When a passenger aircraft crashed in the jungles near

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When a passenger aircraft crashed in the jungles near the village of Triskiti, local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane before they could be carefully examined where they had fallen, unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators that already were made difficult by the remoteness of the crash site.

A. unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators that already were made difficult by the remoteness of
B. unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators, which already were made difficult by the remoteness of
C. unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators, that had already been made difficult by the remoteness of
D. unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators, and already made difficult by the remoteness of
E. unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators, and already made difficult by the remote location of


my doubt : while i do understand that option B does make sense ,i want to know what makes A wrong .i have seen in many official questions that "that" can refer to remote nouns and as per me "that" can very well refer to "efforts". moreover there can be no ambiguity in A as "that" can never refer to "investigators"
can instructors plz explain me
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aditya

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by [email protected] » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:01 am
Answer A is incorrect because the clause that follows "the efforts of investigators" should not be an essential clause. This clause is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Therefore, answer B is the best choice.
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by aditya8062 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:33 pm
To kasia
wow !! i totally missed this concept ,at least when i was doing this question in timed situation .
so the deal is :when every thing gets balanced in "that" and "which" in terms of referrant then we can view the problem the problem from the new angle of "essentialness" or "non essentialness" of the extended part .
thanks for giving a new angle and the aha moment !!
regards

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by GaneshMalkar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:17 pm
Hi Kasia,

Sorry, I have a small doubt here :(
When I solved this question I came to the essential and non essential concept. But the reason why I eliminated B was in B "which" should refers to the immediate noun before comma which I thought was "investigators". But logically "which" should refer to "efforts" and not "investigators" correct?

Please help me in understanding this...

Thanks,
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by GMATGuruNY » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:49 pm
aditya8062 wrote:To kasia
wow !! i totally missed this concept ,at least when i was doing this question in timed situation .
so the deal is :when every thing gets balanced in "that" and "which" in terms of referrant then we can view the problem the problem from the new angle of "essentialness" or "non essentialness" of the extended part .
thanks for giving a new angle and the aha moment !!
regards
The purpose of a that-modifier is to provide ESSENTIAL information that RESTRICTS the scope of the modified noun.
Since a that-modifier provides essential information, it cannot be removed without changing the basic meaning of the sentence.
Here's A:
Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane, unintentionally thwarting THE EFFORTS THAT ALREADY WERE MADE DIFFICULT BY THE REMOTENESS OF THE CRASH SITE.
Here, the that-modifier restricts the scope of the noun EFFORTS.
The implication is that the tribesmen were thwarting not ALL of the efforts of investigators but only a PARTICULAR TYPE of effort:
efforts THAT ALREADY WERE MADE DIFFICULT BY THE REMOTENESS OF THE CRASH SITE.
Not the intended meaning.

The purpose of a which-modifier is to provide NONESSENTIAL information -- information that DOES NOT RESTRICT the scope of the modified noun.
Since a which-modifier provides nonessential information, it can be removed without changing the basic meaning of the sentence.
Here's the OA, with the non-essential which-modifier omitted:
Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane, unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators.
This is the intended meaning.

The referent for which cannot be a person.
Thus, in the OA, it's clear that which refers to efforts.
Last edited by GMATGuruNY on Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by EducationAisle » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:29 pm
Actually I have not come across an official question that tests this concept. Would love to hear from Mitch and Kasia if they have come across a question that tests this.

It is also interesting to read OE for #12 in OG13:

Some writers follow the convention that "which" can only be used for nonrestrictive clauses, but insistence on this rule is controversial

Though this specific comment has been made in the options that use a "which" without a preceding comma.
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by bigge2win » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:18 pm
GMATGuruNY wrote:
aditya8062 wrote:To kasia
wow !! i totally missed this concept ,at least when i was doing this question in timed situation .
so the deal is :when every thing gets balanced in "that" and "which" in terms of referrant then we can view the problem the problem from the new angle of "essentialness" or "non essentialness" of the extended part .
thanks for giving a new angle and the aha moment !!
regards
The purpose of a that-modifier is to provide ESSENTIAL information that RESTRICTS the scope of the modified noun.
Since a that-modifier provides essential information, it cannot be removed without changing the basic meaning of the sentence.
Here's A:
Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane, unintentionally thwarting THE EFFORTS THAT ALREADY WERE MADE DIFFICULT BY THE REMOTENESS OF THE CRASH SITE.
Here, the that-modifier restricts the scope of the noun EFFORTS.
The implication is that the tribesmen were thwarting not ALL of the efforts of investigators but only a PARTICULAR TYPE of effort:
efforts THAT ALREADY WERE MADE DIFFICULT BY THE REMOTENESS OF THE CRASH SITE.
Not the intended meaning.

The purpose of a which-modifier is to provide NONESSENTIAL information -- information that DOES NOT RESTRICT the scope of the modified noun.
Since a which-modifier provides nonessential information, it can be removed without changing the basic meaning of the sentence.
Here's the OA, with the non-essential which-modifier omitted:
Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane, unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators.
This is the intended meaning.

The referent for which cannot be a person.
Thus, in the OA, it's clear that which refers to efforts.
I have a couple issues with the sentence that I can't resolve:
1) Doesn't the word "which" modifier the word directly in front of it? Even if investigators is the illogical referent, isn't it possible that that error was intended? Or for this instance with the phrase "efforts of investigators", does a word leading to a modifier (i.e. "that" or "which") refer directly to the noun? (in this case, does the "which" treat "efforts of investigators" as "investigators' efforts")?
2) In the main clause of the sentence, the word "they" is used twice, referring to 2 different items - tribesmen and pieces (of the broken plane). I initially interpreted that as pronoun ambiguity. Is it not ambiguous because of the locations/sequence of the pronoun references (as in the first "they" refers to the first item tribesmen and the second "they" refers to the second item pieces)?

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by GMATGuruNY » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:41 am
1) Doesn't the word "which" modifier the word directly in front of it? Even if investigators is the illogical referent, isn't it possible that that error was intended? Or for this instance with the phrase "efforts of investigators", does a word leading to a modifier (i.e. "that" or "which") refer directly to the noun? (in this case, does the "which" treat "efforts of investigators" as "investigators' efforts")?
which + plural verb must refer to nearest preceding ELIGIBLE plural noun.
Since which cannot serve to refer to people, only a NON-PERSON plural noun is eligible to serve as a referent for which.
OA: unintentionally thwarting the EFFORTS of investigators, WHICH already WERE made difficult by the remoteness of the crash site.
Here, the nearest non-person plural noun that precedes which were is the efforts.
Thus, the referent for which -- the EFFORTS -- is crystal clear.
2) In the main clause of the sentence, the word "they" is used twice, referring to 2 different items - tribesmen and pieces (of the broken plane). I initially interpreted that as pronoun ambiguity. Is it not ambiguous because of the locations/sequence of the pronoun references (as in the first "they" refers to the first item tribesmen and the second "they" refers to the second item pieces)?
OA: Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane before they could be carefully examined where they had fallen.
Here, both the first they and the second they serve to refer to pieces.
Conveyed meaning:
Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane before THE PIECES could be carefully examined where THE PIECES had fallen.
From context, it's clear that the first they does not refer to tribesmen.
No reasonable reader would construe that the TRIBESMEN could be carefully examined.
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by peterparker » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:36 pm
//When a passenger aircraft crashed in the jungles near the village of Triskiti, local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane before they could be carefully examined where they had fallen, unintentionally thwarting the efforts of investigators that already were made difficult by the remoteness of the crash site. //


Check the flow, here, they could be carefully examined is the verb, which got thwarted, thwarting means frustrating. What got failed? the efforts, option B, suits this, which were already made difficult is correct

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by bigge2win » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:41 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
1) Doesn't the word "which" modifier the word directly in front of it? Even if investigators is the illogical referent, isn't it possible that that error was intended? Or for this instance with the phrase "efforts of investigators", does a word leading to a modifier (i.e. "that" or "which") refer directly to the noun? (in this case, does the "which" treat "efforts of investigators" as "investigators' efforts")?
which + plural verb must refer to nearest preceding ELIGIBLE plural noun.
Since which cannot serve to refer to people, only a NON-PERSON plural noun is eligible to serve as a referent for which.
OA: unintentionally thwarting the EFFORTS of investigators, WHICH already WERE made difficult by the remoteness of the crash site.
Here, the nearest non-person plural noun that precedes which were is the efforts.
Thus, the referent for which -- the EFFORTS -- is crystal clear.
2) In the main clause of the sentence, the word "they" is used twice, referring to 2 different items - tribesmen and pieces (of the broken plane). I initially interpreted that as pronoun ambiguity. Is it not ambiguous because of the locations/sequence of the pronoun references (as in the first "they" refers to the first item tribesmen and the second "they" refers to the second item pieces)?
OA: Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane before they could be carefully examined where they had fallen.
Here, both the first they and the second they serve to refer to pieces.
Conveyed meaning:
Local tribesmen collected pieces of the broken plane before THE PIECES could be carefully examined where THE PIECES had fallen.
From context, it's clear that the first they does not refer to tribesmen.
No reasonable reader would construe that the TRIBESMEN could be carefully examined.
For the second point, I slightly misread the sentence. I read it as "before they could carefully examine where they had fallen" and obviously that added to my confusion.

As for the first one, you explained when "which" is used correctly. I understood the rule for when to use "which", but that wasn't the question I was asking. I'm asking whether it's possible for the answer choice to intentionally use the "which" incorrectly. As in, isn't it possible that the answer choice was designed to use "which" incorrectly to modify a person instead of an object? Or would testmakers not use that tactic?