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# Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the

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04 Jan 2005, 12:15
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Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space

A. persisting
B. persists
C. persisted
D. they persist
E. are persisting

Please explain reasoning
If you have any questions
you can ask an expert
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04 Jan 2005, 21:22
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Nice discussion. Just to add my 2 cents here. Indeed, we are faced with participial phrases. Let's tear down A.

We have:
Ind. clause: Astronomers have theorized
Restrictive clause of the ind. clause: that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust
Appositive phrase: particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space

Actually, what we are really interested in is the appositive phrase construction. Remember, an appositive has NO VERB. How is the appositive phrase constructed? With 2 participial phrases which modify noun "atoms and molecules". So we have:

Subject: particles
Restrictive clause: that comprise the atoms and molecules
Participial phrase 1: created in the progenitive explosion
Conjunction: and
Participial phrase 2: persisting in even the emptiest regions of space

The portion in red is what that participial phrases are modifying. But how do we know whether to pick the past or present participle?
The past participle represents a past condition, the passive voice or also a condition done onto the subject.
The present participle represents a present condition, the active voice or also a condition performed by the subject.

An example:
1- The ritual, perpetuated by the clan members --> Here, the ritual is passive because it is a noun that is performed by some other subjects(clan members) and it also denotes something which happened in the past.
2- The ritual, perpetuating the tradition of the ancestors--> Here, the ritual is active because it is a noun because it is itself performing the action of continuing the tradition of the ancestors and the perpetuation is still ongoing(notice the redundancy here ).

In the original question, if we apply the following concept, we can see that for the first participial phrase, the action of "creating" happened in the past because the "atoms and molecules" themselves are not creating anything; they are being created, so passive voice is proper. The second participial phrase starting with "persisting" means that the "atoms and molecules" are still persisiting in the present(a present condition), they are performing the action of "persisting" so the use of present participle is better. We cannot say that the atoms "persisted" because that would imply that they no longer do and there is nothing to warrant that.

B makes the second participial phrase become a clause with the inclusion of a conjugated verb(present tense and wrongly conjugated anyways) and fails in terms of parallellism. C is wrong because of the explanation above. D unnecessarily introduces a redundant pronoun but does not have the participial form to maintain parallellism anyways. E again is turning participial form into present progressive form and makes the second part a clause, not a phrase so it is wrong.
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Paul

Last edited by Paul on 05 Jan 2005, 07:11, edited 1 time in total.
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04 Jan 2005, 13:29
(B)

IF written like this, it would have been easier to spot the need for ||ism

Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust- particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion- and created in even the emptiest regions of space
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04 Jan 2005, 13:34
How about rewrite it like this?

Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules that are created in the progenitive explosion and that persist in even the emptiest regions of space
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04 Jan 2005, 14:05
Choose A.

This question is similar to OG Q:210 and I think same explanation will apply...
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04 Jan 2005, 15:54
OK let me try to explain this.
...the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.

There are two participle phrases to modify "the atoms and molecules". They are in different color as you can see.
The part "created in the progenitive explosion" can be rewritten in passive voice as "that are created in the progenitive explosion"
The part "persisting in even the emptiest regions of space" can be rewritten in active voice as "that persist in even the emptiest regions of space"
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04 Jan 2005, 16:42
patrickpui wrote:
Gayathri. can you share your insight?

Patrick, I agree with qhoc's explanation.
This sentence basically has two participial phrases:
1. created in the progenitive explosion
2. persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
Both modifying "atoms and molecules"
So, you can maintain parallelism only by using the two participles "created" (past participle) and "persisting" (present participle).
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04 Jan 2005, 17:28
OA is A
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04 Jan 2005, 19:42
Agree with A, great discussion
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04 Jan 2005, 21:45
that was actually more like a whole dollar, thanks Paul, you are amazing.

Paul wrote:
Nice discussion. Just to add my 2 cents here. Indeed, we are faced with participial phrases. Let's tear down A.

We have:
Ind. clause: Astronomers have theorized
Restrictive clause of the ind. clause: that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust
Appositive phrase: particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space

Actually, what we are really interested in is the appositive phrase construction. Remember, an appositive has NO VERB. How is the appositive phrase constructed? With 2 participial phrases which modify noun "atoms and molecules". So we have:

Subject: particles
Restrictive clause: that comprise the atoms and molecules
Participial phrase 1: created in the progenitive explosion
Conjunction: and
Participial phrase 2: persisting in even the emptiest regions of space

The portion in red is what that participial phrases are modifying. But how do we know whether to pick the past or present participle?
The past participle represents a past condition, the passive voice or also a condition done onto the subject.
The present participle represents a present condition, the active voice or also a condition performed by the subject.

An example:
1- The ritual, perpetuated by the clan members --> Here, the ritual is passive because it is a noun that is performed by some other subjects(clan members) and it also denotes something which happened in the past.
2- The ritual, perpetuating the tradition of the ancestors--> Here, the ritual is active because it is a noun because it is itself performing the action of continuing the tradition of the ancestors and the perpetuation is still ongoing(notice the redundancy here ).

In the original question, if we apply the following concept, we can see that for the first participial phrase, the action of "creating" happened in the past because the "atoms and molecules" themselves are not creating anything; they are being created, so passive voice is proper. The second participial phrase starting with "persisting" means that the "atoms and molecules" are still persisiting in the present(a present condition), they are performing the action of "persisting" so the use of present participle is better. We cannot say that the atoms "persisted" because that would imply that they no longer do and there is nothing to warrant that.

B makes the second participial phrase becoming a cause with the inclusion of a conjugated verb(present tense and wrongly conjugated anyways) and fails in terms of parallelism. C is wrong because of the explanation above. D unnecessarily introduces a redundant pronoun but does not have the participial form to maintain parallellism anyways. E again is turning participial form into present progressive form and makes the second part a clause, not a phrase so it is wrong.

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04 Jan 2005, 22:18
A is best. Only A creates a parallel structure of two adjective phrases. Also , its very important to use a present participle "persisting" to correctly indicate that "atoms and molecules" are still "persisting".

created in the pro... -- adjective phrase modifying the noun phrase" atoms and molecules"
persisting in even the -- adjective phrase , again, modifying the noun " atoms and molecules" .. this one has to have a present participle... because atoms are still existing today.

All the other choices do not maintain the same parallel structure.
And yes, an adjective phrase can be created using the present participle " persisting" and the past participle "created". A participle is simply an adjective created from a verb.

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05 Jan 2005, 05:11
Paul, you are the grammar master. You should write a book.
Thanks guys.
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Re: SC- Big Bang [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2010, 21:14
Seriously, amazing answer from Paul. Makes it crystal clear....
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Re: Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2013, 11:13
so, how to answer this question without knowing all the above rules mentioned by Paul or Gayathri quickly?
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15 Sep 2014, 00:43
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27 Jun 2016, 12:14
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the   [#permalink] 27 Jun 2016, 12:14
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