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Past participle as a verb modifer?

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Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2013, 02:34
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Hi All,

Am I right that a past participle can never be a verb modifer? If the verb-ed form is used as a modifier, it has to be a noun modifier, right?

Thank you for your input.

Cheers,
Ray

(The question was moved from the Verbal Section topic to SC sub topic)
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Re: Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2013, 14:27
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rliu030 wrote:
Hi All,

Am I right that a past participle can never be a verb modifer? If the verb-ed form is used as a modifier, it has to be a noun modifier, right?

Thank you for your input.

Cheers,
Ray

(The question was moved from the Verbal Section topic to SC sub topic)

Dear Ray,
I'm happy to help. :-)

Here's a blog you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/participle ... -the-gmat/

I don't know that I would say "never", but I think it would be rare. For example.
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
There, the participle "caused" begins a participial phrase that modifies the entire clause. This is similar to modifying the verb --- it's certainly not a noun-modifier. Nevertheless, this sentence is somewhat colloquial, and I can't think of a more formal sentence that uses a similar structure, so I think it's unlikely to see the past participle as anything other than a noun-modifiers on the GMAT SC. Not impossible, but unlikely.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 00:53
mikemcgarry wrote:
rliu030 wrote:
Hi All,

Am I right that a past participle can never be a verb modifer? If the verb-ed form is used as a modifier, it has to be a noun modifier, right?

Thank you for your input.

Cheers,
Ray

(The question was moved from the Verbal Section topic to SC sub topic)

Dear Ray,
I'm happy to help. :-)

Here's a blog you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/participle ... -the-gmat/

I don't know that I would say "never", but I think it would be rare. For example.
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
There, the participle "caused" begins a participial phrase that modifies the entire clause. This is similar to modifying the verb --- it's certainly not a noun-modifier. Nevertheless, this sentence is somewhat colloquial, and I can't think of a more formal sentence that uses a similar structure, so I think it's unlikely to see the past participle as anything other than a noun-modifiers on the GMAT SC. Not impossible, but unlikely.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for the answer and your post is great!
The example you provided seems to be the only one I have found so far that makes perfect sense by using a past participle modifying the clause. I am also curious to know the difference between:

The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
and
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing panic..

in terms of how the present/past participle is selected. My understanding is that in your example, if we replace the "The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday" with "A", the reason we use caused is that "A" was caused "by the falling price of gold"; on the other hand, "A" is causing "panic". Am I right?

Having said that, I am wondering if there is another option like:

The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday;it was caused by the falling price of gold.
or
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, a phenomenon caused by the falling price of gold.

Which one would you prefer and why?

Again, thank you for your time and wish you a bright 2014!

Cheers,
Ray
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Re: Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 01:26
rliu030 wrote:
Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for the answer and your post is great!
The example you provided seems to be the only one I have found so far that makes perfect sense by using a past participle modifying the clause. I am also curious to know the difference between:

The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
and
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing panic..

in terms of how the present/past participle is selected. My understanding is that in your example, if we replace the "The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday" with "A", the reason we use caused is that "A" was caused "by the falling price of gold"; on the other hand, "A" is causing "panic". Am I right?

Having said that, I am wondering if there is another option like:

The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday;it was caused by the falling price of gold.
or
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, a phenomenon caused by the falling price of gold.

Which one would you prefer and why?

Again, thank you for your time and wish you a bright 2014!

Cheers,
Ray


Hi Ray,
My two cents on the examples you had provided.

1. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
As said by Mike, caused is an -ed modifier (to be more specific past participle modifier). It states that the falling prices of gold led to a plummeting of stocks

2. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing panic..
Here, 'causing panic' is a participle phrase
It means that plummeting led to panic.

A modified verison - 3. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing the prices of gold to fall..
Here, the causative effect is reversed (compared to ex. 1)

Another example.
4. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, and caused the gold's price to fall .
Here, caused is a plain verb, and it describes the action of 'stocks'.

Coming back to two other examples provided by you,

5. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday;it was caused by the falling price of gold.
What was caused by the falling price? plummeting of stocks. But "it" cannot refer to 'plummeting of stocks'. So, this option is wrong.

6. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, a phenomenon caused by the falling price of gold.
This looks fine.

Another example.
7. The stock of XYZ Corporation that plummeted yesterday is causing panic..
'causing panic' is a gerund phrase- the subject complement of "is"

I hope I am clear.
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Re: Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 07:26
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sivasanjeev wrote:
rliu030 wrote:
Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for the answer and your post is great!
The example you provided seems to be the only one I have found so far that makes perfect sense by using a past participle modifying the clause. I am also curious to know the difference between:

The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
and
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing panic..

in terms of how the present/past participle is selected. My understanding is that in your example, if we replace the "The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday" with "A", the reason we use caused is that "A" was caused "by the falling price of gold"; on the other hand, "A" is causing "panic". Am I right?

Having said that, I am wondering if there is another option like:

The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday;it was caused by the falling price of gold.
or
The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, a phenomenon caused by the falling price of gold.

Which one would you prefer and why?

Again, thank you for your time and wish you a bright 2014!

Cheers,
Ray


Hi Ray,
My two cents on the examples you had provided.

1. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
As said by Mike, caused is an -ed modifier (to be more specific past participle modifier). It states that the falling prices of gold led to a plummeting of stocks

2. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing panic..
Here, 'causing panic' is a participle phrase
It means that plummeting led to panic.

A modified verison - 3. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing the prices of gold to fall..
Here, the causative effect is reversed (compared to ex. 1)

Another example.
4. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, and caused the gold's price to fall .
Here, caused is a plain verb, and it describes the action of 'stocks'.

Coming back to two other examples provided by you,

5. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday;it was caused by the falling price of gold.
What was caused by the falling price? plummeting of stocks. But "it" cannot refer to 'plummeting of stocks'. So, this option is wrong.

6. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, a phenomenon caused by the falling price of gold.
This looks fine.

Another example.
7. The stock of XYZ Corporation that plummeted yesterday is causing panic..
'causing panic' is a gerund phrase- the subject complement of "is"

I hope I am clear.

Dear Ray & Siva,
I have some disagreements with what Siva said in response to Ray:

1. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, caused by the falling price of gold.
Perfectly correct. Past participle modifies the action of the clause.

2. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing panic..
Perfectly correct. Present participle modifies the action of the clause.

3. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, causing the prices of gold to fall..
This changes the meaning by reversing the order of causality. It's grammatically correct, but it says something entirely different. Be very careful with this --- the GMAT SC loves to give grammatical correct alternatives that change the meaning.

4. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, and caused the gold's price to fall .
This is not correct. It is not the stocks themselves that caused the price to fall --- not the noun, but the action of the sentence, the plummeting itself, that cause the price to fall.
sivasanjeev wrote:
5. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday;it was caused by the falling price of gold.
What was caused by the falling price? plummeting of stocks. But "it" cannot refer to 'plummeting of stocks'. So, this option is wrong.

Here, Siva is perfectly correct. The pronoun can refer to an action. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/

6. The stocks of XYZ Corporation plummeted yesterday, a phenomenon caused by the falling price of gold.
I agree with Siva. This is fine. This uses the strategy I discuss here:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... te-a-word/

7. The stock of XYZ Corporation that plummeted yesterday is causing panic..
This is the same problem as #4. The cause is not the stocks themselves, but the action of plummeting. We could phrase this as:
7b. The plummeting of the stock of XYZ Corporation yesterday is causing panic.
This version is logically and grammatically correct, but rhetorically it's awkward and indirect. This would never be correct on the GMAT SC. Version #2 is much stronger, much more powerful.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 07:57
Thanks a ton for the wonderful discussion, Mike.

I was only checking the grammatical correctness of the sentences (and not the meanings - as the question stem is unavailable) - discussing various ways of forming grammatically correct question, irrespective of the meaning.

Though, will appreciate your time and suggestions, very much.
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Re: Past participle as a verb modifer? [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2013, 22:09
What a great discussion! Thank you both, guys. Though I am still new to the GMAT, I kinda got a feeling that meaning seems to be the KEY in SC.

Anyway, thanks a lot and Happy New Year.
Re: Past participle as a verb modifer?   [#permalink] 31 Dec 2013, 22:09
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