Having been named for a mythological nymph who cared

Question

Having been named for a mythological nymph who cared for the infant Jupiter, the asteroid named Ida, in the middle of the belt of asteroids that orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, was discovered in 1884.

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 structure is:

  • Having been named for a mythological nymph (Modifier – modifies the main subject)
    • who cared for the infant Jupiter, (relative clause modifying “nymph”)
  • the asteroid named Ida, (Main Subject – “the asteroid”)
    • in the middle of the belt of asteroids (prepositional modifier – provide info about the asteroid)
      • that orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, (relative clause modifying “asteroids”. Subject – “that” or “asteroids”; Verb – “orbit”)
    • was discovered in 1884. (Main verb – “was discovered”)

The sentence talks about an asteroid Ida. The asteroid was name for a mythological nymph who cared for the infant Jupiter. The asteroid is in the middle of the belt of asteroids that orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. This asteroid was discovered in 1884.

The sentence has the following problems:

  1. The use of “having been named” is incorrect. “having verb-ed” always presents an action that was complete before another action. Here, the main verb is “was discovered”. Thus, as is, the sentence means that the asteroid was named before it was discovered.
  2. “named” in ‘asteroid named Ida’ is redundant. We can directly say “asteroid Ida”. This, however, is not a significant problem.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reasons mentioned above.

(B) Correct. Both the problems in the original sentence have been rectified in this option. Even though the structure of this option is very different from the original sentence, it communicates the same meaning.

(C) Incorrect. There is no verb for the subject “the asteroid”. Both “discovered” and “named” are verb-ed modifiers.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. The sentence structure is confusing. “discovered” seems to be parallel to “cared”, leading to an illogical meaning. Logically, “discovered” should be parallel to “named”. Even though the given sentence structure allows that parallelism, the structure is not very clear.
  2. “to verb (orbit)” indicates purpose. The sentence illogically means that Ida is in the middle of the belt with a purpose to orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Clearly, illogical.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Lack of parallelism: “discovered in 1884” (verb-ed modifier) is not parallel to “which was named…” (relative clause).
  2. Error no. 2 of option D

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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