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Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a

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Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2010, 21:56
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Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task, because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for anybody with a pan or shovel.

A.) Same

B.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

C.) owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

D.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for

E.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of

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E
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2010, 05:53
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I did not understand the meaning of the sentence and hence picked (B), even though I did not like that option. But thought it is best among the lot until I saw the OA.

Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task, because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for anybody with a pan or shovel.

A.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for - incorrect

B.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of -

C.) owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of - incorrect

D.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for - incorrect

E.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of - correct
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2010, 12:31
I picked E at first, but I liked "because" better than "since." Can anyone please clarify the difference between because and since?

I now realize that "because of" is wrong.
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2010, 04:11
therockobama wrote:
I picked E at first, but I liked "because" better than "since." Can anyone please clarify the difference between because and since?

I now realize that "because of" is wrong.


Same here.
Could anybody clarify?
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 00:48
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Technically there is a difference in meaning between "because" and "since" ("since" has a connotation of passage of time).

Because you left the room, I have eaten your cupcake. (The reason I ate your cupcake is that you left the room)
versus
Since you left the room, I have eaten your cupcake. (The reason I ate your cupcake is that you left the room OR I ate your cupcake in the time that has passed since you left the room...ambiguous meaning)

BUT this is a *very* finicky distinction and it seems unlikely that this would be the main error split being tested (I don't remember seeing anything in the OG that would disprove this, but please jump in and correct me if you've got evidence to the contrary).

The split HERE is not "because" versus "since," but rather "because OF" versus "since." "Because of" should be followed by a noun or pronoun ("Because of you, I am awake"). You cannot follow "because of" with a clause -- your ear probably tells you that you would NOT say "Because of you left the room, I have eaten your cupcake."

"Since" (used here in the causation sense rather than the traditional time-passage sense), like "because," CAN be followed by a clause.


Let's revisit the question with this in mind. I always try to whittle down what the "bones" are without all the extra modifiers. For the "because of" choices, A & B, the bones seem to be "Prospecting was an easy task, because of X, Y, and Z." There is an incorrect idiom usage in A ("reach for" instead of "reach of") as seekmba pointed out above. Choice A is also incorrect because the verb "put" all of a sudden makes the sentence read "Prospecting was an easy task, because of X, Y, and Z" DID something-- a clause! If you have "because OF" you can't have a verb.

Choice B is incorrect because "putting gold literally within reach" is not parallel to "thrust." What did X,Y, an Z do? They "thrust...and putting"--blech. When you cut out all the stuff in the middle it's easier to see that the structure doesn't match.

Choice C has the same issue as B ("thrust...and putting"). Side note: "owing to," like "because of," should be followed by a noun, not a clause. Both "owing to" and "because of" are actually PREPOSITIONS.

Choice D contains that same incorrect idiom seekmba mentioned. It also violates the correct usage of "since." "Putting" following the comma here is functioning as a modifier, not a verb. "Since," which is used here interchangeably with "because," should be followed by a clause. "Since" can be followed by just a noun in its other life as an indicator of the passage of time("She has been much happier since 1999") but not in this function.

Choice E cleans all this up--"since," (here meaning "because") is followed by a compound subject A, B, and C DOING something -- a clause! The "bones" would read "Prospecting was an easy task, because X, Y, and Z put gold within reach of anybody."

Hope this helps!
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2011, 23:06
+1 for E.

This is a question in which understanding the intent can help to eliminate a bunch of choices right away and choose the correct choice.

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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2011, 23:28
parker wrote:
Technically there is a difference in meaning between "because" and "since" ("since" has a connotation of passage of time).

Because you left the room, I have eaten your cupcake. (The reason I ate your cupcake is that you left the room)
versus
Since you left the room, I have eaten your cupcake. (The reason I ate your cupcake is that you left the room OR I ate your cupcake in the time that has passed since you left the room...ambiguous meaning)

BUT this is a *very* finicky distinction and it seems unlikely that this would be the main error split being tested (I don't remember seeing anything in the OG that would disprove this, but please jump in and correct me if you've got evidence to the contrary).

The split HERE is not "because" versus "since," but rather "because OF" versus "since." "Because of" should be followed by a noun or pronoun ("Because of you, I am awake"). You cannot follow "because of" with a clause -- your ear probably tells you that you would NOT say "Because of you left the room, I have eaten your cupcake."

"Since" (used here in the causation sense rather than the traditional time-passage sense), like "because," CAN be followed by a clause.


Let's revisit the question with this in mind. I always try to whittle down what the "bones" are without all the extra modifiers. For the "because of" choices, A & B, the bones seem to be "Prospecting was an easy task, because of X, Y, and Z." There is an incorrect idiom usage in A ("reach for" instead of "reach of") as seekmba pointed out above. Choice A is also incorrect because the verb "put" all of a sudden makes the sentence read "Prospecting was an easy task, because of X, Y, and Z" DID something-- a clause! If you have "because OF" you can't have a verb.

Choice B is incorrect because "putting gold literally within reach" is not parallel to "thrust." What did X,Y, an Z do? They "thrust...and putting"--blech. When you cut out all the stuff in the middle it's easier to see that the structure doesn't match.

Choice C has the same issue as B ("thrust...and putting"). Side note: "owing to," like "because of," should be followed by a noun, not a clause. Both "owing to" and "because of" are actually PREPOSITIONS.

Choice D contains that same incorrect idiom seekmba mentioned. It also violates the correct usage of "since." "Putting" following the comma here is functioning as a modifier, not a verb. "Since," which is used here interchangeably with "because," should be followed by a clause. "Since" can be followed by just a noun in its other life as an indicator of the passage of time("She has been much happier since 1999") but not in this function.

Choice E cleans all this up--"since," (here meaning "because") is followed by a compound subject A, B, and C DOING something -- a clause! The "bones" would read "Prospecting was an easy task, because X, Y, and Z put gold within reach of anybody."

Hope this helps!


Parker this is a great explanation. +1 on Kudos
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2013, 23:40
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While structuring sentences, the Take- Away is:


A. Simple sentences contain a single main clause with a subject and a finite verb; any modifier that may follow is not going to be a clause. It can be a prepositional phrase (because of, owing to, etc,) followed by a noun or noun phrase. Any finite verb such as ‘put’ will be wrong, while a participle such as putting or helped by is permitted ‘and putting’ is unacceptable. In short, the template of a simple sentence is: main clause with Sub+ verb) plus an optional prepositional or participial modifier.

Example:
1. Dhoni is a successful captain, because of his winning of important matches somehow
2. Dhoni is a successful captain, winning important matches somehow

B. Complex sentences have not only a main clause with a subject and finite verb, but also a subordinate clause connected by a subordinate conjunction such as since, because, although etc. These subordinate clauses do have a finite verb such as ‘put’; However ‘and putting’ is not permitted since - and putting- is not a finite verb. The template is: a main clause (subject cum verb) plus a subordinate clause (a subordinate conjunction plus a subject (may be skipped sometimes) and compulsorily a finite verb’.
1. Dhoni is a successful captain, who is able to win important matches somehow
2. Since Dhoni is able to win important matches somehow, he is India’s most successful captain.

C. The third category is the compound sentence consisting of two independent sentences with a subject and a mandatory finite verb of each own, (although the subject may be skipped sometimes to avoid redundancy).

Example: Dhoni is a successful captain and is able to win important matches

In the light of the above, perhaps the text in question may be understood, although it is neither a match nor an alternative to what people like Parker have elucidated. For those who want a more basic sermon, here is a file of mine that might give you a glimpse of this concept.
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2013, 02:14
Not only CA gold rush, recently a new gold rush came in Columbia. Many men went there with their metal detector for gold.
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2013, 04:47
[quote="burnttwinky"]Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task, because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for anybody with a pan or shovel.

A.) Same

B.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

C.) owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

D.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for

E.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of

A & B are incorrect : "because" is signifying cause and effect which is not the case. Also because of is unidiomatic and generally avoided in GMAT.
C = putting is Ving form and incorrect here : also had signifies 2 actions in the past, and there are no 2 actions.
D = putting is incorrect : reach for is unidiomatic
E = correct
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2014, 16:38
First look: Grammatical construction, idiomatic construction

A.) Same Wrong - "because of" cannot take a clause, so the verb "put" is wrong.

B.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of Wrong - same as above. Furthermore, "and putting" is not parallel to any verb in the sentence; the ", and" must have a subject and verb.

C.) owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of Wrong - "owing to" is structured as a participle that modifies the prior noun "task". This is illogical because "owing to" should have a subject that could perform the action "owe". Also, "putting" for the same reason as above.

D.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach fornWrong - "since" needs a subject and a verb because it carries a clause; "putting" for the same reason as above.

E.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of Correct - the inverted participle modifier make the sentence tempting to discard, but it still stands.

IMO E
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2014, 06:45
, and ancient,

Can someone explain this to me. What does it modify?
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 11 May 2015, 05:45
I agree why E is correct...

The construction is "Since X, Y and Z did something"

X = erosion
Y = prehistoric glacier movement
Z = ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity

I have a question about the Z part here.. Particularly "riverbeds thrust"
The third noun should be thrust.
So, I am not understanding what riverbeds is doing here?
Is it acting as possessive noun or is it acting as adjective?

If it is possessive, then it should be riverbed's thrust isn't it?
Shouldn't it contain an apostrophe? Can the apostrophe be omitted in GMAT?

Please help!
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2015, 06:32
Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task, because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for anybody with a pan or shovel.

First of all, Because of -> takes noun or noun phrase so because of cannot take a clause.

For example

Match was delayed because of heavy rain -> Correct
Match was delayed because of rain was heavy -> Incorrect


A.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for

"Because of" takes noun or noun phrase

B.) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

And putting should be parallel to something. It cannot be parallel to "that trust" as that is a clause. Hence "and putting" is not structurally correct

C.) owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

Past perfect tense is not required here. Even if we use past perfect, the dependent event should have "simple past" which is not present and hence the usage is wrong.

D.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for

Structurally, the sentence is fine. We have a clause and then we have a verb+ing modifier but meaning doesn't come out properly.

As per the sentence "that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for" -> That refers to "Volcanic activity" so as per verb+ing modifier, the subject of the previous clause attaches to the action of putting the gold within reach. But as per meaning of the sentence
All the three "Erosion, prehistoric glacier movement and volcanic activity has put gold within reach of anybody."


E.) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of
- Correct.

Normally, I don't eliminate options based on idioms as GMAT is moving away from idiom testing. But "reach of" is more preferred than "Reach for".
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2015, 08:01
awesome explanation by e-gmat (always clear).
lets apply our 3-step process to solve this one.

Meaning: This sentence shows a cause and effect.

Effect = prospecting for gold was easy during gold rush
Cause = This happened because the factors below caused the gold to come within reach of people

Erosion
Glacier movement
Riverbeds

Error Analysis:

Error 1: SV - Must Exist

There are two clauses in this sentence:

Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task,
Because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for anybody with a pan or shovel.

SV Pair in Clause 1 = Prospecting – was
SV Pair in Clause 2 = no subject – put
Here is why:

Clause 2 (simplified form) = Because of A, B, and C put gold...The presence of "of" after because implies that A, B, and C cannot be the subject for the verb - put because these elements fall in prepositional phrase. This can be corrected by any of the following edits:
Because A, B, and C put gold...
Because of A, B, and C gold was put...(Change active voice to passive voice).
My preference is the first edit since it is more precise than the second edit.

Error 2: reach for is not idiomatic usage. It should be reach of.
Lets simplify the idiom usage:
The can is in the reach of the child.
The can is in the reach for the child.

Clearly reach of is better than reach for.

Note that "thrust to the surface..." is a verb-ed modifier that modifies the preceding noun - riverbeds.

POE:
Choice B:

because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

Error 1: Changes intended meaning
This choice changes the list. The list per this choice is as follows:
Effect = prospecting for gold was easy during gold rush
Cause = There is a list of reasons:
Erosion
Glacier movement
volcanic activity
that thrust riverbeds to the surface
and putting gold within reach of people
This choice now implies that erosion, glacier movement and volcanic activity - 3 factors thrust riverbeds to the surface. This is different from the intended meaning - volcanic activity thrust riverbeds to the surface.

Furthermore, this choice implies that prospecting for gold was easy because riverbeds were thrust to the surface and gold was put within the reach. This is again not the intended meaning - prospecting for gold was easy because gold was within reach of people because of three factors - erosion, glaciers, and riverbeds.

Error 2 - List is not grammatically parallel.
Because of
A, B, and C that did something
putting...

Choice C: owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

This choice also has similar errors as Choice B does.
Additionally, as you indicated "had thrust" is incorrect. It should be simple past tense.
As with choice B, even if we replaced putting with put, it will still contain both errors.

Choice D: since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for
Error 1: Subject Verb Must Exist
The subject - erosion, glacier movement, and volcanic activity has no verb

Error 2: Changes intended meaning.
Notice again that the list has been changed. The third element is now volcanic activity instead of riverbeds.

Error 3: reach for is idiomatically incorrect

Choice E: Correct answer
Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2015, 08:01
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