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The nineteenth-century chemist

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The nineteenth-century chemist

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The nineteenth-century chemist Humphry Davy presented the results of his early experiments in his “Essay on Heat and Light,” a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found.

(A) a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a
(B) a critique of all chemistry following Robert Boyle and also his envisioning of a
(C) a critique of all chemistry after Robert Boyle and envisioning as well
(D) critiquing all chemistry from Robert Boyle forward and also a vision of
(E) critiquing all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envisioning of










































OA is A.

But why is E wrong?

The OE says E is confused in the assertion that Davy critiqued his own vision of chemistry.

However, I think we can also say that Humphry Davy critiqued all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envision.. So how do we know what is the original meaning of the author? I mean what if the author wanted to express information just as E or D does? I find the meaning in E and D also make sense. (In fact, A sounds weird for me.)

Can anyone help me?

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as far as i see the sentence
.........chemist Humphry Davy presented the results of his experiments......,critiquing.......his own envisioning of .....
here we have the same pronoun his and his , and in most cases the same pronouns have the only antecedent -here chemist Humphry Davy

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rx_11 wrote:
The nineteenth-century chemist Humphry Davy presented the results of his early experiments in his “Essay on Heat and Light,” a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found.

(A) a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a
(B) a critique of all chemistry following Robert Boyle and also his envisioning of a
(C) a critique of all chemistry after Robert Boyle and envisioning as well
(D) critiquing all chemistry from Robert Boyle forward and also a vision of
(E) critiquing all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envisioning of


OA is A.

But why is E wrong?

The OE says E is confused in the assertion that Davy critiqued his own vision of chemistry.

However, I think we can also say that Humphry Davy critiqued all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envision.. So how do we know what is the original meaning of the author? I mean what if the author wanted to express information just as E or D does? I find the meaning in E and D also make sense. (In fact, A sounds weird for me.)

Can anyone help me?
I also chose E because I assumed the intent of the author. I can see why A is the correct answer. Following reasons.
- The construct "a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found" is parallel
- This construct shows that there were two purposes of "Essay on Heat and Light"
1. a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle
and
2. a vision of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found

- by using a gerund "critiquing", which modifies the whole clause
all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envisioning of new chemistry that Davy hoped to found",
the option E does change the meaning of the statement. Option E seems to suggest that Humphry Davy wrote "Essay on Heat and light" critiquing his own vision of new chemistry that he hoped to find.
By adding the phrase hoped to find, the original statemment conveys that he had not found the new chemistry at the time of his writing "Essay on Light and Heat". So he cant be critiquing the future.

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A correct and as per ur question why E is wrong. The use of as well as his own envisioning of and then reference of davy's name in the part of the sentence following it makes it sound ambiguous if u read the whole sentence in a go u will find tht. More over here its the “Essay on Heat and Light” tht is referred as a critique which (A) does tht properly.

Using the gerund "critiquing" Modifies the sentence tht it was Davy not the Essay. so changes the meaning

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I believe that E changes the meaning as critiquing modifies the action of the previous clause
whereas in A "Essay on heat and Light " is being modified.

Am I correct in my understanding ?

Also, can anyone one explain why is B wrong ? Does B and E share the same meaning?

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Choice E is pretty interesting in a way that hopefully opens up a lot of SC strategy to you. Let me streamline E and then see if the idea makes sense to you:

Davy wrote an essay critiquing all the chemistry since Boyle as well as his own envisioning of new chemistry...

What is Davy critiquing?

Well, clearly he's critiquing "chemistry since Boyle", but since there's not a second verb after critiquing it also looks like he's critiquing "his own envisioning of new chemistry". And that doesn't make sense - why would he be criticizing his own ideas in his own essay? E doesn't make logical sense.

B is similar - B makes it hard to determine whether the essay is a critique of "all chemistry and also his envisioning of a new chemistry", or if his essay is "a critique (of...) as well as his own envisioning". It's hard to tell what the essay is. A is better because "a critique" and "a vision" are parallel, showing that they're meant to be taken equally. The essay is two things - a critique of the old and a vision of the new.

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A)a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a

Is this not ambiguous too? a critique could refer to chemist or his essay either of them?

IS this a GMAT type question?

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insanejuxtapose wrote:
A)a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a

Is this not ambiguous too? a critique could refer to chemist or his essay either of them?

IS this a GMAT type question?
Since it's an appositive phrase, that modifier must refer to the noun before the comma. In this case, it's the name of the essay, and it makes sense. In any event, a person cannot be a critique.

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i received a private message about this thread, specifically this question:

soaring.alone wrote:
I believe that E changes the meaning as critiquing modifies the action of the previous clause
whereas in A "Essay on heat and Light " is being modified.

Am I correct in my understanding ?
that's a correct understanding -- but both meanings are ok (i.e., neither is incorrect).
it's true that the essay itself was "a critique of xxxxx" -- but it's also true that the author himself critiqued xxxxxx. so, that difference doesn't determine anything.

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most importantly --
this problem is essentially a pure exercise in parallelism.
you may just be asking about other stuff for your own edification (which is fine). but, if you happen to be asking about these things because you didn't see the errors in parallelism -- and that seems to be the case, judging from the question below -- then that's a pretty serious issue.
parallelism is one of the most important and most consistently tested themes on the SC section, so you need to see it every time it shows up.

Quote:
Also, can anyone one explain why is B wrong ? Does B and E share the same meaning?
look at the parallelism:
(a) a critique ... a vision ...
(b) a critique ... his envisioning ...
this is a pretty easy decision.

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there's also the fact that an essay can't be described as "his envisioning..." anyway, since that construction would refer to the actual act of envisioning something.
but, again, the parallelism here is the important thing.

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My understanding..

(A) a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a Correct
(B) a critique of all chemistry following Robert Boyle and also his envisioning of a his may refer to Robert or Humphry So, Wrong option
(C) a critique of all chemistry after Robert Boyle and envisioning as well Idiom is as well as
(D) critiquing all chemistry from Robert Boyle forward and also a vision of Parallelism Critiquing and also a
(E) critiquing all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envisioning of his may refer to Robert or Humphry So,Wrong option

If my understanding is wrong please correct me. Thanks in advance

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Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, and narrow it down to the correct choice! First, let's take a quick look at the original question and highlight the major differences between the options in orange:

The nineteenth-century chemist Humphry Davy presented the results of his early experiments in his "Essay on Heat and Light", a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found.

(A) a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a
(B) a critique of all chemistry following Robert Boyle and also his envisioning of a
(C) a critique of all chemistry after Robert Boyle and envisioning as well
(D) critiquing all chemistry from Robert Boyle forward and also a vision of
(E) critiquing all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envisioning of

After a quick glance over the options, we can clearly see there are a few places we can focus on:

1. "a critique of" vs. "critiquing"
2. since / following / after / from Robert Boyle...
3. as well as... / and also... / and...


Let's start with #1 on our list: "a critique of" versus "critiquing." This will eliminate either 2 or 3 options, so it's a great place to start!

If we look carefully, we can see that the underlined portion of this sentence is part of a modifier that's giving us more information on "Essay on Heat and Light." What is it? A critique of chemistry that existed after Robert Boyle.

Using -ing modifiers only works when we're modifying people, so the "critiquing" options aren't correct. Since we're modifying an object, we should use the phrase "a critique of" to convey that the modifier is referring to the essay, and not the person who wrote it. Let's see how each option breaks down:

(A) a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a
(B) a critique of all chemistry following Robert Boyle and also his envisioning of a
(C) a critique of all chemistry after Robert Boyle and envisioning as well
(D) critiquing all chemistry from Robert Boyle forward and also a vision of
(E) critiquing all the chemistry done since Robert Boyle as well as his own envisioning of

We can eliminate options D & E because they use "critiquing," which is mean to modify people, not objects!

Many people get hung up on the since/following/after concept, let's skip it and move to #3 on our list for now, which deals with parallelism!

The underlined modifier indicates that "Essay on Heat and Light" accomplishes two things:

1. Critiques the field of chemistry after Robert Boyle wrote about it
2. Creates a vision of a new chemistry Davy hopes to find


These two items must be written using parallel structure, so let's take a closer look at each option to figure out which ones use parallel structure and rule out those that don't. To make it easier to spot, I've added the ending to each option. Here's how they break down:

(A) a critique of all chemistry since Robert Boyle as well as a vision of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found. --> PARALLEL
(B) a critique of all chemistry following Robert Boyle and also his envisioning of a new chemistry that Davy hoped to found. --> NOT PARALLEL
(C) a critique of all chemistry after Robert Boyle and envisioning as well new chemistry that Davy hoped to found. --> NOT PARALLEL

There you have it - option A is the correct choice because it uses parallel structure and phrases the modifier clearly!

(*One final note: If you are concerned that the sentence should say "...that Davy hoped to find" instead of "...that Davy hoped to found," I agree with you! I think this was a typo created by the person who originally posted this, so disregard that error and focus on the rest of the post!)


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