in English. In old-fashioned usage, you might see "from whence." But in modern English, you would see "from which" even when referring to geographical places: New Orleans, a city from which numerous jazz artists emerged...

I hope this answers your question!

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Post Mon May 29, 2017 7:58 am
My pleasure!

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noiceman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon May 29, 2017 7:45 am
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
noiceman wrote:
Hi Ceilidh,
Thank you for the explanation.
Could you elaborate "we shouldn't begin a dependent clause ("because") after an opening prepositional phrase", please?
It will help a lot.
Prepositional phrases act as modifiers (sometimes modifying nouns, sometimes modifying actions). As a general rule, a prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence should modify what comes right after it:

In the school play, I had the starring role.

If additional modifying information is added with a dependent clause, it should not be "stacked" in front of the prepositional phrase:

Incorrect: In the school play, because the other children had stage fright, I had the starring role.

Correct: In the school play, I had the starring role, because the other children had stage fright.
or...
Correct: Because the other children had stage fright, I had the starring role in the school play,

Does that answer your question?
Yes. Thank you for the kind help! Smile

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Post Mon May 29, 2017 7:38 am
noiceman wrote:
Hi Ceilidh,
Thank you for the explanation.
Could you elaborate "we shouldn't begin a dependent clause ("because") after an opening prepositional phrase", please?
It will help a lot.
Prepositional phrases act as modifiers (sometimes modifying nouns, sometimes modifying actions). As a general rule, a prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence should modify what comes right after it:

In the school play, I had the starring role.

If additional modifying information is added with a dependent clause, it should not be "stacked" in front of the prepositional phrase:

Incorrect: In the school play, because the other children had stage fright, I had the starring role.

Correct: In the school play, I had the starring role, because the other children had stage fright.
or...
Correct: Because the other children had stage fright, I had the starring role in the school play,

Does that answer your question?

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EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
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akara2500 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:08 pm
Could you please more clarify, as far as I see, for this case "from which" is not the modifier for buds, since it has to be protect the bud from sth (protect sth from sth). So it's ok with protect the buds from where new growth proceeds. "where new growth proceeds" is just sth to protect the buds from

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akara2500 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:08 pm
Could you please more clarify, as far as I see, for this case "from which" is not the modifier for buds, since it has to be protect the bud from sth (protect sth from sth). So it's ok with protect the buds from where new growth proceeds. "where new growth proceeds" is just sth to protect the buds from

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Post Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:19 pm

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Post Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:11 pm
GMATsid2016 wrote:
Hello Ceilidh ,

Can you please explain more above reason to eliminate this option?

Also please advise what does THEY refer to in OA?

Thanks,

Sid
Option C is wrong because it violates SUBJECT/VERB AGREEMENT. The subject is the singular "layer" (not "needles," which is part of a modifying prepositional phrase), so the verb should be "protects," not "protect."

I agree that determining the antecedent of the pronoun "THEY" is tricky in this problem. Pronouns are most likely to replace subjects or objects of verbs, and are less likely to replace nouns in modifying phrases or clauses. Thus, we can assume that "they" probably refers to "buds." There is a little bit of ambiguity in whether "they" might be referring to "types of pine tree" rather than "buds," but the issue is minor; it would not cause a meaning difference in this problem. I've updated my post accordingly.

The pronoun ambiguity issue is a tricky one on the GMAT: sometimes we're required to fix ambiguity issues (usually if there are also meaning issues), and sometimes a right answer will contain a seemingly ambiguous pronoun. The best thing to do is to ignore this issue unless you're sure you've dealt with all other grammar and meaning issues.

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