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This topic has 7 expert replies and 13 member replies
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ashish1354 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:07 am

00:00

A

B

C

D

E

# Global Stats

Difficult

In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

A laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
B. laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is
C. laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
D. laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is
E. laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is

Correct answer is A) but i still have a doubt about the following modifier h

an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

what does it modify?
patent?
law?
or the act of winning the patent??
How does it relate to previous clause?? OG explanation suggests that it is some sort of apposition. I am not so well versed with formal english will some please explain?

probably this is the reason i always struggle with modifiers.

Lalitt.k Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:14 pm
Its quite simple..

Hope i m clear.

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Lalit Khatri

tnaim Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:16 pm
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!

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GMATGuruNY GMAT Instructor
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Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:00 pm
ashish1354 wrote:
In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

A laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

Correct answer is A) but i still have a doubt about the following modifier h

an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

what does it modify?
patent?
law?
or the act of winning the patent??
How does it relate to previous clause?? OG explanation suggests that it is some sort of apposition. I am not so well versed with formal english will some please explain?

probably this is the reason i always struggle with modifiers.
Let's take an easier example:

I eat tons of chocolate, my favorite flavor of ice cream.

In the example above, chocolate = my favorite flavor of ice cream. The phrase my favorite flavor of ice cream is giving us additional information about the noun chocolate. For this reason, we say that the phrase my favorite flavor of ice cream is in apposition to the noun chocolate.

Here's another:

Lady Gaga, a very popular singer, tours the world often.

In the example above, Lady Gaga = a very popular singer. So a very popular singer is in apposition to Lady Gaga.

In the SC above, one of Kirchoff's laws = an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics. The phrase after the comma is giving additional information about one of Kirchoff's laws. So the phrase is in apposition to one of Kirchoff's laws.

Does this help?

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Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:19 pm
tnaim wrote:
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!
Two reasons to pick A over E:

If two answer choices seem ok, but one is wordier and longer, pick the shorter answer choice.

A is shorter than E, so A is a better and safer answer choice.

If you're stuck between A and another answer choice, and you can't spot a definite error in A, eliminate the other answer choice and pick A.

Sticking with the original sentence is safer.

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Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:14 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
ashish1354 wrote:
In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

A laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

Correct answer is A) but i still have a doubt about the following modifier h

an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

what does it modify?
patent?
law?
or the act of winning the patent??
How does it relate to previous clause?? OG explanation suggests that it is some sort of apposition. I am not so well versed with formal english will some please explain?

probably this is the reason i always struggle with modifiers.
Let's take an easier example:

I eat tons of chocolate, my favorite flavor of ice cream.

In the example above, chocolate = my favorite flavor of ice cream. The phrase my favorite flavor of ice cream is giving us additional information about the noun chocolate. For this reason, we say that the phrase my favorite flavor of ice cream is in apposition to the noun chocolate.

Here's another:

Lady Gaga, a very popular singer, tours the world often.

In the example above, Lady Gaga = a very popular singer. So a very popular singer is in apposition to Lady Gaga.

In the SC above, one of Kirchoff's laws = an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics. The phrase after the comma is giving additional information about one of Kirchoff's laws. So the phrase is in apposition to one of Kirchoff's laws.

Does this help?
One more thing. Each of the following is grammatically correct:

A) Lady Gaga, who is a very popular singer, tours the world often.

In the sentence above, the pronoun who refers to Lady Gaga.

B) Lady Gaga, a very popular singer, tours the world often.

In the sentence above, the noun phrase a very popular singer is in apposition to Lady Gaga.

Notice that answer choice B is shorter. Using the appositive construction instead of the pronoun construction saves a few words and makes the sentence shorter.

All things being equal, shorter is better.

So answer choice B is the better -- and safer -- answer choice.

Hope this helps!

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ronaldramlan Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:29 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
tnaim wrote:
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!
Two reasons to pick A over E:

If two answer choices seem ok, but one is wordier and longer, pick the shorter answer choice.

A is shorter than E, so A is a better and safer answer choice.

If you're stuck between A and another answer choice, and you can't spot a definite error in A, eliminate the other answer choice and pick A.

Sticking with the original sentence is safer.
Hello Mitch,
In choice A, the past participle "first made" should refer to the observation; however, it is placed immediately after "electric current" and is not set off by a comma. Such construction might suggest that it is the electric current that was first made in 1845, right?
Choice E clearly separates the "electric current" and the "first made" with a comma, suggesting that "first made" can only refer to "observation" and not "electric current".

aspirant2011 Legendary Member
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Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:09 am
ronaldramlan wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
tnaim wrote:
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!
Two reasons to pick A over E:

If two answer choices seem ok, but one is wordier and longer, pick the shorter answer choice.

A is shorter than E, so A is a better and safer answer choice.

If you're stuck between A and another answer choice, and you can't spot a definite error in A, eliminate the other answer choice and pick A.

Sticking with the original sentence is safer.
Hello Mitch,
In choice A, the past participle "first made" should refer to the observation; however, it is placed immediately after "electric current" and is not set off by a comma. Such construction might suggest that it is the electric current that was first made in 1845, right?
Choice E clearly separates the "electric current" and the "first made" with a comma, suggesting that "first made" can only refer to "observation" and not "electric current".
Nopes, you are taking it opposite.Rather in E first made is modifying electric current. In A the same correctly modifies observation

ronaldramlan Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:52 am
aspirant2011 wrote:
ronaldramlan wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
tnaim wrote:
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!
Two reasons to pick A over E:

If two answer choices seem ok, but one is wordier and longer, pick the shorter answer choice.

A is shorter than E, so A is a better and safer answer choice.

If you're stuck between A and another answer choice, and you can't spot a definite error in A, eliminate the other answer choice and pick A.

Sticking with the original sentence is safer.
Hello Mitch,
In choice A, the past participle "first made" should refer to the observation; however, it is placed immediately after "electric current" and is not set off by a comma. Such construction might suggest that it is the electric current that was first made in 1845, right?
Choice E clearly separates the "electric current" and the "first made" with a comma, suggesting that "first made" can only refer to "observation" and not "electric current".
Nopes, you are taking it opposite.Rather in E first made is modifying electric current. In A the same correctly modifies observation
But, what I don't understand is, if "first made" is intended to modify "electric current", there is no need to use comma both at the beginning and at the end, right? A participial phrase without comma would simply be sufficient to modify the preceding noun.
laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is now included ...
On the other hand, if "first made" is intended to modify "observation", the sentence should have said the following : laws that was an observation first made in 1845 about electric current and is now included ..., no?

aspirant2011 Legendary Member
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Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:01 am
aspirant2011 wrote:
ronaldramlan wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
tnaim wrote:
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!
Two reasons to pick A over E:

If two answer choices seem ok, but one is wordier and longer, pick the shorter answer choice.

A is shorter than E, so A is a better and safer answer choice.

If you're stuck between A and another answer choice, and you can't spot a definite error in A, eliminate the other answer choice and pick A.

Sticking with the original sentence is safer.
Hello Mitch,
In choice A, the past participle "first made" should refer to the observation; however, it is placed immediately after "electric current" and is not set off by a comma. Such construction might suggest that it is the electric current that was first made in 1845, right?
Choice E clearly separates the "electric current" and the "first made" with a comma, suggesting that "first made" can only refer to "observation" and not "electric current".
Nopes, you are taking it opposite.Rather in E first made is modifying electric current. In A the same correctly modifies observation
take an example: observation about X, first made in 1900------------sentence doesn't mean that X was made in 1990 rather it means that an observation was first made in 1900.........about X is the specific thing for which the observation was made

tanviet Legendary Member
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Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:12 pm
I do not know how to use "namely", please, explain and give example.
Thank you.

RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member
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Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:08 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
tnaim wrote:
why does "an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and" in option A clearly refers to one but "that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is" in option E could refer to one or to laws? could you please clarify the concept behind the two options.
Thanks!
Two reasons to pick A over E:

If two answer choices seem ok, but one is wordier and longer, pick the shorter answer choice.

A is shorter than E, so A is a better and safer answer choice.

If you're stuck between A and another answer choice, and you can't spot a definite error in A, eliminate the other answer choice and pick A.

Sticking with the original sentence is safer.

I think, one error is current, first made in 1845, and -- an AWKWARD construction as far as VERB-ed MODIFIER is concerned. Right ?

Any other ERRORs in E ?

RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member
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Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:40 am
@ GMATGuruNY - could you please quickly share your thoughts on my above concern ?

Look forward to hear from you. Much thanks in advance!

P.S: Also,it'd be REALLY helpful if you could clarify my queries in the following OG qs -

1. http://www.beatthegmat.com/og-12-sc-t132029.html#752345

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Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:19 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
E: one of Kirchoff's laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

The usage of was seems to imply that the law WAS an observation only IN THE PAST.
Since the law REMAINS an observation about electric current, the usage of was does not convey the intended meaning.

Generally, COMMA + VERBed serves to modify the NEAREST PRECEDING NOUN.
In E, COMMA + first made seems to modify current, implying that the CURRENT was FIRST MADE in 1845.
Not the intended meaning.

Generally, when a conjunction such as and serves to connect one extended that-clause to another, the second that should not be omitted.
With regard to this rule, E should read as follows:
one of Kirchoff's laws THAT was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and THAT is now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

Eliminate E.

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member
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Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:23 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
E: one of Kirchoff's laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

The usage of was seems to imply that the law WAS an observation only IN THE PAST.
Since the law REMAINS an observation about electric current, the usage of was does not convey the intended meaning.

Generally, when a conjunction such as and serves to connect one extended that-clause to another, the second that should not be omitted.
With regard to this rule, E should read as follows:
one of Kirchoff's laws THAT was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and THAT is now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

Eliminate E.
Got this part...Good enough reasons to eliminate E. Much thanks!

GMATGuruNY wrote:
Generally, COMMA + VERBed serves to modify the NEAREST PRECEDING NOUN.
In E, COMMA + first made seems to modify current, implying that the CURRENT was FIRST MADE in 1845.
Not the intended meaning.
On GMAT,doesn't VERBed ALWAYS serve to modify the NEAREST PRECEDING NOUN (or NOUN Phrase), IRRESPECTIVE of COMMA before it (re the VERBed MODIFIER) ?

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