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# Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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22 Jan 2013, 15:06
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Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Five-star General John Pershing [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2013, 15:53
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mikemcgarry wrote:
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike

with him is wrong, right is $$TO$$him. only based on this we have A C and D

such a is wrong

would be is wrong. we are comparing X that $$IS$$ Y ( a matter of fact)

D is the best
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Re: Five-star General John Pershing [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2013, 15:58
I just couldn't convince myself that so sweeping was correct...that sounds terrible.
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Re: Five-star General John Pershing [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2013, 16:30
skiingforthewknds wrote:
I just couldn't convince myself that so sweeping was correct...that sounds terrible.

Dear skiingforthewknds,
With all due respect, this is why it's vitally important to do high-brow reading in preparation for the GMAT. If your ear is tuned, say, to the level of grammar present in most modern media, then you are completely set up to make a sizable number of errors on the GMAT SC simply by following your ear, and many fully correct grammatical structures will sound "wrong" as well. It's very important to "re-train" your ear in correct grammar ---- the GMAT SC is designed to excoriate folks who uncritically trust what they hear in colloquial English.
Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Five-star General John Pershing [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2013, 18:02
No worries Mike. I never said I was solely using my ear just that fact it sounded that bad. You can knock off a lot in various other rules its just a mind game with that worfing

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25 Sep 2013, 10:32
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13 Jul 2014, 07:14
skiingforthewknds wrote:
I just couldn't convince myself that so sweeping was correct...that sounds terrible.

Great question!

....so sweeping.... sounds terrible for me as well (however, i'm not a native speaker, so could be wrong).

But I guess the author of this question realised this and intentionally pasted 5 different options to the second part of the sentence (correspondence with / correspondence to etc).
And four out of these five could be rather easily eliminated. So, in my opinion, this question could be answered even w/o analysing the first construction
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14 Jul 2014, 01:47
Got the right answer but confused by the usage of the word correspond. What does this sentence mean anyway Mike ?
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14 Jul 2014, 11:40
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himanshujovi wrote:
Got the right answer but confused by the usage of the word correspond. What does this sentence mean anyway Mike ?

Dear himanshujovi,
I'm happy to help.

This is a sentence with hard vocabulary and a sophisticated meaning. It is a very hard sentence, but something like this could appear on the GMAT SC. Here's the OA, version (D):

Five-star General John Pershing had so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to him.

OK, what does this mean? First of all, "sweeping" in this context means "vast, unlimited." Having a "sweeping command" means having virtually unlimited power, having tremendous authority. Pershing was the "top dog" in the US military in WWI. That's the first fact communicated in this sentence.

Now, you asked about the word "correspond." A correspondence is a pattern of matching. X corresponds to Y if X & Y are each in their own pattern, and the two patterns match, X and Y are at matching points in the two patterns.

For example, in the US, the President, corresponds to the Prime Minister in many other countries. They have different titles but the same essential role.

The CEO of a corporation corresponds to the president or chancellor of a university.

One could say that the movements of a symphony correspond to the chapters of a book --- both play the same role of dividing the word into meaningful sections.

One could say that the Eiffel Tower, the iconic landmark of France, corresponds to the Taj Mahal, the iconic landmark of India. They both correspond to the Statue of Liberty in the USA or to the Great Wall of China. It's not clear which single German landmark or single Japanese landmark would most correspond with these.

Here, in this SC question, the pattern of matching concerns the first and the second World War.

If we ask: who was the #1 most important military leader in the US military in WWI? The answer is clearly and unambiguously John Pershing.

If we ask: who was the #1 most important military leader in the US military in WWII? Well, there's not really a clear answer. Many generals were important --- Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, MacArthur, as well as Admiral Nimitz, etc., but there was none who stood out as the supreme leader, the way Pershing did in WWI. In other words, no WWII leader corresponds to Pershing. Pershing had a specific role in WWI, and nobody had a matching role in WWII.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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16 Jul 2014, 08:10
mikemcgarry wrote:
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike

pls, confirm my idea following
A. to talk of result the idiom is "such ... that" . this is not idiom
B. after "such... that" we can not use "would". PLS ADVISE WHAT TENSE WE USE IN SUCH.. THAT CLAUSE.
C. "so...that" is idiom. this is not idiom
E, the causal relation is not correct inhere
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16 Jul 2014, 10:12
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vietmoi999 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike

pls, confirm my idea following
A. to talk of result the idiom is "such ... that" . this is not idiom
B. after "such... that" we can not use "would". PLS ADVISE WHAT TENSE WE USE IN SUCH.. THAT CLAUSE.
C. "so...that" is idiom. this is not idiom
E, the causal relation is not correct inhere

Dear vietmoi999,
I'm happy to respond. On (A) & (C) & (E), you are 100% correct. In (B), there is no rule about a "that" clause and verb tense --- we simply have to use the verb tense relevant to the situation. If we were talking hypothetically, say about a future war, then we might use "would." WWII was a long time ago, and all the achievements of those generals is well known at this point. There is absolutely nothing hypothetical, speculative, or ambiguous about what those folks accomplished. That's why "would" is wrong. Here, we are taking about a correspondence, a pattern of matching, and this pattern is something we are perceiving in the present moment, so the present tense --- "does correspond" or simply "corresponds" is perfectly correct.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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26 Jun 2016, 06:33
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27 Jun 2016, 19:23
mikemcgarry wrote:
skiingforthewknds wrote:
I just couldn't convince myself that so sweeping was correct...that sounds terrible.

Dear skiingforthewknds,
With all due respect, this is why it's vitally important to do high-brow reading in preparation for the GMAT. If your ear is tuned, say, to the level of grammar present in most modern media, then you are completely set up to make a sizable number of errors on the GMAT SC simply by following your ear, and many fully correct grammatical structures will sound "wrong" as well. It's very important to "re-train" your ear in correct grammar ---- the GMAT SC is designed to excoriate folks who uncritically trust what they hear in colloquial English.
Does this make sense?
Mike

Going by grammar
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.

since had is there therefore we want a past action in any other part of sentence
also I have read that with present=will and with past=would

I didnt find any past tense in all 5 sentences so went with B because it atleast used would.

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28 Jun 2016, 10:26
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RatneshS wrote:
Going by grammar
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.

since had is there therefore we want a past action in any other part of sentence
also I have read that with present=will and with past=would

I didnt find any past tense in all 5 sentences so went with B because it atleast used would.

Dear RatneshS,
I'm happy to respond.

Unfortunately, (B) is not the correct answer. It is grammatically correct, but it has logical and rhetorical issues. Folks often mistakenly think that the GMAT SC is a solely a test of grammar. In fact, grammar and logic and rhetoric are three equally important strands, and on official questions, many incorrect answer are 100% grammatically correct but have logical or rhetorical issues.

Verb tense is not a particularly good indicator in this instance. You see, the actions of these generals were all in the past, but the logical pattern, the correspondence, is something that still exists today. For example, we can say, "Ataturk corresponds to George Washington in the primary significance he has for the country he founded." The two men, Ataturk and Washington, are long dead, but the significance they have for their respective countries and the logical relationship between them is one that still exists.

When we say, "P corresponds to Q," we are saying that there a logical pattern of matching that joins them. It is 100% incorrect to say, "P is a correspondence to Q," because then we are identifying the person P with the abstract logical pattern of matching. This is the problem with choice (B) in this question. We are saying no general, no human being, is a correspondence, an abstract pattern of matching. This is illogical and it sounds awkward.

The best answer here is (D). Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike
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28 Jun 2016, 11:38
mikemcgarry wrote:
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike

Hi Mike,

Although I was able to solve the sentence correctly, I'd like your support to understand a construction appeared in choice D.

Regardless of construction 'SO/Such X that Y', I do not understand the construction 'sweeping a command'. Usually the construction is 'a + adjective+ noun' but in Choice D, it is 'adjective+ a + noun'. When is the latter construction is correct?

Thanks
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28 Jun 2016, 12:19
mikemcgarry wrote:
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike

The intention of the sentence is to show that JP had stronger demand than any of the WWII general had.

Correct idiom could be 'Such..... that' or 'so....that'. Only choice B and D are contenders.

(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
'Correspondence with' is not right. It does not show that intended meaning.

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28 Jun 2016, 13:34
Mo2men wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to him.
(A) such a sweeping command in World War I as no single WWII general is a correspondence to
(B) such a sweeping command in World War I that no single WWII general would be a correspondence with
(C) so sweeping a command in World War I as no single WWII general would be corresponding to
(D) so sweeping a command in World War I that no single WWII general corresponds to
(E) such a sweeping command in World War I because no single WWII general corresponds with

In this sentence about Blackjack Pershing, the same root word appears in noun & verb forms (correspondence, corresponds, corresponding). For a full discussion of this frequent SC issue, as well as a complete explanation of the sentence above, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/

Mike

Hi Mike,

Although I was able to solve the sentence correctly, I'd like your support to understand a construction appeared in choice D.

Regardless of construction 'SO/Such X that Y', I do not understand the construction 'sweeping a command'. Usually the construction is 'a + adjective+ noun' but in Choice D, it is 'adjective+ a + noun'. When is the latter construction is correct?

Thanks

Dear Mo2men,
My friend, I'm happy to respond.

The core grammatical structure here is so [adjective] that . . . The clause following the "that" is a consequence of the degree of the adjective. See:
GMAT Idioms: Cause and Consequence
Examples
...so intelligent that she completed a Ph.D. at the age of 19.
...so hungry that he ate an entire baked chicken.
...so distant that light reflected from it takes 20 minutes to arrive.

That's the core structure. Now, suppose this adjective, the very one that is raised to an extreme degree by the word "so," modifies a noun. Idiomatically, it is crucial that the adjective touch the word "so." Normally, as you point out, an article would come before an adjective, but here, the requirements of the idiom take over. The word "so" must touch the adjective: as a consequence, we wind up with the somewhat unusual structure:
so [adjective] a/an [noun] that . . .
Examples:
Theodore Roosevelt was so dynamic a politician that . . .
Kazakhstan is so large a country that . . .
Algebraic topology is so abstruse a topic that . . .

In fact, that noun could be modified by a noun-modifying phrase or clause, and this would put significant distance between the opening "so" and the closing "that" of the idiom.
Beethoven was so popular a concert pianist in Vienna in the 1790s that . . .
The electron is so small a particle, even compared to the other subatomic particles, that . . .

This is the structure used in this sentence: "so sweeping a command in World War I that ..." It is relatively uncommon in colloquial English and appears more frequently in sophisticated writing.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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28 Jun 2016, 18:26
mikemcgarry wrote:
Dear Mo2men,
My friend, I'm happy to respond.

The core grammatical structure here is so [adjective] that . . . The clause following the "that" is a consequence of the degree of the adjective. See:
GMAT Idioms: Cause and Consequence
Examples
...so intelligent that she completed a Ph.D. at the age of 19.
...so hungry that he ate an entire baked chicken.
...so distant that light reflected from it takes 20 minutes to arrive.

That's the core structure. Now, suppose this adjective, the very one that is raised to an extreme degree by the word "so," modifies a noun. Idiomatically, it is crucial that the adjective touch the word "so." Normally, as you point out, an article would come before an adjective, but here, the requirements of the idiom take over. The word "so" must touch the adjective: as a consequence, we wind up with the somewhat unusual structure:
so [adjective] a/an [noun] that . . .
Examples:
Theodore Roosevelt was so dynamic a politician that . . .
Kazakhstan is so large a country that . . .
Algebraic topology is so abstruse a topic that . . .

In fact, that noun could be modified by a noun-modifying phrase or clause, and this would put significant distance between the opening "so" and the closing "that" of the idiom.
Beethoven was so popular a concert pianist in Vienna in the 1790s that . . .
The electron is so small a particle, even compared to the other subatomic particles, that . . .

This is the structure used in this sentence: "so sweeping a command in World War I that ..." It is relatively uncommon in colloquial English and appears more frequently in sophisticated writing.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Thanks Mike for you help. I'm just curious to know whether there is any preference (rhetorically or subtle meaning) to say:

So sweeping a command in World War I that....

or

Such a sweeping command in World War I that......

Thanks
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29 Jun 2016, 10:30
Mo2men wrote:
Thanks Mike for you help. I'm just curious to know whether there is any preference (rhetorically or subtle meaning) to say:

So sweeping a command in World War I that....

or

Such a sweeping command in World War I that......

Thanks

Dear Mo2men,
I'm happy to respond, my friend.

Both versions are 100% correct and communicate virtually the same information. If anything, the former gives slightly more emphasis to the adjective itself. Suppose, in the second version, we were to put the word "sweeping" in italics to give it a bit of extra emphasis. That's roughly the extra emphasis that version #1 gives the adjective.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Five-star General John Pershing had such a sweeping command   [#permalink] 29 Jun 2016, 10:30
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