Although appearing less appetizing than most of their round

Question

Although appearing less appetizing than most of their round and red supermarket cousins, heirloom tomatoes, grown from seeds saved during the previous year — they are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises — heirlooms are more flavorful and thus in increasing demand.

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 sentence starts with a contrasting word (Although) followed by a verb-ing modifier (appearing). So, we expect to read something that appears less appetizing, and we also expect to read some information contrasting to this fact. As we read the sentence, we come across “heirloom tomatoes”. The verb-ing modifier makes perfect sense with heirloom tomatoes. These tomatoes can appear less appetizing than most of their round and red supermarket cousins.

Then, we have a verb-ed modifier “grown…”. This modifier provides additional information about “heirloom tomatoes”. These tomatoes are grown from seeds saved during the previous year. Everything seems fine till now!

The sentence then presents some information between two em-dashes. This means that it is additional information, and the sentence will make sense even without this information. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t read this information; what you should do is that once you have read it, assume it is not there for evaluating the grammar and structure of the main sentence. This part says that heirlooms are often green and striped, or have plenty of bumps and bruises.

As we read further, we read “heirlooms are more flavorful”. Oh wait! We were still waiting for the verb for “heirloom tomatoes”. Right? And now, we have another clause starting. There is no verb for “heirloom tomatoes”. A major error!

As we read, we see that this part says that heirlooms are more flavorful and thus in increasing demand. As we try to connect it with the sentence read so far, we realize that this information is the second part of the contrast. The sentence essentially wants to present the following contrast:

  • Although heirlooms appear less appetizing, they are more flavorful and thus in increasing demand.

Therefore, the original sentence has one error.

(Some people carry a misconception that ‘Although’ need always be followed by a clause and cannot be followed by a modifier. I have written an article that clears this misconception. Click here to read the article.)

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the error described above.

(B) Correct. In this option, the action of appearing has been changed from “verb-ing” modifier to a verb. Therefore, we have a verb for “heirloom tomatoes” now. So, the only error in the original sentence has been corrected. Also, the contrast in this option is what we figured in the sentence analysis.

(C) Incorrect. No verb for “heirloom tomatoes”. 

(D) Incorrect. In the absence of “Although”, the first part of the sentence becomes an independent clause, which is not joined properly with the second independent clause. Also, this option distorts the intended meaning of the original sentence by eliminating the contrast.

(E) Incorrect. No verb for “Heirloom tomatoes”. 

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.

Leave a Reply

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

3 × two =