Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #8 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #8

2

In late 1997, the chambers inside the

In late 1997, the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repair due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing on the walls.

6 Explanations

2

Rohit Prakash

Dear Team,

I have couple of doubts . In option A
let's us consider the underlined part
"due to moisture exhaled by tourists, which raised its humidity to such levels so that salt from the stone was crystallizing and fungus was growing in the walls."

1) Now here I believe that the relative pronoun "which" begins a relative clause , this relative clause should follow the Touch rule for the Noun it modifies. Hence it wrong modifies the noun "tourist" , is there any exception for which the relative clause modifies a far away noun "Moisture"

2) Secondly we have said that the pronoun "its" wrongly refers to the antecedent "chambers" but I believe grammatically since it is a singular pronoun it could refer to the antecedent "pyramid" , but as it makes no logical sense with the antecedent "pyramid" we can say the pronoun "its" has been wrongly used here .

Request you to please guide me.
Regards
Rohit

Nov 11, 2016 • Comment

Adam

Hi Rohit,

The relative pronoun "which" can refer to a noun it does not touch only if a vital noun modifier comes between "which" and the noun that "which" modifies. You can read about this sole exception to the modifier touch rule in these posts:

1. http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/modifiers-on-the-gmat-sentence-correction/
2. http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-grammar-vital-noun-modifiers/

About the pronoun "its." We know that logically we need the pronoun to refer to chambers because it is the chambers that were closed, not the entire pyramid. Therefore, it doesn't matter whether "its" could refer to "pyramid," because it should not refer to the pyramid; it should refer to "chambers." So yes, the pronoun is incorrect because its grammatical function does not match its logical function.

Nov 21, 2016 • Reply

2

Nischal Garg

Why "would crystallize" is not parallelto "was growing" in option (c) ?
Both are like - linking verb + participle

Apr 17, 2016 • Comment

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Nischal :)

Happy to clarify. "Would crystallize" is in the conditional (would + verb) while "was growing" is in the past progressive (to be in past tense + present participle). Because the two verbs, crystallize and grow, are conjugated in different tenses, they are not parallel in that structure.

Hope this helps!

Apr 17, 2016 • Reply

1

Ananth V

Hi,

In the option E . Them can also refer to tourists ? right . Please correct me.

I eliminated option D for the following reason. Please see if the reason is valid
"because of" should be followed by a single case and not an action. Here the there is an action "moisture released by tourists.

Feb 6, 2016 • Comment

Adam

Hi Ananth,

Here's (E):

In late 1997 ,the chambers inside the pyramid of the Pharaoh Menkaure at Giza were closed to visitors for cleaning and repairing because moisture exhaled by tourists had raised the humidity within them to such levels that salt from the stone was crystallizing.

There's no good reason for "them" to refer to tourists: "tourists" is not the subject, but rather the object of the preposition, and we have no good reason to believe that it is the tourists who have salty stones inside them, rather than the pyramid's chambers. Pronoun ambiguity should usually be one of the last things you look for on these questions.

Regarding (D): both "because of" and "due to" should be followed by a noun or, in rarer cases, a gerund or substantive clause. (D) gets this part right: We have "because of moisture (a noun)," so this is okay. (D), as well as (B) and C, break parallelism with the verb "growing."

"Because" should be followed by a clause.

Feb 12, 2016 • Reply

1

Richa Chandra

I Thing the usage of which is also Incorrect in Option A. What's your Opinion?

Jan 1, 2016 • Comment

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Since "which" refers to the noun phrase "moisture exhaled by tourists", the use of which as a relative pronoun in this case is correct. One issue with the relative pronoun clause, however, is the use of "its". Since "which" modifies "moisture," "its" should also refer to moisture. Since "its" actually refers to the chambers, this is an incorrect usage of "its".

Hope that helps :)

Jan 4, 2016 • Reply

1

Gravatar Jonathan , Magoosh Tutor

"Due to" is an adjective and must modify a noun. If we use "due to" here, the grammatical meaning is that the "cleaning" and "repair" are "due to moisture..." which is incorrect (It's the closure that is due to moisture, not the cleaning and repair).

Please see this blog, post, which discusses "due to" vs. "because of" vs. "because" in more detail :)

http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idioms-cause-and-consequence/

May 15, 2015 • Comment

2

Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

vijeta jena

why due to is wrong usage here ?

May 12, 2015 • Reply

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