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Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat, aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue, switching to newer, more efficient technologies. NO ERROR?

For the question above I was stumped at the fact of how aware can be correct, although, I do see another error at the switching to part too.

Anyway, why is aware correct and shouldn't it be changed to are aware?

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    That sentence no verb. – Peter Shor Aug 2 '15 at 21:38
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    It looks OK to me except for a missing are before switching. – Jim Mack Aug 2 '15 at 21:39
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    You need to give the sentence a verb. The obvious choices for a verb are are aware or are switching. If you change it to are aware, then the clause switching to newer ... isn't connected properly to the rest of the sentence (although the first part is fine). – Peter Shor Aug 2 '15 at 21:42
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    This is apparently an SAT prep question of some sort, not something the OP has written. – Catija Aug 2 '15 at 21:43
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    @Asker123 - "aware" is correct because it is clearly implied that it is the farmers who are aware. In essence, the first part of the sentence is "Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat, [being] aware that new developments..." – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Aug 2 '15 at 21:52
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The "aware" is fine because it's the beginning of a non-essential clause. The simplest version of the sentence is:

Farmers are switching to newer, more efficient technologies.

So, to simplify it a bit less (still ignoring the type of farmer being discussed) the phrase would be:

Farmers, aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue, are switching to newer, more efficient technologies.

I hope this makes it clearer why no verb is necessary here. Yes, the description of the farmers makes it a bit more complex, but that's part of what they're testing on the SAT. So, now if we add back in the farmer description, it should read more clearly:

Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat, aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue, are switching to newer, more efficient technologies.


So, what if we try to "fix" the non-essential clause?

Let's start by ignoring the actual end of the sentence:

Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat, aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue.

So, in this case, we need to add a verb:

Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat, are aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue.

But now we have to remove a comma, which means we're making two changes to the sentence, rather than one... and we still have this chunk to add to the end:

Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat are aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue, switching to newer, more efficient technologies.

In order for this final part to make sense, we've got to add a lot of words:

Farmers who grow major crops such as corn, rice and wheat are aware that new developments in agriculture production can result in millions of dollars in additional revenue, so they are switching to newer, more efficient technologies.

So, now the sentence makes sense but we've had to make a bunch of changes... which isn't a possible solution to the question. So this can't be the "correct" path.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yes, I was thinking that but I wanted to fix a non-essential clause. I guess I shouldn't do that. – Asker123 Aug 2 '15 at 22:09
  • If you "fix" the non-essential clause, you're left with a very confusing sentence. I'll try to show that in an edit. – Catija Aug 2 '15 at 22:10
  • I think you're over-thinking it. – Hot Licks Aug 3 '15 at 3:06
  • @HotLicks Not really. If you're working on an SAT, excluding answers is actually a really good way of figuring out which answer is correct. – Catija Aug 3 '15 at 3:09
  • "Over-thinking" is completely rewriting the sentence when it's merely missing the word "are". – Hot Licks Aug 3 '15 at 3:11

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