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Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the

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Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2012, 02:19
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A
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Difficulty:

  25% (low)

Question Stats:

59% (01:33) correct 41% (00:34) wrong based on 135 sessions
Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the hands or feet is termed polydactyly.

(a) Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes
(b) Having had more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(c) Having more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(d) To have more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(e) To have more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes





[Reveal] Spoiler:
The original sentence incorrectly uses the phrase "numbers of" instead of the correct expression "number of."

• (A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.

• (B) This choice correctly replaces "numbers of" with "number of." However, the present perfect tense verb "having had" is incorrectly used. The present perfect tense is used to indicate an event that started in the past and remains true in the present. Since this sentence simply defines the term "polydactyly," the present perfect tense is inappropriate. Instead, in order to maintain parallel structure, the phrase "is termed polydactyly" must be preceded by a noun phrase; the word "having" is a gerund, a verb that acts as a noun, and is therefore appropriate to open that phrase.

• (C) CORRECT. This choice correctly replaces "numbers of" with "number of."

(D) This choice correctly replaces "numbers of" with "number of." However, the phrase beginning with the infinitive form "to have" is not parallel with the phrase "is termed polydactyly." To maintain parallel structure the phrase "is termed polydactyly" must be preceded by a noun phrase; the word "having" is a gerund, a verb that acts as a noun, and is therefore appropriate to open that phrase.

• (E) This choice incorrectly uses the phrase "numbers of" instead of the correct expression "number of." Moreover, the phrase beginning with the infinitive form "to have" is not parallel with the phrase "is termed polydactyly." To maintain parallel structure the phrase "is termed polydactyly" must be preceded by a noun phrase; the word "having" is a gerund, a verb that acts as a noun, and is therefore appropriate to open that phrase.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Having more than the usual numbers [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2012, 02:51
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Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the hands or feet is termed polydactyly.

(a) Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes
(b) Having had more than the usual number of fingers or toes - "having had" means one had it in past but does not have it anymore
(c) Having more than the usual number of fingers or toes - correct
(d) To have more than the usual number of fingers or toes - Incorrect meaning - "to have "suggests as if we have a choice
(e) To have more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes

C is correct.

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Re: Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2013, 12:23
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kingb wrote:
Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the hands or feet is termed polydactyly.
(A) Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes
(B) Having had more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(C) Having more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(D) To have more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(E) To have more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes

fameatop wrote:
Can you explain why option D is incorrect & C is correct. Regards, Fame

I'm happy to help with this. :-) I am answering a pm from Fame.

This is an MGMAT question. Normally, I hold MGMAT in the highest regard, but I will say --- sometimes a few of their questions get into some reasonably obscure territory is that is bit more picayune than the GMAT SC would touch. I believe this is such a question.

First of all, the word "number" is correct, not "numbers." Therefore, (A) & (E) are out. Furthermore, (B) is simply ridiculous, so that's out.
The real question is (C) vs. (D), gerund vs. infinitive as the subject. For more on gerunds, see this:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-phrases/
For more on infinitives, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/infinitive ... -the-gmat/

Notice, first of all, there is NO PARALLELISM in this sentence. We have the verb "is termed" and then we have the noun, the term, "polydactyly." Both gerunds and infinitive can act as nouns. In particular, both gerunds and infinitive can be subjects of sentences.
To err is human. --- Seneca the Younger (4 BC-65 AD) --- infinitive subject
Reading classical Latin literature can be edifying. --- gerund subject

What is the difference between having a gerund as a subject vs. having an infinitive as a subject? There's no clear and well-defined rule. There's nothing cut-and-dry. In certain instances, one will sound more natural than the other, but that's far from rigorous. In this particular sentence, I will say --- for reasons I can't articulate, (C) does some more natural, but I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with (D). In my mind, the difference between (C) & (D) is too slight for this to be the defining split on a SC question. As much as I respect MGMAT in general, I think I will say --- this is not a particularly GMAT-like SC question, because it lacks a clear & unambiguous split between (C) & (D).

Here's a link where Ron Purewal himself says the MGMAT folks were debating this question.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/ger ... t3133.html
The fact that the bright people who wrote this question original have to debate about it means that it lacks the ringing clarity that characterizes a good GMAT-like SC question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)

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Re: Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2013, 13:11
Eliminate A ) - Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes
Eliminate B) Having had more than the usual number of fingers or toes
Eliminate D) To have more than the usual number of fingers or toes
Eliminate E) To have more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes

(C) Having more than the usual number of fingers or toes .Correct
Hence C is correct answer
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Re: Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2014, 05:45
mikemcgarry wrote:
kingb wrote:
Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the hands or feet is termed polydactyly.
(A) Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes
(B) Having had more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(C) Having more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(D) To have more than the usual number of fingers or toes
(E) To have more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes

fameatop wrote:
Can you explain why option D is incorrect & C is correct. Regards, Fame

I'm happy to help with this. :-) I am answering a pm from Fame.

This is an MGMAT question. Normally, I hold MGMAT in the highest regard, but I will say --- sometimes a few of their questions get into some reasonably obscure territory is that is bit more picayune than the GMAT SC would touch. I believe this is such a question.

First of all, the word "number" is correct, not "numbers." Therefore, (A) & (E) are out. Furthermore, (B) is simply ridiculous, so that's out.
The real question is (C) vs. (D), gerund vs. infinitive as the subject. For more on gerunds, see this:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-phrases/
For more on infinitives, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/infinitive ... -the-gmat/

Notice, first of all, there is NO PARALLELISM in this sentence. We have the verb "is termed" and then we have the noun, the term, "polydactyly." Both gerunds and infinitive can act as nouns. In particular, both gerunds and infinitive can be subjects of sentences.
To err is human. --- Seneca the Younger (4 BC-65 AD) --- infinitive subject
Reading classical Latin literature can be edifying. --- gerund subject

What is the difference between having a gerund as a subject vs. having an infinitive as a subject? There's no clear and well-defined rule. There's nothing cut-and-dry. In certain instances, one will sound more natural than the other, but that's far from rigorous. In this particular sentence, I will say --- for reasons I can't articulate, (C) does some more natural, but I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with (D). In my mind, the difference between (C) & (D) is too slight for this to be the defining split on a SC question. As much as I respect MGMAT in general, I think I will say --- this is not a particularly GMAT-like SC question, because it lacks a clear & unambiguous split between (C) & (D).

Here's a link where Ron Purewal himself says the MGMAT folks were debating this question.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/ger ... t3133.html
The fact that the bright people who wrote this question original have to debate about it means that it lacks the ringing clarity that characterizes a good GMAT-like SC question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

Brilliant explanation!
But I have a doubt from the meaning perspective of the sentence. "Having" may imply "eating". Then Having fingers or toes is awkward. So I thought "To have" is more precise.
Could you please throw some light. Sorry if this is naive. :D
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Re: Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2014, 11:32
Expert's post
fantasycracker wrote:
Hi Mike,

Brilliant explanation!
But I have a doubt from the meaning perspective of the sentence. "Having" may imply "eating". Then Having fingers or toes is awkward. So I thought "To have" is more precise.
Could you please throw some light. Sorry if this is naive. :D

Dear fantasycracker,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

Using the verb "to have" ("has", "had", "having", etc.) as a synonym for "to eat" is an idiomatic colloquialism that never never never will appear anywhere on the GMAT. That will never be the primary implication of the word.

Does this make sense?

Mike :-)

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Re: Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2014, 12:12
Quote:
Using the verb "to have" ("has", "had", "having", etc.) as a synonym for "to eat" is an idiomatic colloquialism that never never never will appear anywhere on the GMAT. That will never be the primary implication of the word.

Does this make sense?

Mike :-)


That perfectly makes sense. Thanks a ton :thumbup: :-D
Re: Having more than the usual numbers of fingers or toes on the   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2014, 12:12
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