Because there are provisions of the new maritime code

Question

Because there are provisions of the new maritime code that provide that even tiny islets can be the basis for claims to the fisheries and oil fields of large sea areas, they have already stimulated international disputes over uninhabited islands.

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 ‘because’, so we can expect some reasoning followed by a consequence of that reasoning. It says “because there are provisions of the maritime code that provide”. We notice that “provide” is plural, so it must refer to “provisions”, not “code”.

It says these provisions allow that even tiny islets can be the basis for claims to the fisheries and oil fields. And then after a comma, it begins another clause. It says these provisions (logically, ‘they’ should refer to provisions) have already stimulated international disputes. This part is the consequence of the reasoning given in the ‘because’ clause.

The overall structure of the sentence is:

  • These provisions have stimulated disputes because there are provisions that provide…

Does the structure sound logical? No. Right?

The structure should have been:

  • These provisions have stimulated disputes because these provisions provide…

Now, the reasoning is clear why these provisions have stimulated disputes. In the original sentence, the reasoning seems to be around the existence of the provisions.

Therefore, the original sentence doesn’t communicate the intended meaning clearly.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reason described above.

(B) Correct. The structure of the sentence is sound now. The sentence has done away with provisions and directly talk about the code. This is a very slight change in meaning; however, it is acceptable since in any case, the provisions were there in the code.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. It seems “under provisions of the new maritime code” modifies large sea areas, meaning that these areas were under the provisions of the code. Clearly, unintended.
  2. The comma + verb-ing modifier at the end of a clause modifies the preceding clause and needs to make sense with the subject of the preceding clause. However, in this case, clearly, tiny islets cannot be stimulating disputes. Therefore, the modification is incorrect.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of option C
  2. The antecedent for “this” is not clear. If we say that “this” refers to the entire ‘because clause’, then the structure of the sentence will be:

X, X has already stimulated…

First X for the ‘because clause’ and second X for ‘this’.

Clearly, the structure is incorrect.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of option C
  2. No main clause. The sentence starts with a dependent ‘because’ clause and ends with a relative clause modifying ‘code’. There is no main 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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