Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #25 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #25

1

Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge

Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

2 Explanations

1

Sunny Mantri

Hi Mike,

I also choose as the correct Answer Choice, however, I couple questions/comments about your explanation, speficially related to AC - D and E

From my knowledge,
Verb+ing form (participial phrase) after a comma can modify the whole clause or the subject. In this case of D it is incorrectly modifying the whole clause 'Neuroscientists ....' althought there is a relationship between the peices of information, one has not direclty led to the other. I am not sure about your statement about the participial phrase modify 'adulthood' , yes, I agree, its a the nearest noun but it has the option of modify the whole preceeding clause.

More importantly, if you read the sentence, the purpose of the sentence is to make a statement that the nueroscientists are now able to draw conclusions ..the addtional information about why they will be able to do that can be met either by a modifier - "having amassed...." (which it does in AC (A)) or making these two statments into full ICs
and join them by an apropriate conjuction.

Please provide your thoughts on my analysis.

Thank you.
Sunny

I would also like you comment on the use of comma, which distorts the meaning of the sentence in Answer choice E

Nov 16, 2016 • Comment

Adam

Hi Sunny!

Regarding choice (D), I agree with you — the participial phrase modifies the entire clause, but as it is not a direct result of the action in that clause, it is incorrect.

Regarding (E), the use of the comma does not distort the meaning. Putting "over the past twenty years" is not incorrect here.

Nov 21, 2016 • Reply

Srivatsa Pillutla

Hi Adam,
Just a follow up question to your explanation that "he participial phrase modifies the entire clause, but as it is not a direct result of the action in that clause" but from the prompt "Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of
knowledge over the past twenty years about the
brain and its development from birth to adulthood" is the reason that they are now able to draw conclusions..
So how is D eliminated ?
Please can you clarify.
Thanks.
Sri.

Jan 24, 2017 • Reply

Adam

Hi Srivatsa,

What I mean is that "drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language" is not a direct and immediate consequence of amassing "a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood." The fact of amassing this knowledge does not directly and immediately lead to the drawing of conclusions.

For more about this idea, please read this thread:

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/forums/neuroscientists-having-amassed-a-wealth-of-knowledge-t11470.html

Jan 24, 2017 • Reply

1

Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

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Section 9.6 Sentence Correction

Section 9.6 Sentence Correction

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