In 1913, the largely self-taught Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan

Question

In 1913, the largely self-taught Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan mailed 120 of his theorems to three different British mathematicians; only one, G. H. Hardy, recognized the brilliance of these theorems, but thanks to Hardy’s recognition, Ramanujan was eventually elected to the Royal Society of London.

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 1913, (Prepositional phrase modifying the first independent clause)
  • the largely self-taught Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan mailed (Subject: Srinivasa Ramanujan; Verb: mailed)
    • 120 of his theorems (Object of the verb ‘mailed’)
    • to three different British mathematicians; (prepositional phrase modifying the verb ‘mailed’)
  • only one, G. H. Hardy, recognized the brilliance of these theorems, (Another Independent clause. Subject: ‘Only one’; Verb: recognized)
  • but thanks to Hardy’s recognition, Ramanujan was eventually elected to the Royal Society of London. (Another Independent Clause. Subject: Ramanujan; Verb: was elected)

The sentence says that SR mailed 120 theorems to three mathematicians. Only of them recognized the value of these theorems. However, because of that person’s recognition, SR was eventually elected to Royal Society of London.

The sentence doesn’t have any errors.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. The reference of ‘they’ is highly unclear. ‘they’ can refer to either ‘mathematicians’ or ‘theorems’.
  2. In this structure, it is not clear who is G. H. Hardy. In option A, given the phrasing, it was clear that G. H. Hardy is one of the three mathematicians.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. What G. H. Hardy recognized is not mentioned.
  2. Even in this structure, it is not clear whether G. H. Hardy is one of the three mathematicians.
  3. A comma after G. H. Hardy is missing.

(D) Incorrect. This option when placed in the sentence leads to the following structure:

but, only one G. H. Hardy, recognizing their brilliance, thanks to Hardy’s recognition, Ramanujan was eventually elected to the Royal Society of London.

This option is incorrect for the following reasons:

  1. The structure of the sentence is completely wrong. Ignoring the modifiers, there are two nouns ‘G. H. Hardy’ and ‘Ramanujan’ one after the other connected by just a comma. Even if we connect them with an ‘and’, the sentence wouldn’t have any logical meaning.
  2. The use of ‘but’ after semi-colon is not preferred. If ‘but’ has to be used, we don’t need a semi-colon. We can just use a ‘comma + but’ to separate two independent clauses.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. ‘only one G. H. Hardy’ comically suggests that there were multiple G. H. Hardy, but only one of them recognized.
  2. What G. H. Hardy recognized is not mentioned.
  3. When inserted into the sentence, this option leads to a structure ‘but these theorems were brilliant thanks to Hardy’s recognition, Ramanujan was eventually elected …’, which is both grammatically and meaning-wise incorrect.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × 4 =