Challenging Question : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Challenging Question

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Director
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Challenging Question [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 07:15
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Hi Guys

I am reopening this question- since I am am still not able to zero on the answer.

The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

C / E which one and why ?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 10:05
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nusmavrik wrote:
Hi Guys

I am reopening this question- since I am am still not able to zero on the answer.

The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

C / E which one and why ?

Thanks in advance.

C is not parallel

local times,
which were determined
AND
differing

local times,
determined by when the sun reached..
differing from city to city
differed from city to city [incorrect]

secondly,
you need to see that local times are being determined
it's passive voice .. so the use of determined [past participle] is correct here

local times, differing from city to city
here local times is subject and that is why the use of present participle is correct

IMO E

i want to see more explanations though

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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 10:25
The introductory part is in past tense. So, we need rest of the format in past tense.
1. determined - It is a past participle paralle with led. Moreover it is preferred, IMO, to which were determined

(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
The abolition of local times is singular adjectival phrase. So, which were is incorrect.

(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

So, E is correct, though best of the all worst.

nusmavrik wrote:
Hi Guys

I am reopening this question- since I am am still not able to zero-in on the answer.

The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

C / E which one and why ?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 12:44
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Please verify my inputs -

Hi dimitri92,
yes I agree that C is not parallel. I want to know if there is "which parallelism" like "that parallellism"

C is OUT since I need a second which to make it parallel to the first one.

Local times, which were determined by
Local times, which differed from city to city

In the absence of second which

local times, determined by
local times, differing from city to city

Hi ykaiim,
I dissent here. I think the use of were is correct since local times is modified by the phrases.

local times, modifier1 and modifier2
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06 Jun 2010, 20:22
Please can we have more discussions on this one?

I will like to see more explanations.

Thanks
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2010, 22:03
The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

This question tests parallel modifiers.

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Not parallel: Relative Pronoun and Present Participle

(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
Parrallel but not as concise as D

(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Not parallel: Relative Pronoun and Present Participle

(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
Correct

(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Parrallel but not as paralell as D

CAN you please post the OA !

Thanks
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07 Jun 2010, 22:19
OA is E
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2010, 23:01
How can it be D?

....the sun reached.....and differed....
The Sun is not supposed to differ from city to city.

izaidi wrote:
The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

This question tests parallel modifiers.

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Not parallel: Relative Pronoun and Present Participle

(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
Parrallel but not as concise as D

(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Not parallel: Relative Pronoun and Present Participle

(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
Correct

(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Parrallel but not as paralell as D

CAN you please post the OA !

Thanks

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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2010, 08:49
ykaiim wrote:
How can it be D?

....the sun reached.....and differed....
The Sun is not supposed to differ from city to city.

izaidi wrote:
The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

This question tests parallel modifiers.

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Not parallel: Relative Pronoun and Present Participle

(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
Parrallel but not as concise as D

(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Not parallel: Relative Pronoun and Present Participle

(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
Correct

(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Parrallel but not as paralell as D

CAN you please post the OA !

Thanks

IMO: This is how i see it.

(d) The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

"determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian" and "differed from city to city" are parallel modifiers that both modify local times.
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2010, 08:51
nusmavrik wrote:
OA is E

Hey nusmavrik,

Why is E the correct answer. I think both E and D are parallel, and I find it hard to decide between the them. Is there an official answer for this question?

Thanks
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08 Jun 2010, 09:30
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izaidi wrote:
nusmavrik wrote:
OA is E

Hey nusmavrik,

Why is E the correct answer. I think both E and D are parallel, and I find it hard to decide between the them. Is there an official answer for this question?

Thanks

Hey izaidi
Lets try.

There are 2 ways to make this sentence parallel.
1.
Local times, which were determined by
Local times, which differed from city to city

2. Now I see that gmat doesnt gave me first option since second which is missing in the answer choices. B has SV error. was should be were since local times are plural.

So I compress the modifiers -
modifer1 becomes = local times, determined by blah blah (which OUT)
modifier2 becomes = local times, differed from city to city (that doesn't sound good). Because it isn't.

So I go with choice E.
modifer2 = local times, differing from city to city (and determined by the time when the sun reached the observer's meridian)

differing is a verb
determined is a verb (past participle to be exact)

noun, verb + and + verb

produces parallelism.

Hope that helps!
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14 Jun 2010, 22:56
Hi nusmavrik, Your explanation seems to be right. Even though at the first glance, in order to attain parallelism option D seems to be right. But, in fact the verb "differing" gives more sense to the sentence as a whole.
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2010, 13:06
Hi there,
In option C, the word which refers local times rather than the whole sentence that precedes it.
Also, local times usage is plural, thus "which were" is also correct.
Can you please let me know how "which" refers to the whole sentence as said in one of the replies?
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2010, 05:48
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Hey nusmavrik, I found some real good explanation on other forum. Will post it here for everyone's benefit.

Quote:
It's a bit tricky to answer these questions sometimes, but the main idea behind whether to choose the -ing form or the -ed form this:

When we reduce a verb to its -ing or -ed form, we must look at one and only one thing: whether the noun that it will modify is the subject or object of that verb.

The -ing form is used for DOING the action, which means SUBJECT, which means ACTIVE voice.

The -ed form is used for RECEIVING the action, which means OBJECT, which means PASSIVE voice.

Before I go further, let me offer two examples that will make things clearer as we go along:

speaking person (the -ing form)
spoken words (the -ed form)

In this type of question, we always have two elements:

a particple, which is either in the -ing or -ed form
a noun that is modified by this participle

So, using the previous examples, speaking modifies person and spoken modifies words.

The next step is to realize that these participles all come from verbs--speaking and spoken both come from the verb speak.

Now, using these examples, and applying them to the rules I mentioned at the beginning, we will notice that if we made a sentence, person would be the subject of the verb speak and words would be the object of the verb speak. Using this procedure, we can figure out whether should use the -ing or -ed form of a participle that modifies a noun.

Of course, this is easy when the vocabulary is easy, and we often get confused when we are using difficult vocabulary because we sometimes don't know whether something is the subject or the object of the verb, but this procedure that I have explained is the only sure way to get the right answer.

In our sentence here, "which" replaces "times", and "times" is the object of "determined", but it is the subject of "differed".

In other words, we have something like this:

...somebody determined times...

but

times differing [not differed...]

I know some of you have learned that we should only use the -ing form only for actions that are ongoing/in progress in the present, but that's simply not true. We do occasionally use them correctly for past actions that were ongoing/in progress.

Finally, everybody gets confused simply because the -ed form appears in the second one, making people think the -ed form should appear again when it's reduced. We need to realize that there is truly no connection between the two; it's pure coincidence that each has the -ed form in it

If you stick to the rules that I just wrote, you'll be okay.
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2010, 08:42
very good rule above. (i'm going to add that to my notes).

I also jsut want to add that you can maintain parallelism by comparing an -ing form (present participle) vs an -ed form (past participle)... so don't always FORCE an -ing with -ing (or -ed with -ed) construction.

i got this one wrong and picked D because of the following rationale:

local times, determined by...
local times, differed from city to city.

two things modifying local times. but i fail to see the subtleties in using the -ing form for "subjects" and -ed form for "objects"
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25 Sep 2010, 10:07
I Agree with D The structuring is slightly better than E
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2010, 14:49
Good question

I was contemplating between C and E as well. I understand the use of "determined" and "differing" but the "which" confused me. Thanks seekmba for providing that explanation too.
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14 May 2011, 09:53
'I want to know if there is "which parallelism" like "that parallelism"

C is OUT since I need a second which to make it parallel to the first one'.

if there is a 'which' parallelism , where to use it and where to avoid it ? and what are the rules for 'that' parallelism ?

i think the use of 'ed' for objects and 'ing' for subjects is fairly clear,but i will refer to this question quite a few times.
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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16 May 2011, 08:52
usage of were is not correct for abolition of local times.
differing is a correct usage, differed will give superficial parallelism w.r.t sun reached.
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Re: Challenging Question [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2011, 14:34
What a terrific question that tests parallel structure in participles! Missed it..but good lessons to learn.
Re: Challenging Question   [#permalink] 08 Jun 2011, 14:34

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