Brief description about Sentence correction questions in GMAT with participle modifiers.

As promised last week, today we will discuss about participles modifiers. We will take one question which carries participles for an example and another which didn’t carry participles. Let’s see that with 1st question of the day.

Question 1:- In the wake of the global housing crisis, and amid dramatically changing demographics, it is likely that a widespread shift in thinking is ahead, which will reduce demand for large suburban homes, thus increasing demand for smaller urban apartments.

  • It is likely that a widespread shift in thinking is ahead, which will reduce demand for large suburban homes, thus increasing demand for smaller urban apartments.
  • It is likely that a widespread shift in thinking is ahead, which will reduce demand for large suburban homes, and thus increase demand for smaller urban apartments.
  • It is not unlikely that a widespread shift in thinking is ahead, reducing demand for large suburban homes, thus creating an increase in demand for smaller urban apartments.
  • It is not unlikely that wide spread shift in thinking is ahead, reducing demand for large suburban homes and increasing demand for smaller urban apartments.
  • It is not unlikely that a widespread shift in thinking is ahead, reducing demand for large suburban homes, increasing demand for smaller urban apartments.

Answer: -let’s make a start with decision points. At first the decision point is in between ‘it is likely’ and ‘it is not unlikely’- as both are having same meaning and are grammatically correct. So we can’t eliminate these two from the sentence. Next is the beginning of the modifier. The 1st two options use ‘which’ clauses and the rest options are using present participle modifiers. Though ‘Which’ is a relative pronoun, but there is no active noun present before it which can act as an originator. Hence use of it in the sentence is inappropriate here, on the contrary use of participle modifier is acceptable here. Previously we have discussed that present participle modifier after having a comma will modify the preceding clause. In the option (C), ‘thus’ is used to introduce the second participle which is incorrect. The two participles should link to each other without a comma. In option (E), you need something to link the two participle phrases together rather than that it has a comma splice error, so we eliminate these from our answer options. Now coming to the option (D), it looks like a structured and meaningful sentence. So the answer to the question will be option D.

Question 2:-  in 1984, medical researchers at Harvard and Stanford university concluded that sedentary life styles lead to heart and lung diseases that shorten lives, strongly recommending middle-ed peopleto undertake some form of regular exercise.

  • strongly recommending middle-ed people to
  • strongly recommending that middle-ed people should
  • and strongly recommended for middle-ed people to
  • and their strong recommendation was for middle-ed people to
  • and they strongly recommended that middle-ed people

Solution: – in the 2nd question the given sentence has two clauses with it.

Main clause- medical researchers at Harvard and Stanford universities concluded

That clause- that sedentary life-styles lead to heart and lung diseases that shorten lives

Since the researchers are the ones who have recommended the exercise so we can’t use comma over there and can’t use participle here so we eliminate option (A) and (B). Option (C), (D) and (E) use ‘recommend’ in verb forms and among them option C and D are using verb recommend as an unidiomatic. So we can cancel these two options to get the right answer. So we left with the option E let’s check it out. Option E uses recommend properly and is having a parallel structure. Hence option E is correct for the 2nd question.  Hopefully the concept is now cleared to everyone.

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