• 5-Day Free Trial
5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• Free Practice Test & Review
How would you score if you took the GMAT

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• 5 Day FREE Trial
Study Smarter, Not Harder

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Get 300+ Practice Questions 25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • FREE GMAT Exam Know how you'd score today for$0

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• Free Veritas GMAT Class
Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• 1 Hour Free
BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• Magoosh
Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

• Free Trial & Practice Exam
BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

## It is called a sea , but the landlocked Caspian is actually

This topic has 4 expert replies and 12 member replies
Goto page
• 1,
• 2
georgepaul0071987 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
14 Sep 2011
Posted:
81 messages
2

#### It is called a sea , but the landlocked Caspian is actually

Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:35 pm

00:00

A

B

C

D

E

# Global Stats

Difficult

It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.
A. It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
B. Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
C. Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
D. Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
E. Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering

OA : C

Can you comment on two things
(1) Why is the usage of 'which' in (A) and (B) incorrect ? What is wrong if 'which' refers to 'the largest lake on earth' ?

(2) I thought the usage of 'covering' is incorrect here . Because a Comma + verbING modifier should either describe (a)an immediate consequence of the previous clause
or (b) it should describe a simultaneous lower priority action .
But 'covering' doesn't seem to be doing either operation here.

### GMAT/MBA Expert

GMATGuruNY GMAT Instructor
Joined
25 May 2010
Posted:
14324 messages
Followed by:
1826 members
13060
GMAT Score:
790
Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:21 am
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.
A. It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
B. Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
C. Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
D. Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
E. Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
In A and B, which seems to refer to Earth, but it is not the Earth but the CASPIAN that covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival. Eliminate A and B.

Though serves to indicate CONTRAST. In D, though called a sea and covers more than four times the surface area are not contrasting ideas. Eliminate D.

In E, called seems to refer to lake, but the intention here is to say that the landlocked CASPIAN is called a sea. Eliminate E.

Regarding the use of COMMA + which on the GMAT:
If which has a SINGULAR verb, then it should refer to the nearest preceding SINGULAR noun.
If which has a PLURAL verb, then it should refer to the nearest preceding PLURAL noun.
To illustrate:

Barbara Jordan did not become a nationally recognized figure until 1974, when she participated in the HEARINGS on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, which WERE televised nationwide.

Here, which has a plural verb (were), so it's clear that it refers not to impeachment but to HEARINGS (the nearest preceding plural noun).

COMMA + VERBing serves to indicate an action happening at the same time as the preceding clause. In C, the Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, and at the same time -- and as a result of being the largest lake on Earth -- it is COVERING more than four times the surface area of its closest rival.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
GMAT Private Tutor
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.

Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
jtutej Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
19 Aug 2012
Posted:
1 messages
1
Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:56 am
It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.
A. It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
---- which refers to Earth
B. Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers -- same as (A)
C. Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering - CORRECT
D. Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers-- awkward as "but it is actually" sounds better..
E. Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering -- awkward as being does not fit.

However, looking forward for experts approach..

hjafferi Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
19 Aug 2012
Posted:
83 messages
Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:38 am
Agree with jtutej.

IMO C?

Good explanation

shekhar.kataria Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Posted:
268 messages
13
Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:09 am
Mitch

Need Some clarification on the usage of which.

1. Why can't WHICH refer back to THE LARGEST LAKE ON THE EARTH ( the noun phrase )instead of the EARTH ( the noun ).??

2. In Some X of Y, which construction we have seen that Of Y is a modifier which is placed to modify X and which in this case refers to noun phrase X of Y.

I know the sentence wants to convey that it is the CASPIAN LAKE that covers more than.....the area , but in referring the noun phrase it should make sense because the largest lake is itself the CASPIAN LAKE.

_________________
Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.--Thomas A. Edison

If you find this post helpful, let me know by clicking thanks above

### GMAT/MBA Expert

GMATGuruNY GMAT Instructor
Joined
25 May 2010
Posted:
14324 messages
Followed by:
1826 members
13060
GMAT Score:
790
Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:26 am
shekhar.kataria wrote:
Mitch

Need Some clarification on the usage of which.

1. Why can't WHICH refer back to THE LARGEST LAKE ON THE EARTH ( the noun phrase )instead of the EARTH ( the noun ).??
On the GMAT, COMMA + WHICH + SINGULAR VERB should refer to the NEAREST preceding singular noun.
In A, the nearest preceding singular noun is Earth.

A guiding principle:
If the antecedent of a pronoun is not crystal clear, and another answer choice is free of errors and avoids the ambiguity, then the answer choice without the ambiguity is by default the better answer choice.
Here, answer choice C is free of errors and avoids the ambiguity in answer choice A.
Thus, we should eliminate A and choose C.

Another issue here is meaning.
In A, the COMMA + which modifier refers ONLY to the nearest eligible antecedent.
But the intention here is to tell us more about SUBJECT of the preceding clause: the landlocked Caspian.
Thus, a modifier that purposefully AVOIDS modifying the landlocked Caspian is not appropriate.
The COMMA + VERBing modifier in C is far better because it modifies the ENTIRE PRECEDING CLAUSE, telling us more about how the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
GMAT Private Tutor
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.

Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
divineacclivity Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
16 May 2012
Posted:
78 messages
2
Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:45 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.
A. It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
B. Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
C. Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
D. Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
E. Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
In A and B, which seems to refer to Earth, but it is not the Earth but the CASPIAN that covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival. Eliminate A and B.

Though serves to indicate CONTRAST. In D, though called a sea and covers more than four times the surface area are not contrasting ideas. Eliminate D.

In E, called seems to refer to lake, but the intention here is to say that the landlocked CASPIAN is called a sea. Eliminate E.

Regarding the use of COMMA + which on the GMAT:
If which has a SINGULAR verb, then it should refer to the nearest preceding SINGULAR noun.
If which has a PLURAL verb, then it should refer to the nearest preceding PLURAL noun.
To illustrate:

Barbara Jordan did not become a nationally recognized figure until 1974, when she participated in the HEARINGS on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, which WERE televised nationwide.

Here, which has a plural verb (were), so it's clear that it refers not to impeachment but to HEARINGS (the nearest preceding plural noun).

COMMA + VERBing serves to indicate an action happening at the same time as the preceding clause. In C, the Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, and at the same time -- and as a result of being the largest lake on Earth -- it is COVERING more than four times the surface area of its closest rival.
I don't quite understand the reason to eliminate option B.
"X preposition Y, which .." - 'which' could refer to either of X or Y depending on which one of the two it logically and grammatically connects to.

One more question around option C:
"Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, covering ..." -> Could ", covering ..." be modifying the lake or Earth just as ", which .." does?
OR, does ", covering .." only modify the subject?
Thank you.

Divine

tanviet Legendary Member
Joined
20 May 2008
Posted:
1404 messages
Followed by:
2 members
18
Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:00 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival in size, North America's Lake Superior.
A. It is called a sea, but the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, which covers
B. Although it is called a sea, actually the landlocked Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, which covers
C. Though called a sea, the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth, covering
D. Though called a sea but it actually is the largest lake on Earth, the landlocked Caspian covers
E. Despite being called a sea, the largest lake on Earth is actually the landlocked Caspian, covering
In A and B, which seems to refer to Earth, but it is not the Earth but the CASPIAN that covers more than four times the surface area of its closest rival. Eliminate A and B.

Though serves to indicate CONTRAST. In D, though called a sea and covers more than four times the surface area are not contrasting ideas. Eliminate D.

In E, called seems to refer to lake, but the intention here is to say that the landlocked CASPIAN is called a sea. Eliminate E.

Regarding the use of COMMA + which on the GMAT:
If which has a SINGULAR verb, then it should refer to the nearest preceding SINGULAR noun.
If which has a PLURAL verb, then it should refer to the nearest preceding PLURAL noun.
To illustrate:

Barbara Jordan did not become a nationally recognized figure until 1974, when she participated in the HEARINGS on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, which WERE televised nationwide.

Here, which has a plural verb (were), so it's clear that it refers not to impeachment but to HEARINGS (the nearest preceding plural noun).

COMMA + VERBing serves to indicate an action happening at the same time as the preceding clause. In C, the Caspian is the largest lake on Earth, and at the same time -- and as a result of being the largest lake on Earth -- it is COVERING more than four times the surface area of its closest rival.
I can not understand why A and B are wrong.

"which relative clause" can modify the noun phrase immediately preceding. e gmat made artical on this. Manhantan SC 5 make an explanation on this. there are many questions in og in which "which relative clause" modify the noun phrase, not the preceding noun.

it is quite correct to say thay "which covers" refers to " largest lake on earth" not "earth"

you can find the e gmat article in the gmatclub forum " slightly far noun"

http://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

pls help

tanviet Legendary Member
Joined
20 May 2008
Posted:
1404 messages
Followed by:
2 members
18
Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:02 am
if we have

X of Y, which

if Y is eligible, which modifies Y
if Y is not eligible and Y modifies X, which can jump over Y to modify X
(Ron Said above)

if Y is not eligible and Y dose not modify X, this pattern is wrong on gmat.

(Ron said above thing)

in this problem , #48 og13 , if we say that "which covers..." modifies "earth", we have to admit that "earth" is eligible to be modified by "which covers"

the matter will be what is eligibility?

"earth" and "which covers" can match but the meaning is not logic.

pls explain me of the eligibility here, thank you

tanviet Legendary Member
Joined
20 May 2008
Posted:
1404 messages
Followed by:
2 members
18
Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:30 am
I am confused. this is og question and should be studied carefully. Pls, read the og explantion of why A is wrong. according to og explanation, which refering to "the largest lake on Earth" is odd. Why? pls explain.

A .The referent of which is unclear.
Grammatically, its antecedent cannot be the
landlocked Caspian, so it must be eitherEarth
or the largest lake on Earth. The latter is a
little odd, because the sentence has already
said that the lake in question is the Caspian,
so one wouldexpect and instead of which.
For these reasons and because Earth
immediatelyprecedes which, the sentence
appears to say, illogically, that Earth covers
more than four times the surface area of
Lake Superior.

vietmoi999 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
08 Apr 2013
Posted:
96 messages
Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:09 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
shekhar.kataria wrote:
Mitch

Need Some clarification on the usage of which.

1. Why can't WHICH refer back to THE LARGEST LAKE ON THE EARTH ( the noun phrase )instead of the EARTH ( the noun ).??
On the GMAT, COMMA + WHICH + SINGULAR VERB should refer to the NEAREST preceding singular noun.
In A, the nearest preceding singular noun is Earth.

A guiding principle:
If the antecedent of a pronoun is not crystal clear, and another answer choice is free of errors and avoids the ambiguity, then the answer choice without the ambiguity is by default the better answer choice.
Here, answer choice C is free of errors and avoids the ambiguity in answer choice A.
Thus, we should eliminate A and choose C.

Another issue here is meaning.
In A, the COMMA + which modifier refers ONLY to the nearest eligible antecedent.
But the intention here is to tell us more about SUBJECT of the preceding clause: the landlocked Caspian.
Thus, a modifier that purposefully AVOIDS modifying the landlocked Caspian is not appropriate.
The COMMA + VERBing modifier in C is far better because it modifies the ENTIRE PRECEDING CLAUSE, telling us more about how the landlocked Caspian is actually the largest lake on Earth.
thank you Mintch Hunt, I get what you mean. Let me summarize your thinking

gmat prefer that the modifier touch the noun modified. However for many reasons, This is not alway possible and in many OA in other sc problems, we see that modifiers do not touch the noun modified.

( that is why in many OA in other sc problem in og and gmatprep, we see that noun+modifier 1+modifier 2= "the largest laket on earth, which..." is acceptable. Howerver, it is not prefered and we should choose better choice as we do in this sc problem)

similarly, gmat prefers that the object touches the verb. Howerver, for many reasons,this is not alway possible and in many OA in other sc problems, we can see that the object dose not touch the verb.

I call this point PREFERENCE , NOT ABSOLUTE RULE ON GMAT.

I can give you 2 question from og to ilustrate the rule "object should follow verb"

Ford modeled after an assembly-line techniques
introduced by Ransom Olds, reduced from a day and
a half to 93 minutes the required time of assembling
a Model T.
(A) from a day and a half to 93 minutes the required
time of assembling a Model T
(B) the time being required to assemble a Model T,
from a day and a half down to 93 minutes
(0 the time being required to assemble a Model T,
a day and a half to 93 minutes
(D) the time required to assemble a Model T from a
day and a half to 93 minutes
(E) from a day and a half to 93 minutes, the time
required for the assembling of a Model T
OA IS D.

By merging its two publishing divisions, the company will increase their share of the country's $21 billion book market from 6 percent to 10 percent, a market ranging from obscure textbooks to mass-market paperbacks. A. their share of the country's$21 billion book market from 6 percent to 10 percent, a market ranging
B. from 6 percent to 10 percent its share of the $21 billion book market in the country, which ranges C. to 10 percent from 6 percent in their share of the$21 billion book market in the country, a market ranging
D. in its share, from 6 percent to 10 percent, of the $21 billion book market in the country, which ranges E. to 10 percent from 6 percent its share of the country's$21 billion book market, which ranges

vietmoi999 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
08 Apr 2013
Posted:
96 messages
Sat May 17, 2014 4:07 am
"which" in choice A and B is correct because it can modify a far noun.

A and B are wrong because they are the distorted meaning, not the intenden meaning.

read the similar question explained by Ron on manhantan forum

For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are officially a minority in
California, which amounts to a little less than half the population of the state, down from
nearly three-quarters only a decade ago.

_________________
If anyone in this gmat forum is in England, pls email to me(thanghnvn@gmail.com) . I have some problems and need your advise. Thank a lot

AnjaliOberoi Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
05 Dec 2013
Posted:
223 messages
Followed by:
8 members
12
Sun May 18, 2014 7:03 pm
+1 for C (best choice)

### GMAT/MBA Expert

GMATGuruNY GMAT Instructor
Joined
25 May 2010
Posted:
14324 messages
Followed by:
1826 members
13060
GMAT Score:
790
Thu May 22, 2014 6:43 am
On the GMAT:

COMMA + which + singular verb must refer to the NEAREST PRECEDING SINGULAR NOUN.
COMMA + which + plural verb must refer to the NEAREST PRECEDING PLURAL NOUN.
To my knowledge, there have been NO EXCEPTIONS among any OAs from GMAC.

Note the OG13's explanation for eliminating A:
Because Earth immediately precedes which, the sentence appears to say, illogically, that Earth covers more than four times the surface area of Lake Superior.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
GMAT Private Tutor
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.

Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
cuhmoon Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
08 Oct 2016
Posted:
4 messages
Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:15 pm
Great explanation! Can you please explain the same w.r.t to this sentence:

The committee chose Mr. Smith of Left Block, who was the most experienced member, to lead all the management-related operations

Here, who refers to Mr. Smith and NOT Left Block.

Per the rule mentioned below: comma + relative pronoun + singular verb must refer to the nearest preceding singular noun. thus who should refer to block.. but that's not the intended meaning of this sentence?

[quote="GMATGuruNY"]On the GMAT:

COMMA + [i]which[/i] + singular verb must refer to the NEAREST PRECEDING SINGULAR NOUN.
COMMA + [i]which[/i] + plural verb must refer to the NEAREST PRECEDING PLURAL NOUN.
To my knowledge, there have been NO EXCEPTIONS among any OAs from GMAC.

Note the OG13's explanation for eliminating A:
Because [i]Earth[/i] immediately precedes [i]which[/i], the sentence appears to say, illogically, that Earth covers more than four times the surface area of Lake Superior.[/quote]

### Top First Responders*

1 GMATGuruNY 96 first replies
2 Brent@GMATPrepNow 62 first replies
3 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma... 42 first replies
4 Jay@ManhattanReview 24 first replies
5 Sionainn@Princeto... 16 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

### Most Active Experts

1 Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

138 posts
2 GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

136 posts
3 Jeff@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

102 posts
4 Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

99 posts
5 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

86 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts