I am really confused about the use of "so as to". : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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I am really confused about the use of "so as to".

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I am really confused about the use of "so as to". [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2008, 05:15
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I am really confused about the use of "so as to". Can an expert help me here? Please read both examples to make a comparison.

Example 1

Although the Argentine ant is neither poisonous nor predatory, individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large that its collective appetite can become a competitive threat to bird, lizard, and other insect populations.

A)individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large that its collective appetite can become a competitive
B)individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony of such size, its collective appetite can become a competing
C)individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large as to cause its collective appetite to become a competitive
D)such is the size of the cooperative super-colony comprising individual colonies, its collective appetite can become a competing
E)there is so much size to the individual colonies’ cooperative super-colony that its collective appetite can become a competitive

Here A is the OA which is fine. Please keep C in mind as you read on.

Example 2

The category 1 to 5 rating known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale provides an estimate of a hurricane’s potential of destroying or damaging property, and is primarily determined from wind speed; a category 5 storm has wind speeds so high as to blow away small buildings, completely destroy mobile homes, and cause severe window and door damage.

A)of destroying or damaging property, and is primarily determined from wind speed; a category 5 storm has wind speeds so high as
B)to destroy or damage property, and is primarily determined from wind speed; a category 5 storm has wind speeds high enough
C)of destroying or damaging property, and is primarily determined by wind speed; a category 5 storm has wind speeds so high as
D)to destroy or damage property, and is primarily determined by wind speed; a category 5 storm has wind speeds high enough
E)to destroy or damage property, and is primarily determined by wind speed; a category 5 storm has wind speeds so high as

Here OA is E.

Please compare both examples and let me know why so as to is correct in one and wrong in the other.
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Re: "SO AS TO" Confused [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2008, 10:09
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in the second sentence..

so high as to...is needed to emphasis that the winds are soo strong that will knock bldgs etc.

high enough suggests they are barely strong enough to knock bldgs etc..

its like

Jim is tall enough to reach the top ..here it means he is just tall enough to reach the top shelf

vs

Jim is so tall as to reach the top shelf...here the emphasis is that he is sooo tall that he can reach the top shelf..

hope my post makes sense??
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Re: "SO AS TO" Confused [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2008, 05:42
Example 1:
I think problem in C is not "So...As to", but it is "to become" rather than "can become". Use of "to become" removes the uncertainty.

Example 2
You have to choose between 2 idiom "X enough to Y in option D" or "So X as to Y in option E". While "X enough to Y" indicates that one has just enough quality of X to fulfill the criteria for Y, "So X as to Y" indicates that one has too much X so Y can be easily fulfilled.
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Re: "SO AS TO" Confused [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2010, 13:34
Nice explanation .

a note from Manhattan GMAT for the first question

Option (c) --> The construction “so x as to y,” presented here as “so large as to cause…” is a suspect idiomatic form, one that is not preferred by the GMAT.Moreover, the meaning is changed; "so large as to cause..." means that the outcome definitely happens. However, the original sentence only indicates that the "collective appetite CAN become..."


If given a choice between SO AS TO and SO X AS TO Y ( no other errors ) , which one should we prefer ?
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Re: I am really confused about the use of "so as to". [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2013, 15:12
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Although the Argentine ant is neither poisonous nor predatory, individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large that its collective appetite can become a competitive threat to bird, lizard, and other insect populations.

A)Individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large that its collective appetite can become a competitive

B)individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony of such size, its collective appetite can become a competing

C)individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large as to cause its collective appetite to become a competitive

D)such is the size of the cooperative super-colony comprising individual colonies, its collective appetite can become a competing

E)there is so much size to the individual colonies’ cooperative super-colony that its collective appetite can become a competitive

OE:

This sentence correctly uses the idiomatic construction “so x that y” where y is a subordinate clause that explains or describes x: “so large that its collective appetite…” The possessive pronoun “its” clearly refers to the “super-colony,” which is correctly modified by the adjective “large.”

(A) CORRECT. The original sentence is correct as written.

(B) The use of the noun “size” instead of the adjective “large” results in a more awkward and wordy alternative to the original sentence. The subordinate clause “its collective appetite…” should be introduced by “that.” Additionally, “competing” does not have the same meaning as “competitive.”

(C) The construction “so x as to y,” presented here as “so large as to cause…” is a suspect idiomatic form, one that is not preferred by the GMAT. Moreover, the meaning is changed; "so large as to cause..." means that the outcome definitely happens. However, the original sentence only indicates that the "collective appetite CAN become..."

(D) The construction “such is the size of the cooperative super-colony comprising individual colonies” is an awkward and wordy alternative to the original “individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large.” The subordinate clause “its collective appetite…” should be introduced by “that.” Additionally, “competing” does not have the same meaning as “competitive.”

(E) The construction “there is so much size to the individual colonies’ cooperative super-colony” is an awkward and wordy alternative to the original “individual colonies cooperate in a super-colony so large.”
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Re: I am really confused about the use of "so as to". [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2016, 14:45
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: I am really confused about the use of "so as to".   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2016, 14:45
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