Unlike the nests of leaf cutters and most other ants

Question

Unlike the nests of leaf cutters and most other ants, situated underground or in pieces of wood, raider ants make a portable nest by entwining their long legs to form "curtains" of ants that hang from logs or boulders, providing protection for the queen and the colony larvae and pupae.

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

  • Unlike the nests of leaf cutters and most other ants, (Unlike introduces comparison. The nests are being compared with the subject of the main clause)
    • situated underground or in pieces of wood, (verb-ed modifier modifying “the nests”)
  • raider ants make a portable nest (Main subject – “raider ants”; Main Verb – “make”)
    • by entwining their long legs to form "curtains" of ants (prepositional phrase modifying the verb)
      • that hang from logs or boulders, (relative clause modifying “curtains”)
        • providing protection for (verb-ing modifier modifying the “that” clause)
          • the queen and
          • the colony larvae and pupae.

As is, the sentence illogically compares the nests with raider ants. Since “raider ants” is in the non-underlined part, ‘unlike’ must be followed by leaf cutters (and most other ants). The sentence would then logically mean:

Whereas leaf cutters and most other rants create their nests underground or in pieces of wood, raider ants make a portable nest. Raider ants create a portable nest by twisting their long legs to form curtains of ants. These curtains hang from logs or boulders and, as a result, provide protection for the queen and the colony larvae and pupae.

The sentence has one error: it illogically compares the nests with raider ants.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the error mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect. It has the same error as option A has.

(C) Correct. This option corrects the original error without introducing any new error.

(D) Incorrect. The prepositional phrase “in having nests” seems to modify the subject “raider ants” and thus imply that raider ants have their nests underground. From the remaining part of the sentence, it is clear that this is not the case.

(E) Incorrect. It is not clear what “those” refers to. Also, no matter what “those” refers to, the comparison is illogical since the logical comparison has to be between (leaf cutters and most other ants) and (raider ants).

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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