Idiom (strange construction) : GMAT Verbal Section
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# Idiom (strange construction)

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03 Jan 2014, 16:52
Hi all,

I was reading Foundations of GMAT Verbal, by Manhattan GMAT, when I found a sentence - "the first step to recognizing those errors".
It is not an exercise, but a sentence embedded in the text.
I can't explain myself this construction, instead I would write "the first step to recognize those errors", or "the first step in recognizing those errors".
Why does the author use a gerund?
Is it an idiom?

Thank you!

Ric
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04 Jan 2014, 13:41
Interesting -- would love to help, but could use a tad more context. Can you share the book/page # OR add in the full sentence that this phrase is included in?

Thanks!

-Brian
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Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina

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05 Jan 2014, 19:17
brianlange77 wrote:
Interesting -- would love to help, but could use a tad more context. Can you share the book/page # OR add in the full sentence that this phrase is included in?

Thanks!

-Brian

Hi Brian,

The full sentence is this one:

"That was a long section on a lot of tiny words! However, recognizing and checking pronouns is one of
the best skills you can develop for gaining points on GMAT Sentence Correction. Pronoun errors are
extremely common on the exam, and the first step to recognizing those errors is spotting the pronouns."

Is comes from "Foundations of GMAT Verbal, Fifth Edition", chapter 2, page 36. You will find it at the page's bottom: "Pronouns Wrap-Up".

I was trying to understand the structure of any sentence, while reading, just to check whether I understood the topic, then I found this "to recognizing [...]". Is it a noun modifier modifying "step" (preposition after noun, such as "The cat ON THE COUCH took a nap)?
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11 Jan 2014, 10:43
Ric123 wrote:
The full sentence is this one:

"That was a long section on a lot of tiny words! However, recognizing and checking pronouns is one of
the best skills you can develop for gaining points on GMAT Sentence Correction. Pronoun errors are
extremely common on the exam, and the first step to recognizing those errors is spotting the pronouns."

Is comes from "Foundations of GMAT Verbal, Fifth Edition", chapter 2, page 36. You will find it at the page's bottom: "Pronouns Wrap-Up".

I was trying to understand the structure of any sentence, while reading, just to check whether I understood the topic, then I found this "to recognizing [...]". Is it a noun modifier modifying "step" (preposition after noun, such as "The cat ON THE COUCH took a nap)?

The word "to" can act as a preposition or a part of an infinitive. In this case, "to" is acting as a preposition after the word "step" (to form a noun modifier after step). Gerunds follow prepositions, so saying "the first step to recognizing those errors" is correct grammatically. From a preference standpoint, I would probably use the preposition "in" rather than "to" but that's a preference, not a rule.

KW
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12 Jan 2014, 00:17
Thank you Kyle, now it is clear; I just wanted to be sure about the prepositional phrase.

KyleWiddison wrote:
Ric123 wrote:
The full sentence is this one:

"That was a long section on a lot of tiny words! However, recognizing and checking pronouns is one of
the best skills you can develop for gaining points on GMAT Sentence Correction. Pronoun errors are
extremely common on the exam, and the first step to recognizing those errors is spotting the pronouns."

Is comes from "Foundations of GMAT Verbal, Fifth Edition", chapter 2, page 36. You will find it at the page's bottom: "Pronouns Wrap-Up".

I was trying to understand the structure of any sentence, while reading, just to check whether I understood the topic, then I found this "to recognizing [...]". Is it a noun modifier modifying "step" (preposition after noun, such as "The cat ON THE COUCH took a nap)?

The word "to" can act as a preposition or a part of an infinitive. In this case, "to" is acting as a preposition after the word "step" (to form a noun modifier after step). Gerunds follow prepositions, so saying "the first step to recognizing those errors" is correct grammatically. From a preference standpoint, I would probably use the preposition "in" rather than "to" but that's a preference, not a rule.

KW
Re: Idiom (strange construction)   [#permalink] 12 Jan 2014, 00:17
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