The 32 species that make up the dolphin family are

Question

The 32 species that make up the dolphin family are closely related to whales and in fact include the animal known as the killer whale, which can grow to be 30 feet long and is famous for its aggressive hunting pods.

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

Understanding the structure of the sentence will greatly help in understanding the meaning of the sentence.

  • The 32 species (Main subject)
    • that make up the dolphin family (Modifier for species)
  • are closely related to whales (first main verb – are)
  • and in fact include the animal (second main verb – include)
    • known as the killer whale, (modifier for the animal)
      • which can grow to be 30 feet long (modifier for killer whale)
      • and is famous for its aggressive hunting pods. (second verb for ‘which’ clause)

The sentence essentially means that the 32 species comprising the dolphin family are closely related to whales and include the killer whale. The killer whale can grow to be 30 feet long, and it is famous for its aggressive hunting pods.

The sentence is logical and has no grammatical errors.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. A ‘comma+verb-ing’ following a clause modifies the preceding clause. Thus, here, ‘growing’ seems to be modifying the preceding clause, a modification that doesn’t make sense since ‘growing’ part doesn’t provide any relevant information to the clause. Also, logically, we understand that this part (growing…) should modify the killer whales. Therefore, this option has modifier error.

(C) Incorrect. Repeats the error of option B. “being famous” and “famous” essentially communicate the same meaning. The use of “being” is thus redundant.

(D) Incorrect. Singular verb “includes” for plural subject ’32 species’.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Singular verb “includes” for plural subject ’32 species’.
  2. “it is” begins another independent clause, and thus cannot be joined with the previous independent clause using just “and”. Also, there seems to be no antecedent for “it” since even though, as the subject of the second independent clause, “it” is expected to refer to the subject of the previous clause, “it” is singular and thus cannot refer to the plural “32 species”. If we say that “it” refers to ‘killer whale’, then structurally, it should have been a part of or parallel to the ‘which clause’. In such a case, there would be no rhyme or reason to begin another independent clause.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with a score 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 +91 9971 0010 67 or CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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