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Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #26 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #26


Tropical bats play important roles in the

Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem aiding in the dispersal of cashew, date, and fig seeds; pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce tequila by pollinating agave plants.

2 Explanations


Kshitij Jhunjhunwala

Hi there,
I am referring to the explanation for the video question (Tropical bats play an ...). In this question since we have semicolons my question is as follows-
I thought that semicolon can be used ONLY if both the clauses before and after the semicolon are independent. Here "pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees" doesnt stand out as an independent clause so how can it support the semicolon?

May 6, 2014 • Comment

Howdy! You are almost corrected! Often semicolons are used in the way that you say—connecting independent clauses. But we can also use semicolons in lists, specifically when the items in the list contain commas. That happens to be the case here. :)

For more info on this use of the semicolon you can look here. See point (2) Supercommas

I hope that helps! :)


Jun 5, 2014 • Reply


Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

Jacob Doyle

Mike, For OG Sentence Correction #29, I agree that answer "E" looks the best, but I have a question regarding the use of the "which". Given that "which" is supposed to touch what it is referring to, I was worried about picking this answer since "which is touching "Susan Huntington Dickinson" and not "letters". Is this permissible because the entire noun is "letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson"?

Mar 17, 2014 • Reply

Hi Jacob! Happy to help! :)

(Quick clarification for anyone reading this comment: this question refers to a different question; not the one in the video above)

This is a great question and I am glad that you are thinking about modification. It something that can easily be overlooked.

So, Yes! We want our modifiers to touch the noun that they modify. But, as with a lot of English, there is an exception. If you have an intervening prepositional phrase that is essential, the touch rule does not apply. This is the case with SC #29. We have the essential prepositional phrase "to Susan Huntington," so our modifier does not have to touch "letters." The phrase still properly modifies "letters" even though it doesn't touch the noun.

I hope that this helps. :)

If anyone is looking for the video for this question, here is the link:

Mar 20, 2014 • Reply

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