According to some critics, watching television not only undermines

Question

According to some critics, watching television not only undermines one’s ability to think critically but also impairs one’s overall ability to perceive.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

  • According to some critics, (Prepositional phrase modifying the main clause)
  • watching television (Verb-ing acting as the Main Subject)
    • not only undermines one’s ability to think critically (First of two verbs – “undermines”)
    • but also impairs one’s overall ability to perceive. (Second verb – “impairs”)

The sentence is correct as is.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “ability of verb-ing” is idiomatically incorrect. “ability to verb” is the correct idiom. On a side note, “capability of verb-ing” and “capability to verb” both are idiomatically correct.
  2. The use of “the” in place of “one’s” makes this sentence inferior in terms of both parallelism and meaning. In terms of parallelism, since we have “one’s ability” in the first element, having “one’s ability” makes the sentence perfectly parallel. In terms of meaning, “one’s ability” communicates a more apt meaning than “the ability”.

(C) Incorrect. This option has incorrect parallelism. The basic rule of parallelism is that the two elements need to be replaceable with each other. If we replace the elements, we get the following two structures:

  1. Watching television undermines one’s ability to think critically (This structure is correct)
  2. Watching television undermines impairs one’s overall ability to perceive (This structure is incorrect.)

Since, on substitution, we get one structure incorrect, the given elements are not parallel.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Idiom error highlighted in the analysis of option B
  2. 2nd Error mentioned in the analysis of option B
  3. Parallelism error highlighted in the analysis of option C.

(E) Incorrect. This option has incorrect parallelism. If we replace the elements, we get the following two structures:

  1. Watching television undermines one’s ability to think critically (This structure is correct)
  2. Watching television undermines one’s ability impairs one’s overall ability to perceive (This structure is incorrect.)

Since, on substitution, we get one structure incorrect, the given elements are not parallel.

If you have any doubts regarding any part of this solution, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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