Sunspots, vortices of gas associated with strong electromagnetic activity

Question

Sunspots, vortices of gas associated with strong electromagnetic activity, are visible as dark spots on the surface of the Sun but have never been sighted on the Sun’s poles or equator.

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

  • Sunspots, (Subject)
    • vortices of gas associated with strong electromagnetic activity, (Noun + Noun modifier, or Absolute Phrase, modifying the subject)
  • are visible as dark spots on the surface of the Sun (First Verb – “are”)
  • but have never been sighted on the Sun’s poles or equator. (Second Verb – “have never been sighted” — ‘never’ is actually an adverb)

The sentence says that although sunspots are visible as dark spots on the surface of the Sun, they have never been seen on the Sun’s poles or equator.

The sentence has no grammatical or logical errors. Both the verbs “are” and “have been” agree with the subject Sunspots. The contrast between the two verbs is communicated correctly with the use of “but”.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. This option when inserted into the sentence will read at the end “on the surface of the Sun the Sun’s poles or equator”, a construction that doesn’t make sense.
  2. The position of “never” before “have” isn’t appropriate.

(C) Incorrect. Even though the use “although + verb-ed modifier” is not incorrect, as explained in this article, this option is not as clear as option A because of the end-of-clause position of “although never sighted”.

(D) Incorrect. “having verb-ed” indicates an earlier event in a sequence of events. Clearly, the sentence didn’t intend to present the two events in a sequence in which one event was completed before the other. Also, the position of “never” before “having” is inappropriate.

(E) Incorrect. This option changes the meaning of the original sentence. This option says that the dark spots have never been sighted on Sun’s poles or equator. The original sentence said that sunspots have not been sighted on Sun’s poles or equator.

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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