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Preposition + Noun + participle

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Preposition + Noun + participle [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2013, 17:42
Dear Mike,

In OG-13 SC-7 and SC-133 show with + noun+ participle construction as correct.

I understand why these answers are correct after reading the explanation, but I eliminated these answers on basis of this construction.

OG-13 SC-7

The intricate structure of the compound insect eye,with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, helps explain why scientists have assumed that it evolved independently of the vertebrate eye.

with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia
Preposition + Noun + Participle

OG-13 SC-133

Last week local shrimpers held a news conference to take some credit for the resurgence of the rare
Kemp's ridley turtle, saying that their compliance with laws requiring that turtle-excluder devices be on
shrimp nets protect adult sea turtles.

with laws requiring
preposition + noun + participle

Kindly let me know where I am making the mistake.

Regards
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Re: Preposition + Noun + participle [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2013, 13:38
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dbcjr66 wrote:
Dear Mike,

In OG-13 SC-7 and SC-133 show with + noun+ participle construction as correct.

I understand why these answers are correct after reading the explanation, but I eliminated these answers on basis of this construction.

OG-13 SC-7

The intricate structure of the compound insect eye,with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia, helps explain why scientists have assumed that it evolved independently of the vertebrate eye.

with its hundreds of miniature eyes called ommatidia
Preposition + Noun + Participle

OG-13 SC-133

Last week local shrimpers held a news conference to take some credit for the resurgence of the rare Kemp's Ridley turtle, saying that their compliance with laws requiring that turtle-excluder devices be on shrimp nets protect adult sea turtles.

with laws requiring
preposition + noun + participle

Kindly let me know where I am making the mistake.

Regards

Dear dbcjr66,
I'm happy to respond. :-) This is a very tricky issue here.

The structure "with" + [noun] + [participle] is not acceptable when it contains an action that would more appropriately be expressed as a subordinate clause.
..... with stocks rising in the fourth quarter ....
should be
....when stocks rise in the fourth quarter ...
or
... as stocks rise in the fourth quarter ...
or
... because stocks rise in the fourth quarter ...

Notice, first of all, that, in order to create the incorrect structure, we have to have an active participle --- that is, the present -ing participle. If the participle is a past participle, i.e. an passive participle, such as "called", then this is not going to be a problem at all. Thus, SC13 SC #7 is irrelevant to this discussion.

Now, a couple things are going on in OG13, SC #133. First of all, the words "compliance" or "comply" idiomatically take the preposition "with", so we have no choice --- the laws of idiom demand that we use "with" in this context. The other issue is more subtle, and concerns: what exactly is the object of the preposition "with"? If the object is genuinely a noun, and then we are merely modifying the noun, that is 100% acceptable, but if the object is the entire action of the participial phrase, that's unacceptable. Here's the way to tell. Drop the participial phrase, and see if the sentence makes sense:
... saying that their compliance with laws protects adult sea turtles.
That makes perfect sense. We don't really know what "laws", but this sentence is meaningful as is. This means that object of "with" is genuinely just the noun "laws", and the participial phrase just fills in detail --- what laws? what kind of laws?

This is very different from the mistake construction:
With stocks rising in the fourth quarter, the brokerage house expects to reap substantial profits.
There, the object of "with" is not simply the noun "stocks" but the entire action, the fact hat stocks will rise. If we drop the participial phrase ...
With stocks, the brokerage house expects to reap substantial profits.
... this has a different meaning. It's not just stocks that will help the brokers --- it's the fact that stock will rise. We need a full [noun]+[verb] subordinate clause to contain a full-blown action.
Because stocks rise in the fourth quarter, the brokerage house expects to reap substantial profits.

As always in GMAT SC, you cannot rely purely on the mathematical relationships of the parts of speech. You always have to think about meaning. People think that the GMAT SC is only a test of grammar --- it does test grammar, but more importantly, it tests meaning. That's where your focus must be if you want to be successful with this question type.

Do all these distinctions make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :-)
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Preposition + Noun + participle [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2014, 09:14
Hey Mike!
Please see the pic attached.
"with" + "noun" + "present participle"
Although it is the best possible choice among the options, i thought i should discuss it.
If we drop the present participle,

X have seen monkeys sleeping on the branches, with arms and legs.

I am not able to decide whether this makes sense..
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Re: Preposition + Noun + participle [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2014, 11:20
Expert's post
tushain wrote:
Hey Mike!
"with" + "noun" + "present participle"
X have seen monkeys sleeping on the branches, with arms and legs hanging
Although it is the best possible choice among the options, i thought i should discuss it.
If we drop the present participle,
X have seen monkeys sleeping on the branches, with arms and legs.

I am not able to decide whether this makes sense..

Dear tushain,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is a very subtle distinction, which is precisely why the GMAT absolutely loves it. The structure:
"with" + "noun" + "participle"
is wrong when the participle encapsulates an action, when the "doing" of the action is itself important. In this example, dropping the participle "hanging" does leave us with a somewhat awkward sentence. Nevertheless, "hanging" is clearly not an "action" --- no one is trying "to hang" or engaging in the action of "hanging." It is very clearly a simple description. It's a distinction that is extremely clear, but it's hard to explain it in a way that makes the rule explicit. Dropping the participle to see if it changes the meaning is a "trick" that is somewhat reliable, but the point is to develop a sense for the underlying logical distinction. Don't be too attached to the tricks. Don't be too literalistic in your interpretation of grammar rules. Language is living, and through experience, one can develop a sense for it. Nothing can replace this experience. That's why it's crucial to develop a habit of reading.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Preposition + Noun + participle [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2014, 18:48
Haha Mike! Okay! :) , though it feels like, after reading your explanation, that it has something to do with whether present participle is made from transitive or an intransitive verb. :P
Re: Preposition + Noun + participle   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2014, 18:48
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