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For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.
(A) a method to protect
(B) as a method protecting
(C) protecting
(D) as a protection of
(E) to protect
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New post 02 Nov 2011, 13:46
can anyone explain why we cannot use "to protect" here? the OG explanation is sort of strange. What does it mean by saying that "to protect" cannot act as a nonrestrictive adjectival phrase modifying items? What's nonrestrictive adj.?
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miaojunmaggie wrote:
can anyone explain why we cannot use "to protect" here? the OG explanation is sort of strange. What does it mean by saying that "to protect" cannot act as a nonrestrictive adjectival phrase modifying items? What's nonrestrictive adj.?


First of all, in the original sentence, "a method," as a noun, seems most syntactically comparable to another noun. But syntactically it looks as though this "method" refers to "items of military equipment," since adjectives (with the sole exception of predicate adjectives) cannot be separated from the nouns they modify by conjugated verbs. Semantically, we WANT the "method" to be the shields. But that is ungrammatical. Furthermore, a "method" is not strictly speaking a tangible thing such as a shield, so semantically that seems a little bit weird.

It is better to use "protecting" rather than "a method to protect" or even "a method of protecting" since the gerundative phrase can be an adverb and therefore refer to the whole preceding clause.

Second, infinitive phrases tend to work best when they are used as nouns, not as modifiers. "A method to protect" would not be as good as "a method of protecting," particularly since "a method to protect" appears to imply that the method is DESTINED or FORCED to do the protecting.
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For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2012, 11:14
For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

(A) a method to protect

(B) as a method protecting

(C) protecting

(D) as a protection of

(E) to protect

Dear All,
Pls refer to the above problem. I want to clear my concept about in which situations should we prefer ing form of verb to infinitive form.t

My first preference was to E and second preference was to C
Official Answer is C

Pls Help !
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Re: Concept clearence [#permalink]

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abhijitlandge wrote:
Dear All,
Pls refer to the following problem. I want to clear my concept about in which situations should we prefer ing form of verb to infinitive form.t

For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

(A) a method to protect

(B) as a method protecting

(C) protecting

(D) as a protection of

(E) to protect

My first preference was to E and second preference was to C
Official Answer is C

Pls Help !


Please read the Article below it will help you to undertsand the usage of 'to+verb" [as in choice E]
to-verb-vs-for-verb-ing-144017.html

For C 'verb-ing modifiers' are used Either to show a ongoing action/event OR to show a consequence of an action.Where the reason/cause is usually in the preceding clause

for example --animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment--REASON, protecting warriors against enemy arrows and spears.-CONSEQUENCE

using to protect here will change the meaning, hence its wrong.

Hope its clear
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Re: For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2012, 06:34
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IMO, the approach to this topic would be

(A) a method to protect – Animal shields are not a method. They are just materials so drop this

(B) as a method protecting --- same as in A

(C) protecting --- protecting modifies the simple clause preceding it. Correct choice

(D) as a protection of --- shields are not[protection or protections

(E) to protect --- The tricky issue here is the that we cannot idiomatically use an infinitive after a comma.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2012, 07:24
well the bigger issue with E is that use of 'to+verb' ie to protect changes the meaning of the sentence altogether.

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Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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New post 11 Oct 2016, 19:59
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: For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2016, 19:59
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