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Discussion of greenhouse effects have usually had as a focus the

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Discussion of greenhouse effects have usually had as a focus the possibility of Earth growing warmer and to what extent it might, but climatologists have indicated all along that precipitation, storminess, and temperature extremes are likely to have the greatest impact on people.
(A) Discussion of greenhouse effects have usually had as a focus the possibility of Earth growing warmer and to what extent it might,
(B) Discussion of greenhouse effects has usually had as its focus whether Earth would get warmer and what the extent would be,
(C) Discussion of greenhouse effects has usually focused on whether Earth would grow warmer and to what extent,
(D) The discussion of greenhouse effects have usually focused on the possibility of Earth getting warmer and to what extent it might,
(E) The discussion of greenhouse effects has usually focused on whether Earth would grow warmer and the extent that is,

Official Answer

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GMATwithCJ
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Solution

Sentence Analysis

  • Discussion (Subject of First IC ? Independent Clause)
    • of greenhouse effects (prepositional phrase modifying "discussion")
  • have usually had as a focus (Verb ? "have had")
    • the possibility of Earth growing warmer (modifies "focus")
    • and to what extent it might, (In a list with the previous element. Modifies "focus")
  • but climatologists have indicated all along that (Second IC. Subject ? "climatologists"; Verb ? "have indicated")
    • precipitation, ("That clause" Subject ? 1)
    • storminess, ("That clause" Subject ? 2)
    • and temperature extremes ("That clause" Subject ? 3)
    • are likely to have the greatest impact on people. ("That clause" Verb ? "are")

The sentence says:

Discussion of greenhouse effect has focused on the possibility that Earth may grow warmer and on the extent to which it might. However, climatologists have indicated that other factors are likely to have the greatest impact on people.

The sentence has the following errors:

  1. The singular subject "discussion" doesn?t agree with the plural verb "have had".
  2. The structures "the possibility of Earth growing warmer" and "to what extent it might" are not parallel.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect . For the errors described above.

(B) Incorrect . The structure "discussion has had as its focus X and Y" is much less clear than the structure in option C. Also, "to what extent" in option C is clearer and more concise than "what the extent would be" in this option.

This option doesn?t have any significant error. It is wrong just because option C is better qualitatively. We have to choose the best among the given options.

(C) Correct . The verb "has focused" is much clearer in communicating the meaning than the structures used in the previous two options. Also, "whether Earth_" is parallel to "to what extent". Both are in question form, and both join the sentence at the same place i.e. "focused on whether Earth would grow warmer" and "focused on to what extent".

(D) Incorrect . This option has the same two errors as option A has.

(E) Incorrect . "the extent that" lacks the clarity as to "extent of what". Also, the use of simple present "is" is incorrect since the event is hypothetical.

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (1 point)
gmatclubforum
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Dear zoezhuyan ,
How are you, my friend? Once again, these are astute questions, and I am happy to respond. :-)
While (B) has other problems, the structure about which you ask is 100% correct without the word " on ." The structure is
. . . to have as my X Y . . .
The X , the object of the preposition " as ," indicates a role or function, and Y is the person or thing that fulfills that role or function. The verb could also be "hold" or some related verb of possession.
I have as my friend the police chief in town.
I have as my primary mode of transportation a mountain bike.
I hold as my ideal the teachings of Zen.
I treasure as my favorite movie Casablanca .
I have as a question in my mind whether zoezhuyan will understand my explanation.

In the last example, the Y is not a simple noun but a substantive clause , a full clause that takes the role of a noun. That's precisely what is happening in (B). The X is the word " focus " and the Y is a substantive clause. This is perfectly correct.
Now, about the parallelism in (C)--remember, first of all, that parallelism is not a grammatical structure, but a logical structure, and the grammar simply follows the logic and supports it. Think about "question clauses"--these are substantive clauses that represent the indirect statement of a question.
My question is what the right answer might be.
My question is what his name is.
My question is whether it will rain.
My question is how fall she can throw a baseball.
My question is to whom should I make the check payable.
My question is for whom was the symphony written.
My question is against whom is he arguing.
My question is in what does she really believe?

The words " who " and " what " serve as relative pronouns. They open subordinate clauses, in these causes substantive clause that are acting as nouns. Like all pronouns, relative pronouns can be the object of a preposition, even when they open a subordinate clause.
Notice, incidentally, in American colloquial English, many speakers will avoid these sophisticated constructions by ending the sentence with a preposition.
My question is whom should I make the check payable to.
My question is whom was the symphony written for.
My question is whom is he arguing against.
My question is what does she really believe in?

In the big world of grammar, this is controversial issue. Many intelligent people would say that it's perfectly fine to end a sentence with a preposition: these people are taking a more grammatically liberal position. Others, such as I, are grammatically conservative and are appalled but such structures. That's the spectrum in the big world of grammar. Now, in the much more limited world of the GMAT, the GMAT SC tends to be quite conservative grammatically. I have never seen an official prompt whose OA had a sentence or clause ending in a preposition; this questionable structure appears rarely, and only on incorrect answer choices--that is, choices that are clearly incorrect for other reasons. The GMAT seems to disapprove of this structure but never tests is directly.
Thus, from the information in (C), we could say:
Discussion of greenhouse effects has usually focused on whether Earth would grow warmer.
Discussion of greenhouse effects has usually focused on to what extent Earth would grow warmer.

Each one of those sentences is correct on its own, and it sounds clumsy and redundant to state them separately in a side-by-side way like this. What (C) has is an exceptionally sleek and elegant combination. Logically, these are both questions, so the parallelism between them is perfect.
Does all this make sense?
Have a wonderful day, my friend. :-)
Mike :-)
answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (21 points)
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