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Focused on prep+v-ing construction: I am looking for

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Focused on prep+v-ing construction: I am looking for [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2013, 22:09
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Focused on prep+v-ing construction:
I am looking for "preposition+ verb-ing construction" is correctly working as noun or i need "preposition + article+ verb-ing "

As per OG#130

One view of the economy contends that a large drop in oil prices should eventually lead to lowering interest rates, as well as lowering fears about inflation, a rally in stocks and bonds, and a weakening of the dollar.

As per the explanation lowering is not the noun form so they modified it to :
a lowering of interest rates and of fears about inflation,

Now in OG13 problem: correct ans choice is
Most efforts to combat such mosquito-borne diseases as malaria and dengue have focused on either vaccinating humans or exterminating mosquitoes with pesticides.

In the above option they have told prep+v-ing is acting as noun ; so in OG12 how the prep+noun (to lowering ) is acting as participle.


If gurus can help me will be delighted...
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Re: doubt on V-ing acting as noun [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 10:06
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sujit2k7 wrote:
Focused on prep+v-ing construction:
I am looking for "preposition+ verb-ing construction" is correctly working as noun or i need "preposition + article+ verb-ing "

As per OG#130
One view of the economy contends that a large drop in oil prices should eventually lead to lowering interest rates, as well as lowering fears about inflation, a rally in stocks and bonds, and a weakening of the dollar.

As per the explanation lowering is not the noun form so they modified it to :
a lowering of interest rates and of fears about inflation,

Now in OG13 problem: correct ans choice is
Most efforts to combat such mosquito-borne diseases as malaria and dengue have focused on either vaccinating humans or exterminating mosquitoes with pesticides.

In the above option they have told prep+v-ing is acting as noun ; so in OG12 how the prep+noun (to lowering ) is acting as participle.

If gurus can help me will be delighted...

Dear Sujit,
I'm am happy to help with this. :-) First of all, let's talk about the proper terminology --- the -ing form of a verb that acts as a noun is called gerund, and you can read more about them here.
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-phrases/
You can read about participles here:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/participle ... -the-gmat/
You can read about the -ing form in general here:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/the-ing-form-of-a-verb/

The explanation in OG12 for SC #130 is a little heavy-handed, and you would ill-advised to take it too literally. What you have to understand about those OG explanations --- they are constrained by a single page, or single column on a page, so they can't always explain each item to the depth it deserves. They have to use shorthand sometime --- tossing off a single phrase for an idea that really deserves a paragraph on its own.

I would say that the phrase "lowering interest rates" could be called ambiguous ---- it means which of the following?
(a) interests rates that are lowering ---- i.e. "lowering" as a participle
(b) the lowering of interest rates ---- i.e. "lowering" as a gerund
Any grammatical structure that is open to two very different interpretations probably is not stated as clearly as possible. The OG says "it's a participle" --- well, I would say, that's shorthand for: it could be read as a participle or as a gerund, and this ambiguity is a problem.

Also, notice that the other terms of the parallelism ----- "a rally .... a weakening ..." have the article "a", so including the article "a" before "lowering" has the double effect --- it makes it 100% clear that it's a gerund, not a participle, and it also puts all three terms fully in parallel. I would say, the structure "lowering interest rates", by itself, is probably not a problem, but the real concern is getting everything in parallel.

In the sentence you cited from OG13, it's clear from context that the words "vaccinating" and "exterminating" are gerunds, not participles. It's totally unrealistic to interpret these as humans going around performing vaccinations and mosquitoes going around exterminating things. Also, notice, these two are already in parallel, so there's no reason to alter their structure.

One of the sure-fire ways to determine that the -ing form you are seeing is a gerund and not a participle is if it follows a preposition as the object of the preposition ---- "for preserving ...", "without stopping ...", "in spite of knowing ..." etc. If you put an article or pronoun in from it, that also guarantees it's a gerund ---- "the buying ....", "a sitting of ...", "this talking ....", "her singing ...", etc.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: doubt on V-ing acting as noun   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2013, 10:06
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