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SC32561.01- In despite of the steady population… | GMAT SC OG Solution

In this article, we’ll look at the solution to the 700-level GMAT Official Guide Sentence Correction question SC32561.01- “In despite of the steady population…”.

Here is some general information about this OG question – In despite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan out of a total population of some 116 million people.

  • PQID: SC32561.01
  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Most Common Incorrect option choice: Choice C and Choice E
  • Question Type: Pronouns

1. Official Guide Question – SC32561.01- In despite of the steady population…

GMAT Official guide question – SC32561.01- In despite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan out of a total population of some 116 million people.

[Refer to the Official Guide for options]

GMAT SC OG question - In despite of the steady population flow out from rural area...

This question is slightly tricky because idioms, modifiers, and nuanced meanings are at play.  Do not fear; you have no reason to worry when meaning and logic are your superpowers.

2. Video Solution- SC32561.01- In despite of the steady population…

3. The Superpower of Meaning and Logic

GMAT OG Solution - Farm households

Better than super strength or super speed in GMAT SC is the power of logic when reading through an SC question. Let’s look at our original sentence –

In despite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan out of a total population of some 116 million people.

Now, it does not take a super genius to sense that something is off with this sentence right away. Most of us cannot get past “In despite” before knowing the SC villains have taken this sentence hostage.  However, we cannot just stop there and dismiss the original sentence.  We need to extract the main ideas being communicated; these main ideas are what we at e-GMAT call the aspects.

So, what is the author trying to communicate here? The sentence attempts to tell us that even though there has been a population exodus from the rural areas in Japan to the urban areas, many farm households remain in Japan.

Unfortunately, these key aspects are not clearly communicated in our original sentence. Our job as SC Avengers is to fight the meaning and grammar villains that have taken the sentence hostage and find an answer choice that will liberate our sentence and allow it to stand strong.  We can only see the answer choice through the dynamic duo of logic and grammar that communicate the proper meaning.

4. The Villains Terrorizing Option A and Beyond

GMAT OG solution - Farm households

In despite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan out of a total population of some 116 million people.

The first thing we notice about our original sentence is the use of “In despite.” Our Spidey senses are awakened right away — this usage is downright horrible. So, what is wrong here? We know that despite” by itself is a preposition that presents a contrast, so a noun should follow it.  However, in the original sentence, our villain seems to have created a chain gang of prepositions linking “in, despite, and of” altogether before giving us a noun. We only need “despite” followed by the noun “the steady population flow” to present the logical contrast.

Now, if you scan the answer choices and see “In spite of” jumping into the fight trying to play the hero, do not panic. This preposition has the same prepositional power as “despite,” which also shows contrast.  These two prepositions are interchangeable in a sentence — they are identical in usage and meaning, the twins of the prepositional hero family. So, do not let the exchange of the two prepositions cause you to worry; “inspite of” is trying to fight the villains in option B. Unfortunately, the villains are too strong; even though the preposition issue is fixed, more heroes are needed to fight the incorrect idioms!

5. The Epic Battle between “to” vs. “into”

Now, one battle can be won and leave you victorious over this question! The battle of the Idioms! If you win the clash of the idioms, you will land on the correct choice in record time.

Farm households - the battle of idioms - GMAT OG question

The epic battle between “to” vs. “into.” These two are often confused, but they do communicate quite precise meanings. Let’s look.

To= indicates direction or movement towards a place or point

Example: The Avengers relocated to upstate New York, leaving Avengers Tower in Manhattan.

Into= indicates inside/ contained within or change/transition

Examples: The Dark Knight successfully put the Joker into Jail.

                    Steve Rogers was turned into Captain America by the US Military.

Now, when we add “from” to the mix, we are creating an idiomatic dynamic duo, and the only partner for the preposition “from” is “to.” This powerful partnership works together to communicate movement between specific locations. In the original sentence, our author intends to communicate the movement between rural areas and urban clusters. This movement is one-directional, making the proper expression from A to B not into. It is challenging to spot this shady villain because the author has lured our attention away with a nicely worded sentence. However, glancing over the answer choices carefully dissolves this villain’s camouflage if we know the intended meaning and the dynamic duo that communicates that meaning, option D emerges as the triumphant hero!

A. In despite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan

B. In spite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan

C. Despite the steady population flow from rural areas into urban clusters, Japan’s farm households are still nearly 5 million

D. Despite the steady population flow from rural areas to urban clusters, there are still nearly 5 million farm households in Japan

E. In Japan, despite the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, still there are nearly 5 million farm households

6. The Monsters of Meaning

Suppose the idiomatic meaning was not enough to make you feel victorious over this question. In that case, we can fight a good fight against the Monsters of Meaning by understanding the meaning of the modifier “nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan.” This modifier seems to have fallen victim to the meaning monsters and appears to communicate that some farm households have left Japan. Logic Heroes to the rescue!  Because we took the time to understand the logical intended meaning, we know that the sentence in no way wants to communicate that anyone left Japan.  The population flow has shifted areas within Japan. So, we can battle the monsters of meaning by locating the answer that clearly communicates this aspect.

GMAT SC OG question - In despite of the steady population flow out from rural area...

A. In despite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan

B. In spite of the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, nearly 5 million farm households are still in Japan

(The same modifier meaning monster as option A.)

C. Despite the steady population flow from rural areas into urban clusters, Japan’s farm households are still nearly 5 million

(This change in structure now seems to communicate there are 5 million people on farms instead of 5 million farm households. The structure does not work. We would not write-Stan Lee’s original Avengers are six.)

D. Despite the steady population flow from rural areas to urban clusters, there are still nearly 5 million farm households in Japan

(Our debonair hero D undoubtedly communicates the intended meaning on all fronts -battle won!)

E. In Japan, despite the steady population flow out from rural areas into urban clusters, still there are nearly 5 million farm households

(What does “still” mean here? Is it now meaning nevertheless or all the same? If it is communicating time, it should be placed right after “are.”)

Pow! The Meaning Monster is defeated .  By understanding the logical intended meaning and using the power of logic to recognize the meaning changes that the monsters have made in each answer choice, you can become your own hero and claim victory over this and all SC questions.

In the words of the true hero of the Marvel Universe Stan Lee-

Excelsior!

Stacey

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