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# Scientists have recently discovered what could be the

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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2003, 15:29
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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why is extending and spawned parallel participial phrases?
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28 Mar 2011, 14:47
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the
largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant
fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and
rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore
some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than
30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending

I know this question might be discussed a number of times but I am not looking for an answer. If someone could clarify the concept of action started in the past and continues in the future...would be of great help.

Also please clarify in the absence of present perfect what is to be used ..participle or present tense.

Any kind of help is highly appreciated.
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Ajit

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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2011, 17:36
isn't this has to be consider as a parallel, the participle ed and ing can be parallel. Even I picked C, but A makes sense.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2011, 21:45
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Ideally an action that was started in the past, that continues thorough he present and that might extend to the future, must be expressed with a perfect tense. But in the above case, are these conditions extant? No doubt the action of spawning (spawning means seeding) was done in the past and ended in the past. The spawning is not continuing today. The other event extending was not there 10,000 years ago, becos, at that point of time the fungus did not occupy 30 acres. So in both areas, a prefect tense becomes irrelevant.

What is the alternative then? A present tense such as is spawned to denote a completed action is ungrammatical. It is in such places that the use of participles, whether past or present is handy. That is why the sentence is using spawned, a past participle for spawning and present participle extending for the other event. As per norms of participles, it is parallel to use past and present participles in the same sentence.

C, which seems to use the speciously more parallel extended[/color]\, is wrong, becos the first arm says ‘spawned by’ while the second arm just says 'extended'. In essence, unless it clarifies ‘extended by what’, there is good reason to assume that it was extended by the same single fertilized spore. This is not logical.
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04 May 2011, 12:02
Does always a "present participle" refers to something that takes place in the present?

Or, in this case, does "extending" refer to the present because the main verb of the relative clause ("is") is in present?

Thanks!
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05 May 2011, 00:46
A is proper usage.
E is giving a superficial parallelism with that is.
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05 May 2011, 01:17
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cano wrote:
Subject + verb + direct object
Scientists discovered the organism.
Most of the sentence describes this organism: largest, oldest, LIVING, etc. Many of you made the parallelism between "is" and "extends". But if we make "living" parallel with "extending"? Think about it. For me, what helped the most was the structure of the sentence. If you think of verbs inside the big modifier, then you get lost and confused with "is", "spawned", "extending", etc.

No. While the name is 'present' participle, they really have no tense (Present/Past/Future) of their own. Present participles 'derive' their tense from the 'main verb'.

He is running Vs He was running

Present Participle 'running' used in both sentences, but deriving the 'tense' (present and Past respectively) from the linking verb 'is/was'.

That aside, in the question under consideration, 'extends', as used in B cannot be used because 'extends' is a 'verb' and a 'verb' cannot be parallel with a 'participle' ('spawned'). Past Participle ('spawned') and Present Participle ('extending') can be perfectly parallel. Few examples are:

Tired but beaming, the athlete displayed the gold medal. (Tired- Past participle; beaming - Present participle)
The old lady's face, wrinkled but glowing, shone in the sun. (wrinkled - Past participle; glowing - Present participle).

The tougher part to see in this sentence is that 'extended', as used in C, would act as a proper verb (and hence would not be parallel with the Past participle 'spawned').

Lastly, the question is interesting, but that is only one clause in this sentence:

Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth

Rest all is an appositive modifier:

a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,300 years ago and extending for more than 33 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.
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05 May 2011, 01:26
Ashish

+1 for you !! Nice explanation.
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08 May 2011, 22:40
Here is my take on the problem I hope it helps!

Parallelism:
"is spawned"
should be parallel with
"is extending"

Reason for the difference in tense:
The fungus is spawned (The tense is present, but spawned took place sometime before.)
The fungus is extending (The tense is present because the fungus still exists today.)

Therefore the selection is (A).
Choosing (E) would create a redundant usage of "is" making it non-parallel.
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24 Jun 2011, 01:20
i am confused between the usage of participle v/s verbs...

Can someone answer the following questions:

1) Can someone please explain how to know we need a participle...

2) Also, what is the main verb in the modifier sentence : "a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,300 years ago and extending for more than 33 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest. "? Is this whole bolded part one modifier???

3)Is there a modifier within modifier in the bolder part above ?

4) How do we know a giant fungus that.... forest... that if we start witrh THAT until what part is the modifier there and we need to hide the modifier and re-read the sentence?
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24 Jun 2011, 10:16
i am confused between the usage of participle v/s verbs...

Can someone answer the following questions:

1) Can someone please explain how to know we need a participle...

2) Also, what is the main verb in the modifier sentence : "a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,300 years ago and extending for more than 33 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest. "? Is this whole bolded part one modifier???

3)Is there a modifier within modifier in the bolder part above ?

4) How do we know a giant fungus that.... forest... that if we start witrh THAT until what part is the modifier there and we need to hide the modifier and re-read the sentence?
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24 Jun 2011, 21:28
A!

Parallelism!....Spawned and extending!

This reminded me of another fantastic question...also from OG I believe..that tests the same principle!

The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

(A)which was determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing
(B)which was determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and which differed
(C)which were determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing
(D)determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differed
(E)determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2011, 16:36
Can someone explain why 'is extending' (E) would be wrong.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2011, 17:55
ajit257 wrote:
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the
largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant
fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and
rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore
some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than
30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending

I know this question might be discussed a number of times but I am not looking for an answer. If someone could clarify the concept of action started in the past and continues in the future...would be of great help.

Also please clarify in the absence of present perfect what is to be used ..participle or present tense.

Any kind of help is highly appreciated.

The Use of Participle in the correct answer is not very clear. Please shed some light on this.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2011, 04:01
Quote:
The Use of Participle in the correct answer is not very clear. Please shed some light on this.

What is not clear?
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2011, 04:04
Quote:
Can someone explain why 'is extending' (E) would be wrong.

is extending is a verb. A verb cannot be parallel to a participle.
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20 Oct 2011, 10:43
Could some one please explain it. Tough choice between A and C. Feel inclined towards C.
Rest are all out.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2011, 10:48
Why is B incorrect? What does extends or extending refer to?
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2011, 08:28
prakhag wrote:
Why is B incorrect? What does extends or extending refer to?

Because it violates parallelism: 'extends' is a verb, whereas 'spawned by' is not a verb.
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24 Oct 2011, 00:55
+1 for A,
using and + Extended is not for parallelism, but it describes the fungus even more, hence a superficial parallelism.
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29 Oct 2011, 04:09
bigtreezl wrote:
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,300 years ago and extending for more than 33 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending

IMO A. The parallelism in this case is between participles. Spawned is past participle and extending is present participle. There is no helping verb (is, are etc) before spawned and for sake of parallelism we need to ensure that we dont have a helping verb before extending. Hence E is incorrect.

Hope this helps.
Re: SC:Scientists   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2011, 04:09

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