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# In relation to the meaning issue, if the meaning of the

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In relation to the meaning issue, if the meaning of the [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 17:12
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In relation to the meaning issue, if the meaning of the original sentence is clear and logical, we must choose the choice which is grammatically correct and that preserves the meaning of the original sentence, right?

According to the MGMAT guide 4th edition, that's the approach. However, the 4th edition was printed before the next generation of the GMAT. So, I don't know whether there have been changes in the approach we must follow. This is the method we should use, according to MGMAT 4th edition, PLEASE CONFIRM whether is correct for the next generation of the gmat:

"Sometimes the original sentence will have a clear, unambiguous meaning. In these cases, your goal is to preserve this original meaning as you correct other issues. Do not alter the author's intent when you make your choice!

At other times, the original sentence will be confusing [or ilogical], and you will need to discern the author's intent."

In other words, if the meaning in the original sentence is clear and logical, we should keep that meaning.
For example, let's assume that after eliminating some choices, which had grammatical errors, we have these two choices:

Q: The drop in interest rates will create better investment oportunities.
A. will
D. may
Both choices are grammatical correct. But the original sentence indicates that there WILL be better investment oportunities. So, we have to choose A., right? So, in these cases, in which both are grammatical correct and logically correct, we have to choose the choice that preserves the meaning of the original sentence.

In the case in which the original sentence is ilogical, here is an example:
Q: The court ruled that the plaintiff should pay full damages.
A. should
C. must

The correct answer is C because "should" means "moral obligation", something that a court cannot impose. So, in the cases in which the meaning of the original sentence is ilogical or not clear, we must choose the choice that is logically and grammatically correct.

Please confirm whether my reasoning and this approach is correct. Thanks!
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 17:36
danzig wrote:
In relation to the meaning issue, if the meaning of the original sentence is clear and logical, we must choose the choice which is grammatically correct and that preserves the meaning of the original sentence, right?

According to the MGMAT guide 4th edition, that's the approach. However, the 4th edition was printed before the next generation of the GMAT. So, I don't know whether there have been changes in the approach we must follow. This is the method we should use, according to MGMAT 4th edition, PLEASE CONFIRM whether is correct for the next generation of the gmat:

"Sometimes the original sentence will have a clear, unambiguous meaning. In these cases, your goal is to preserve this original meaning as you correct other issues. Do not alter the author's intent when you make your choice!

At other times, the original sentence will be confusing [or ilogical], and you will need to discern the author's intent."

In other words, if the meaning in the original sentence is clear and logical, we should keep that meaning.
For example, let's assume that after eliminating some choices, which had grammatical errors, we have these two choices:

Q: The drop in interest rates will create better investment oportunities.
A. will
D. may
Both choices are grammatical correct. But the original sentence indicates that there WILL be better investment oportunities. So, we have to choose A., right? So, in these cases, in which both are grammatical correct and logically correct, we have to choose the choice that preserves the meaning of the original sentence.

In the case in which the original sentence is ilogical, here is an example:
Q: The court ruled that the plaintiff should pay full damages.
A. should
C. must

The correct answer is C because "should" means "moral obligation", something that a court cannot impose. So, in the cases in which the meaning of the original sentence is ilogical or not clear, we must choose the choice that is logically and grammatically correct.

Please confirm whether my reasoning and this approach is correct. Thanks!

Your approach is correct, nothing more.

Eventhough keeps in mind this:

GMAC now have a major stress on meaning but it was already present in OG 12th adition (to be honest, perhaps from ever the meaning preveals on grammar rules) solely all of us thought the contrary.

Moreover, what is important is to use all your arsenal of tools to crack Sc (and also the other parts of the test). At the same time work with: logic, grammar rules, tricks, commmon sense and so on...

be flexible.

The 5th edition was updated but is more or less the same of 4th. so, go ahead

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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2012, 20:00
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I am responding to a pm from danzig

I like the gist of what carcass said, and I will just add --- I don't believe that there are any SC questions in the OG12 or OG13 that come down only to a split based on discerning the author's meaning. In the few questions in which only a couple words are underlined, it's usually something very clear about, say, verb tense or subject-verb agreement. In the many questions in which a substantial section is underlined, there are often several different splits dividing the answer choices in different ways. Yes, the rules you cite (follow unambiguous meanings, and discern the meaning of an ambiguous prompt) are valid, but usually the ambiguity or incorrectness arises from a much more subtle split --- for example, an adverb/adjective split. Consider this sentence .....
Prompt: Frank was a bigger man than Sam, and he drove a corresponding larger car.
This is one of the GMAT's favorites --- they love the adverb/adjective split, and they particularly love doing this split with a tricky word like "corresponding" ----- here, we have the adjective "corresponding", which modifies "car", so the car corresponds to what???? That makes no sense. We know what the author is saying, but technically, phrasing it this way is illogical. What the author wants to say is: Frank is bigger, so he has a bigger car. Instead of the adjective "corresponding", modifying the noun "car", we need the adverb "correspondingly", modifying the word "bigger" ----- the relation between the two men (one "bigger" than the other) corresponds to the relationship between the cars (one "bigger" than the other) --- that's why we need the adverb modifying "bigger."
They also love this illogical structure with comparisons:
Prompt: Unlike the symphonies of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven used a larger orchestra for his symphonies, and even a chorus for his Ninth.
Again, in colloquial English, this would probably pass as correct. We know what the person is trying to say. But, technically, it is illogical, because we are comparing pieces of music ("symphonies") to a person ("Beethoven"). We would have to reword the sentence to compare music to music or people to people.
Often when the meaning is unclear in the prompt, it's not blatantly unclear or blatantly illogical, as in the example with the courts and "should" --- rather, it's often a grammatical mistake that would pass as acceptable in colloquial English -- everyone would know what the person is trying to say, but technically, saying it that way is illogical or ungrammatical, and the GMAT requires that we re-word for logical & grammatical precision. In other words, the logical exercises you were recommending (would a court impose moral obligations?) are never necessary. We don't have to do that kind of reasoning. For the most part, we will know exactly what the person is trying to say, and we just have to find the logical and grammatically correct way to say that.

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2012, 06:19
Quote:
Danzig wrote

In the case in which the original sentence is illogical, here is an example:

Q: The court ruled that the plaintiff should pay full damages.
A. should
C. must
The correct answer is C because "should" means "moral obligation", something that a court cannot impose. So, in the cases in which the meaning of the original sentence is illogical or not clear, we must choose the choice that is logically and grammatically correct.

Notwithstanding whether a court’s task is to impose moral obligation or not, still, idiomatically both the given choices are inferior. This is a typically fit case for the use of command subjunctive since the court’s ruling is a command and it uses the connector – that - to express the command using the base form of the verb pay. The most correct choice will be:

The court ruled that the plaintiff pay full damages
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2012, 00:36
the first posting is correct , I think

on gmat sc, we face at leat 2 remaining choices which are correct grammatically. one of them will has meaning problem and is eliminated.

there is 3 cases.
- the meaning is not logic
- the meaning is further from the meaning of the original choice
- the meaining is in wordier expresstion.

gmat favor the second case. the second case offer the logic and grammatical meaning but is wrong because there is another choice which is also logic and grammatical but is closer to the meaning of the original. in many cases the meaning difference between the two is subtle, for example

the following is from og 13,

Nearly two tons of nuclear-reactor fuel have already been put into orbit around the Earth, and the chances of a collision involving such material increase greatly as the amount of both space debris and satellites continue to rise.

(A) as the amount of both space debris and satellites continue to rise

(B) as the rise continues in both the amount of satellites and space debris

(C) as the amount of space debris and the number of satellites continue to rise

(D) with the continually increasing amount of space debris and the number of satellites

(E) with the amount of space debris continuing to increase along with the number of satellites

"with pharse" in D provides context for main clause.
"as" in C shows the simultaneousness

meaning in D is different from in C and D is considered distorted meaning

experts, pls help comment. is my thinking correct?
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2012, 01:47
I think the intended meaning here is to give the reasoning for certain prediction using the conjunction "As". The use of "with" here gives impression that given events are the independent events that are occurring simultaneously, and hence fails to establish the causal relationship. Use of "as" is more appropriate here.

Choice (C) depicts the required reasoning and establishes the relationship between two events:
(cause) As the amount of space debris and the number of satellites continue to rise -> (effect) the chances of a collision involving such material increase greatly.

PS: Grammatically "with" can only act as a Preposition. It cannot be used as a conjunction.
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2012, 02:20
Hi, I have a question about the approach. I'm not a native english and my biggest problem in SC is understand the meaning of the sentence (in particular with long sentence with three or more clause). I have already read MGMAT but as carcass as already said it doesn't cover the meaning of the sentence.
What book explain the meaning in a clear way? How I can improve my ability to understand the meaning? online course such as e-gmat can help me in this way?
Thank you!!
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2013, 15:51
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thangvietnam wrote:
the first posting is correct , I think

on gmat sc, we face at least 2 remaining choices which are correct grammatically. one of them will has meaning problem and is eliminated.
there is 3 cases.
- the meaning is not logic
- the meaning is further from the meaning of the original choice
- the meaning is in wordier expression.

gmat favor the second case. the second case offer the logic and grammatical meaning but is wrong because there is another choice which is also logic and grammatical but is closer to the meaning of the original. in many cases the meaning difference between the two is subtle, for example

This entire thread is getting punch-drunk happy on the question on "meaning". Folks are blowing this way out of proportion. In more than 95% of all GMAT SC, four of the answer choices are clearly either grammatically incorrect or stylistically atrocious. Once you recognize the GMAT's standards, four of the five answers always have something absolutely clear wrong with them. As I said in the above post, almost the only time "meaning" comes into play is in sentences that, following incorrect colloquial patterns, choose an illogical construction, and we need to reframe that idea in a logical clear way.
thangvietnam wrote:
Nearly two tons of nuclear-reactor fuel have already been put into orbit around the Earth, and the chances of a collision involving such material increase greatly as the amount of both space debris and satellites continue to rise.
(A) as the amount of both space debris and satellites continue to rise
(B) as the rise continues in both the amount of satellites and space debris
(C) as the amount of space debris and the number of satellites continue to rise
(D) with the continually increasing amount of space debris and the number of satellites
(E) with the amount of space debris continuing to increase along with the number of satellites

"with pharse" in D provides context for main clause. "as" in C shows the simultaneousness. meaning in D is different from in C and D is considered distorted meaning
experts, pls help comment. is my thinking correct?

No, in short you are thinking way too much about the issue of "meaning," and it is not relevant in this question. Four of the answers are 100% incorrect, and only one is grammatically correct. It's that black and white. No need to think about "meaning" at all.

Issue #1 -- space debris is uncountable, so we need "amount of space debris", but satellites are countable, so we need "number of satellites". (A) & (B) botch this up.

Issue #2 -- the word "as" is a bonafide subordinate conjunction, which means it can introduce a full-fledged subordinate clause. The word "with" is a preposition. A preposition has simply a noun as its object --- yes, the noun can have a modifier, but the GMAT frowns on the construction:
[preposition][noun][participial phrase]
This is simply trying to cram too much action into a prepositional phrase --- prepositions were not designed for that. If you want to describe full-fledged [noun]+[verb] action, then you need to put that in a subordinate clause, not a prepositional phrase. That's why (D) & (E) are wrong.

Thus, (C) is the only answer free of grammatical mistake. We don't need to consider meaning at all. Focus more on grammar, less on meaning. If you simply focus on the logical consistency of sentences, that most of the "meaning" you will need right there.

BTW, "simultaneousness" is not a word. The noun form of "simultaneous" is "simultaneity."

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2013, 16:02
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IanSolo wrote:
Hi, I have a question about the approach. I'm not a native english and my biggest problem in SC is understand the meaning of the sentence (in particular with long sentence with three or more clause). I have already read MGMAT but as carcass as already said it doesn't cover the meaning of the sentence.
What book explain the meaning in a clear way? How I can improve my ability to understand the meaning? online course such as e-gmat can help me in this way?
Thank you!!

Dear Ian,
The folks at MGMAT are awfully bright, and they don't focus on "meaning" in SC precisely because it's not a big deal. You could totally ignore the issue and still do fine on the GMAT SC. Most of the problems with "meaning" have to do with illogical ways of constructing sentences --- for example, in comparisons, you have to compare like to like. A typically mistake construction would be something like:
"Unlike the major cities of Europe, the United States has several cities that ..."
Notice, this sentence, as it now stands, compares "cities" to a country ---- that's illogical, and clearly not what the writer is trying to do. Logically, we need to compare either cities to cities, or regions to regions. Either of the following could be acceptable
cities to cities: "Unlike the major cities of Europe, most cities in the US have ...."
region to region: "Unlike Europe, where most of the major cities are X, the US has many cities that ..."
I'm sure MGMAT talks about that in comparisons, but understandably doesn't bother throwing around the unnecessary word "meaning" when discussing it.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2013, 19:08
We have done a very comprehensive analysis on meaning and meaning change. In fact, we identified this shift in 2010 with the release of OG 12. Consequently, we added over 50 questions (out of 550) in the e-GMAT SC course that test this concept. Below is a list of strategies that GMAT uses to change/distort meaning.

We have written a 50 page article that outlines these strategies.

5-strategies-that-gmat-uses-to-distort-meaning-124296.html

There are over 10 exercise questions linked to this article that you may try.

Also try the corresponding concepts in the e-GMAT free trial. Click below to register

https://www.e-gmat.com/secure/register_gc.php

Regards,

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Re: Meaning - Approach and methodology   [#permalink] 01 Jan 2013, 19:08
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# In relation to the meaning issue, if the meaning of the

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