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In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil

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In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 08:40
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In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil record, Mary Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting East African cave paintings.

A. Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting

B. Leakey contributed to archaeology by her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and by painstakingly documenting

C. Leakey was a contributor to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and with her painstaking documentation of

D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of

E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of







Please explain your answer!
Thanks!

One note: I chose C, but the OA is D. What's wrong with C??? What is the tested construction or the idiom in this question?
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 09:11
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IMO D
The first part of the sentence modifies her contributions and not her, hence it can't be C
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 09:18
question: I thought passive is constructed as "to be verb + past participle". So in option C, how come "was a contributor" is passive? "contributor" is not past participle, but rather a noun or could be an adjective. how come that's considered passive?
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 09:37
An active voice sentence is one where the subject is doing something.

"The dog barks at passing cars." "He answers the questions correctly."

The passive forms of these sentences would be:

"The passing cars are barked at by the dog."

"The questions are answered correctly by John."

Active = [Subject] + [verb] + [direct object]
Passive = [Direct Object] + [verb] + [subject]

There may be exceptions to this rule and I'm sure there are other ways to write a passive sentence, but this is the most obvious form passive sentences.

So bringing it back to Answer C:

C. Leakey was a contributor to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and with her painstaking documentation of

Here Leaky seems to be the subject, but the subject isn't DOING something. Leaky is just being a contributor to archaeology. When the subject is actively doing something, that is an active sentence. Look at D, the correct answer:

D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of

Here, the subject is contributions (modified by Leakey's). The action taking place is "include" "contributions...include..."

HTH

tarek99 wrote:
question: I thought passive is constructed as "to be verb + past participle". So in option C, how come "was a contributor" is passive? "contributor" is not past participle, but rather a noun or could be an adjective. how come that's considered passive?

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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 09:50
This is a good one. I always tumble on the Possessive Pronoun issues. Somehow, I was correct this time.

Here is my analysis – hopes it help.
Pronoun Her – can be an objective pronoun or possessive pronoun.

If “Her” in the objective form then we require subject [Mary Leakey] in the object form – for example Object of preposition ect. But from the sentence it is clear that Mary Leakey is in the subject form. So possessive only choice
Eliminate – A, B and C
Between D and E – D is better with respect to Parallelism
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2008, 08:56
hanumayamma wrote:
This is a good one. I always tumble on the Possessive Pronoun issues. Somehow, I was correct this time.

Here is my analysis – hopes it help.
Pronoun Her – can be an objective pronoun or possessive pronoun.

If “Her” in the objective form then we require subject [Mary Leakey] in the object form – for example Object of preposition ect. But from the sentence it is clear that Mary Leakey is in the subject form. So possessive only choice
Eliminate – A, B and C
Between D and E – D is better with respect to Parallelism



Could you please explain why D is better than E wrt to parallelism? isnt discovering and painstaking parellel?
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2008, 09:09
tarek99 wrote:
In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil record, Mary Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting East African cave paintings.

A. Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting

B. Leakey contributed to archaeology by her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and by painstakingly documenting

C. Leakey was a contributor to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and with her painstaking documentation of

D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of

E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of


Please explain your answer!
Thanks!

One note: I chose C, but the OA is D. What's wrong with C??? What is the tested construction or the idiom in this question?


Its a modifier issue.
In C , "In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil record, Mary " the modifier describes Mary.
The modifier must describe Mary's work.
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2008, 09:31
This is to directly answer all of the questions with regard to parallelism in this question. Someone directly asked about parallelism in E.

First, when you want to check parallelism, identify all of the items that must be parallel. Almost always you will have parallel issues with verbs. I imagine it's possible with items in a list, but even then, I think 99% of the time this deals with verbs [can someone confirm this?]

Let's identify the issues in E:

E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of

First, these are not the same part of speech. "discovering" is used as a noun and "painstaking" is used as an adjective modifying what type of documentation. Be careful that you do not see a word with -ing ending and think it MUST be parallel. This may be true more often than not, but those times it is not true can cost you a correct answer on the GMAT.

Second, there is not a parallel issue at all in this question. Leakey's contributions are two-fold. One is her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and the other is her documentation of East African cave paintings. Almost always [may be a bit overstated] you will see parallel issues with verbs such as "He likes to swim and go backpacking." This isn't parallel. It should be "He likes to swim and backpack." or "He likes swimming and backpacking." The last example makes both items a noun and we now have no parallel issues. The first "swim and backpack" uses each word as verbs and is parallel.

The real key to this question is identifying what is being tested. Here the part of the sentence before the comma is an appsitive phrase. You have to identify what part of the rest of the sentence this appositive phrase is tied to. It's a dependent clause and MUST be tied (modify or explain) something else in the main part of the sentence.

As is the rule already stated, when you have an appositive like this, generally the first noun after the comma is what the appositive is tied to. When the sentence begins "In addition to her work...." we know that this is in relation to something she did, but not tied directly to her. The only thing that satisfies this is her contributions. So the sentence is adding significance to what she had done because it discusses ALL that she had done. It doesn't really discuss Mary Leakey (the person) at all.

HTH
tarek99 wrote:
In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil record, Mary Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting East African cave paintings.

A. Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting

B. Leakey contributed to archaeology by her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and by painstakingly documenting

C. Leakey was a contributor to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and with her painstaking documentation of

D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of

E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of


Please explain your answer!
Thanks!

One note: I chose C, but the OA is D. What's wrong with C??? What is the tested construction or the idiom in this question?

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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2008, 09:42
Hi GMBA85,

I find it more D clearer than E:
Here is my analysis:

Leakey’s to archaeology include her discovery ... and her painstaking documentation .....
In D:it is clear

In E:
Leakey’s to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence ... and her painstaking documentation .....

That is in E: discovering which acts as participle is modifying the earliest

This boils down to: Leakey’s to archaeology include..her ... the earliest ... and her painstaking documentation .....

I hope this helps.

Thanks
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2008, 05:52
Thanks for the awesome explanation guys. I still have a long way to go.

There's one doubt the still prevails.. why is discovering a noun? and not a verb.
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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2008, 06:07
"discovering" as used in this sentence is a gerund. A gerund is a verb with "ing" on the end.

discover is usually a verb, and with "ing" on it, it is used as a noun.

"He is fast on the soccer field". Fast is clearly a noun

"He is slow on the track." Slow is a noun.

"He is discovering new theories of the universe." "Discovering" tells us what he is doing. The verb in each of the sentences is "is".

Here is a link to learn more about gerunds. I go here to read up on stuff all the time.

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/627/01/


GMBA85 wrote:
Thanks for the awesome explanation guys. I still have a long way to go.

There's one doubt the still prevails.. why is discovering a noun? and not a verb.

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Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2008, 04:15
D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of


After looking at this problem, I realized that the issue is much simpler than that. The issue is parallelism. Notice that "her" is used twice in option D, making it appropriate. However, in option E, "her" is missing after "and":

E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of ---> no "her" before "painstaking documentation."
Re: SC: Misplaced Modifier   [#permalink] 04 Jul 2008, 04:15
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