"When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused, or my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real"
Thanks Mike for nice explanation. However, I am confused as the verb "derailed" uses participle "questioning" in conjunction with noun " opposition". Is it not strange, even if it is correct usage? Should a verb not followed by parallel participles ?
This is a really tricky point. The -ing form of a verb can play three different roles
modifying a noun (analogous to an adjective)
(b) participle as part of the progressive tense
construction (functions as a verb)
(c) a gerund
, which plays a noun-role in a sentence.
See this post for more on this distinction:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/the-ing-form-of-a-verb/
Here, the word "questioning" is the object of the prepositional phrase "by", so it must be a gerund
, not a participle. While it is non-standard ---- I have never seen it in official GMAT material ---- technically it is not grammatically incorrect for a gerund to be in parallel with a noun. It's not right enough to appear on the GMAT, but not entirely wrong either.
"... derailed by P and Q ....
" That would make perfect sense if P & Q were both nouns or both gerunds --- either of those could appear on the GMAT. If one is a noun and one is a gerund --- well, that's somewhat non-standard, but not fully wrong, good enough to pass in somewhat informal conversation or writing, but not up to snuff for the GMAT SC.
Does all this make sense?
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