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
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
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)
are out. Furthermore, (B)
is simply ridiculous, so that's out.
The real question is (C)
, 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 subjectReading 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)
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)
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?
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