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GMAT Official Guide 2019 Over the past ten years

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GMAT Official Guide 2019 Over the past ten years

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Over the past ten years cultivated sunflowers have become a major commercial crop, second only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil.


A. second only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil

B. second in importance to soybeans only as a source of vegetable oil

C. being second in importance only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil

D. which, as a source of vegetable oil, is only second to soybeans

E. as a source of vegetable oil only second to soybeans

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BTGmoderatorDC wrote:
Over the past ten years cultivated sunflowers have become a major commercial crop, second only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil.

A. second only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil

B. second in importance to soybeans only as a source of vegetable oil

C. being second in importance only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil

D. which, as a source of vegetable oil, is only second to soybeans

E. as a source of vegetable oil only second to soybeans
In B and C, second in importance is redundant.
X is second to Y means -- all on its own -- that X is less important than Y.
Eliminate B and C.

Modifiers such as only and almost are known as LIMITERS.
A limiter serves to LIMIT the scope of another word in the sentence.
Generally, a limiter should be placed directly before whatever it is intended to limit.

ONLY JOHN plays the tuba.
Here, only serves to limit WHO PLAYS the tuba.
Conveyed meaning;
NO ONE ELSE -- aside from John -- plays the tuba.

John plays ONLY THE TUBA.
Here, only serves to limit WHICH INSTRUMENTS John plays.
Conveyed meaning:
John plays NO OTHER INSTRUMENTS -- aside from the tuba.

A: Sunflowers have become...second ONLY TO SOYBEANS.
Here, only serves to limit WHICH CROPS are more important than sunflowers.
Conveyed meaning:
NO OTHER CROP -- aside from soybeans -- is more important than sunflowers.
This is the intended meaning of the original sentence.

D and E: A major commercial crop...ONLY SECOND.
Here, only serves to limit WHICH RANKING is attributed to the major commercial crop.
Conveyed meaning:
NO OTHER RANKING -- aside from second -- is attributed to the major commercial crop.
In D and E, the position of only distorts the intended meaning of the original sentence.
Eliminate D and E.

The correct answer is A.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
BTGmoderatorDC wrote:
Over the past ten years cultivated sunflowers have become a major commercial crop, second only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil.

A. second only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil

B. second in importance to soybeans only as a source of vegetable oil

C. being second in importance only to soybeans as a source of vegetable oil

D. which, as a source of vegetable oil, is only second to soybeans

E. as a source of vegetable oil only second to soybeans
In B and C, second in importance is redundant.
X is second to Y means -- all on its own -- that X is less important than Y.
Eliminate B and C.

Modifiers such as only and almost are known as LIMITERS.
A limiter serves to LIMIT the scope of another word in the sentence.
Generally, a limiter should be placed directly before whatever it is intended to limit.

ONLY JOHN plays the tuba.
Here, only serves to limit WHO PLAYS the tuba.
Conveyed meaning;
NO ONE ELSE -- aside from John -- plays the tuba.

John plays ONLY THE TUBA.
Here, only serves to limit WHICH INSTRUMENTS John plays.
Conveyed meaning:
John plays NO OTHER INSTRUMENTS -- aside from the tuba.

A: Sunflowers have become...second ONLY TO SOYBEANS.
Here, only serves to limit WHICH CROPS are more important than sunflowers.
Conveyed meaning:
NO OTHER CROP -- aside from soybeans -- is more important than sunflowers.
This is the intended meaning of the original sentence.

D and E: A major commercial crop...ONLY SECOND.
Here, only serves to limit WHICH RANKING is attributed to the major commercial crop.
Conveyed meaning:
NO OTHER RANKING -- aside from second -- is attributed to the major commercial crop.
In D and E, the position of only distorts the intended meaning of the original sentence.
Eliminate D and E.

The correct answer is A.
Thank you so much for the explanation about the usage of 'only'!!!

But I have another question about choice (E).

here is the explanation in OG:
it is unclear whether it modifies the phrase ‘as a source of vegetable oil’, or the phrase ‘second to soybeans’.
=> why it can modify ‘second to soybeans’? Doesn’t ‘second to soybeans’ modify ‘as a source of vegetable oil
‘?

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