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SC: Can a GMAT sentence end with a preposition?

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SC: Can a GMAT sentence end with a preposition? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 07:43
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Can someone please clarify whether correct GMAT Sentences can end with a preposition? It really helps if there is a definite consensus because we can invariably eliminate a couple of answer choices. In fact, I also read in Kaplan that grammatically correct sentences cannot end with a preposition. Here is an example:

I was stuck between (C) and (E). If I use the above rule, I can eliminate (C) and confirm (E). This is just to illustrate the use of the above rule, if at all it is correct. I appreciate any inputs.

257. During an ice age, the buildup of ice at the poles and the drop in water levels near the equator speed up the Earth’s rotation, like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in.
(A) like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in
(B) like the increased speed of a figure skater when her arms are drawn in
(C) like a figure skater who increases speed while spinning with her arms drawn in
(D) just as a spinning figure skater who increases speed by drawing in her arms
(E) just as a spinning figure skater increases speed by drawing in her arms
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Re: SC: Can a GMAT sentence end with a preposition? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 07:51
eyunni wrote:
Can someone please clarify whether correct GMAT Sentences can end with a preposition? It really helps if there is a definite consensus because we can invariably eliminate a couple of answer choices. In fact, I also read in Kaplan that grammatically correct sentences cannot end with a preposition. Here is an example:

I was stuck between (C) and (E). If I use the above rule, I can eliminate (C) and confirm (E). This is just to illustrate the use of the above rule, if at all it is correct. I appreciate any inputs.

257. During an ice age, the buildup of ice at the poles and the drop in water levels near the equator speed up the Earth’s rotation, like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in.
(A) like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in
(B) like the increased speed of a figure skater when her arms are drawn in
(C) like a figure skater who increases speed while spinning with her arms drawn in
(D) just as a spinning figure skater who increases speed by drawing in her arms
(E) just as a spinning figure skater increases speed by drawing in her arms


While it is certainly true that Grammarians do not like sentences that end with a preposition yet I have not heard of any such rule for GMAT questions. I wouldn't even bother about this rule and would rather try and understand the concepts being tested.

For example, in the question at hand - the concept being tested is comparison and parallel form.

Also - it tests the usage of LIKE versus AS (so very typical of GMAT questions)

You know that LIKE is always wrong when clauses are being compared - like is used to compare nouns alone;

The basic idea of the sentence is -

The buildup of ice at poles and drop in water levels at equator SPEED up the earth's rotation JUST AS a spinning figure skater INCREASES speed by doing whatever....

It's of the form

X and Y DO something JUST AS Z does something else (not LIKE Z does something else because verbs are being compared [actions] not nouns)
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Re: SC: Can a GMAT sentence end with a preposition? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 08:21
dwivedys wrote:
eyunni wrote:
Can someone please clarify whether correct GMAT Sentences can end with a preposition? It really helps if there is a definite consensus because we can invariably eliminate a couple of answer choices. In fact, I also read in Kaplan that grammatically correct sentences cannot end with a preposition. Here is an example:

I was stuck between (C) and (E). If I use the above rule, I can eliminate (C) and confirm (E). This is just to illustrate the use of the above rule, if at all it is correct. I appreciate any inputs.

257. During an ice age, the buildup of ice at the poles and the drop in water levels near the equator speed up the Earth’s rotation, like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in.
(A) like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in
(B) like the increased speed of a figure skater when her arms are drawn in
(C) like a figure skater who increases speed while spinning with her arms drawn in
(D) just as a spinning figure skater who increases speed by drawing in her arms
(E) just as a spinning figure skater increases speed by drawing in her arms


While it is certainly true that Grammarians do not like sentences that end with a preposition yet I have not heard of any such rule for GMAT questions. I wouldn't even bother about this rule and would rather try and understand the concepts being tested.

For example, in the question at hand - the concept being tested is comparison and parallel form.

Also - it tests the usage of LIKE versus AS (so very typical of GMAT questions)

You know that LIKE is always wrong when clauses are being compared - like is used to compare nouns alone;

The basic idea of the sentence is -

The buildup of ice at poles and drop in water levels at equator SPEED up the earth's rotation JUST AS a spinning figure skater INCREASES speed by doing whatever....

It's of the form

X and Y DO something JUST AS Z does something else (not LIKE Z does something else because verbs are being compared [actions] not nouns)


I would have gone for (E) but it says 'just as a spinning figure skater increases speed...', whose speed? Is it implicit that it is the skater's speed, by common sense? However, this is not implicit in the original sentence. And hence this motive to use grammar rules to eliminate any iffy answer choices.
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Re: SC: Can a GMAT sentence end with a preposition? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 08:28
eyunni wrote:
dwivedys wrote:
eyunni wrote:
Can someone please clarify whether correct GMAT Sentences can end with a preposition? It really helps if there is a definite consensus because we can invariably eliminate a couple of answer choices. In fact, I also read in Kaplan that grammatically correct sentences cannot end with a preposition. Here is an example:

I was stuck between (C) and (E). If I use the above rule, I can eliminate (C) and confirm (E). This is just to illustrate the use of the above rule, if at all it is correct. I appreciate any inputs.

257. During an ice age, the buildup of ice at the poles and the drop in water levels near the equator speed up the Earth’s rotation, like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in.
(A) like a spinning figure skater whose speed increases when her arms are drawn in
(B) like the increased speed of a figure skater when her arms are drawn in
(C) like a figure skater who increases speed while spinning with her arms drawn in
(D) just as a spinning figure skater who increases speed by drawing in her arms
(E) just as a spinning figure skater increases speed by drawing in her arms


While it is certainly true that Grammarians do not like sentences that end with a preposition yet I have not heard of any such rule for GMAT questions. I wouldn't even bother about this rule and would rather try and understand the concepts being tested.

For example, in the question at hand - the concept being tested is comparison and parallel form.

Also - it tests the usage of LIKE versus AS (so very typical of GMAT questions)

You know that LIKE is always wrong when clauses are being compared - like is used to compare nouns alone;

The basic idea of the sentence is -

The buildup of ice at poles and drop in water levels at equator SPEED up the earth's rotation JUST AS a spinning figure skater INCREASES speed by doing whatever....

It's of the form

X and Y DO something JUST AS Z does something else (not LIKE Z does something else because verbs are being compared [actions] not nouns)


I would have gone for (E) but it says 'just as a spinning figure skater increases speed...', whose speed? Is it implicit that it is the skater's speed, by common sense? However, this is not implicit in the original sentence. And hence this motive to use grammar rules to eliminate any iffy answer choices.


I see what you are saying - but what else could it be besides her own speed? Just as a spinning figure skater increases [his or her] speed by drawing in HER arms.
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Can we trust Kaplan? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 08:54
I am not an expert but I think that GMAT is on the conservative side on controversial grammar rules. I just hope that this rule is followed in the right answer choices. Can we accept any grammar rules by third party books such as Kaplan to be correct?
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Re: Can we trust Kaplan? [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 08:57
eyunni wrote:
I am not an expert but I think that GMAT is on the conservative side on controversial grammar rules. I just hope that this rule is followed in the right answer choices. Can we accept any grammar rules by third party books such as Kaplan to be correct?


To the best of my knowledge and experience I haven't seen this rule being quoted anywhere in the context of GMAT. However having said that, like all other grammar rules, it's good to know this and observe this as far as possible.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 09:07
dwivedys, Can you please go through this link?

http://www.testmagic.com/grammar/explanations/prepositions.htm
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 09:09
In fact, Kaplan also says that a clause cannot end with a preposition.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 09:54
eyunni wrote:
In fact, Kaplan also says that a clause cannot end with a preposition.


I hope you are not getting the impression that I am disagreeing with this rule!!! Because i am NOT disagreeing with it.

All I am saying is that in my limited experience with GMAT Sentence Correction, I haven't seen this rule being invoked to eliminate answer choices. It could still be a good tool to eliminate choices. It's just my own little view that I haven't seen it being used.

So go ahead and use it by all means.

By the way - the link that you've posted pertains to TOEFL and I think TOEFL is not quite as near in complexity or difficulty or standards of English usage or the TYPES/Varieties of topics that are tested on the GMAT. So I'd be chary of using TOEFL fundas on GMAT.

Having said that, the link talks about the nuances of Subordinating conjunctions and the fact that some prepositions are used as subordinating conjunctions -

If you look at subordinating conjunctions they are often used to create what are called as Adverbial Clauses and their sole function is to create a DEPENDENT CLAUSE -

Before you go home, don't forget to complete your tuition assignment.

The opening clause before you go home is a subordinate clause as it expresses an idea which is more fully developed later on in the independent clause.

That's a different subject altogether with its own set of complications.

In summary - yes the rule holds valid that sentences shouldn't end with a preposition - however even authoritative sources agree that the rule is puritan at best and there are many valid examples where sentences ending with prepositions are not frowned UPON!

In fact there's a funny incident involving Winston Churchill who once remarked, clearly irked at this preposition rule when he said

<"That is nonsense up with which I shall not put."

Take a look at this link - http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ ... reposition
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2007, 10:04
dwivedys wrote:
eyunni wrote:
In fact, Kaplan also says that a clause cannot end with a preposition.


I hope you are not getting the impression that I am disagreeing with this rule!!! Because i am NOT disagreeing with it.

All I am saying is that in my limited experience with GMAT Sentence Correction, I haven't seen this rule being invoked to eliminate answer choices. It could still be a good tool to eliminate choices. It's just my own little view that I haven't seen it being used.

So go ahead and use it by all means.

By the way - the link that you've posted pertains to TOEFL and I think TOEFL is not quite as near in complexity or difficulty or standards of English usage or the TYPES/Varieties of topics that are tested on the GMAT. So I'd be chary of using TOEFL fundas on GMAT.

Having said that, the link talks about the nuances of Subordinating conjunctions and the fact that some prepositions are used as subordinating conjunctions -

If you look at subordinating conjunctions they are often used to create what are called as Adverbial Clauses and their sole function is to create a DEPENDENT CLAUSE -

Before you go home, don't forget to complete your tuition assignment.

The opening clause before you go home is a subordinate clause as it expresses an idea which is more fully developed later on in the independent clause.

That's a different subject altogether with its own set of complications.

In summary - yes the rule holds valid that sentences shouldn't end with a preposition - however even authoritative sources agree that the rule is puritan at best and there are many valid examples where sentences ending with prepositions are not frowned UPON!

In fact there's a funny incident involving Winston Churchill who once remarked, clearly irked at this preposition rule when he said

<"That is nonsense up with which I shall not put."

Take a look at this link - http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ ... reposition


dwivedys, I did not mean to say that you disagreed with me. I wanted you to take an objective look and provide your own opinion about the rule, which you did.
  [#permalink] 24 Oct 2007, 10:04
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