Question

The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, having hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, help explain why scientists have assumed that it evolved independently of the vertebrate eye.

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

  • The intricate structure of the compound insect eye, (Main Subject – “structure”)
    • having hundreds of miniature eyes (verb-ing modifier modifying the subject)
      • called ommatidia, (verb-ed modifier modifying “eyes”)
  • help explain (Main Verb – “help”)
    • why scientists have assumed (dependent clause modifying “explain”)
      • that it evolved independently of the vertebrate eye. (dependent clause modifying “assumed”)

The sentence provides an explanation for the scientists’ assumption that the compound insect eye evolved independently of the vertebrate eye. The explanation is the intricate structure of the compound insect eye. The compound insect eye has hundreds of miniature eyes.

The sentence has one error: the singular subject “structure” doesn’t agree with the plural verb “help”.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the error mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “they” refers to “miniature eyes”, which is present in a non-essential modifier within double commas and thus doesn’t seem to be a logical referent at this position in the sentence. Logically, we need a singular pronoun to refer to compound insect eye.
  2. “that are” is redundant.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of option B
  2. The use of “assuming” is awkward since a proper noun form “assumption” exists.
  3. “that are” is redundant.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. The singular subject “structure” doesn’t agree with the plural verb “help”.
  2. Problem no. 2 of option C

(E) Correct. This option corrects the error in the original sentence without introducing any new problem.

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