Next month, state wildlife officials are scheduled to take

Question

Next month, state wildlife officials are scheduled to take over the job of increasing the wolf population in the federally designated recovery area, the number of which will however ultimately be dictated by the number of prey in the area.

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

  • Next month, (Modifies the main verb – states the time of the action)
  • state wildlife officials are scheduled (Main Subject: Officials; Main Verb: are scheduled)
    • to take over the job of increasing the wolf population (Infinitive phrase modifying the main verb)
      • in the federally designated recovery area, (Prepositional phrase modifying ‘increasing’)
      • the number of which will however ultimately be dictated by the number of prey in the area. (Dependent clause modifying ‘area’ – Subject: the number of which; Verb: will be dictated)

The sentence says that some officials are scheduled to take over the job of increasing wolf population in some area. However, the size of the population will ultimately be decided by the number of prey in the area.

The sentence has the following problems:

  1. ‘which’ currently refers to ‘area’, producing an ungrammatical construction and illogical meaning that the number of area will be dictated by the number of prey. Even if we go back in the sentence to find an antecedent for ‘which’, we’ll find none. Neither wolf nor population can be the antecedent of ‘which’ since neither ‘the number of wolf’ nor ‘the number of population’ is correct.
  2. Even if we replace ‘which’ with ‘wolves’ to say ‘the number of wolves’, the shift from talking about ‘wolf population’ to talking about ‘the number of wolves’ doesn’t seem appropriate.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reasons mentioned above.

(B) Correct.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Two independent clauses are joined by a comma.
  2. Problem no. 2 of the original sentence.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. ‘the number of which will be dictated’ is not an independent clause. Thus, it should not be separated from the independent clause by a semi-colon.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. The dependent clause ‘when the size…’ seems to present the time of the action ‘are scheduled to take over’, producing a nonsensical meaning.
  2. In this construction, the use of ‘however’ doesn’t make sense.

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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