Question

In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

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

In California, an absence of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the ant (we’re talking of ‘ant’ as a species, not as an individual ant) to spread widely.

The sentence then explains how. It intends to say that since the individual ants are so similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellow ants to be close relatives, and therefore, these ants do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles. What kind of struggles? The struggles that limit the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

The original sentence has the following errors:

  1. “due to their being so genetically similar” is a twisted, non-standard way of saying “because they are so genetically similar”.
  2. “consider all their fellows to be a close relative” is wrong. Did they consider all their fellows to be just ONE close relative? No. So, we must say “consider all their fellows to be close relatives”.
  3. SV Disagreement – Singular verb “limits” does not agree with plural “struggles”. We have to understand that “limits” needs to agree with “struggles”, not “kind” since, logically, the struggles limit the spread of the species.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reasons explained above.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. This option says “so genetically similar”; it doesn’t say “similar to what?”.
  3. Error no. 2 of the original sentence

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. This option says “so genetically similar”; it doesn’t say “similar to what?”.
  2. Error no. 2 of the original sentence
  3. SV Disagreement – Error no. 3 of the original sentence

(D) Correct. All the errors in the original sentence have been corrected in this option, and no new errors have been introduced.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 2 of the original sentence
  2. Error no. 3 of the original sentence

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