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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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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 21:26
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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.

Hi,

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.
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18 Nov 2011, 23:43
Thanks for all the explanations ! It helped a lot!
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09 Dec 2011, 17:03
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
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09 Dec 2011, 20:35
"extending" is participle that need to paralleled with "spawned ". Choice A is correct.
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09 Dec 2011, 22:30
fungus that is an interwoven ........ and extending ..........
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17 Mar 2012, 18:25
P.S. I have a small note prepared for my students on this topic, titled A Pamphlet on the Use of Participles in GMAT, running to about 25 pages . Perhaps that may be of help to some.

Where is this note that Daagh is referring to?

Thanks
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17 Mar 2012, 18:45
daagh wrote:
The reason why there is so much confusion here is that the principles of participle usage have not been understood well. A participle though called present or past participle per se does not indicate the sense of the tense. It goes along with the tense of the main clause.

In the above simple sentence, if the intruding descriptive structures are removed, the clause will read under

Scientists have recently discovered a giant fungus, 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

“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” is indeed the long, long participial phrase .The participles ‘spawned’ ( past participle ) and extending( present participle ) both refer to the fungus and not to the filigree or the tentacles. If it were to refer to tentacles, it should say “tentacles that were spawned and that are extending”. Logically only a fungus can be spawned and not the tentacles.

@Cracky: You are trying to parallelize ‘a fungus is’ with ‘a fungus extends’ because both are in present tense. In the process you have forgotten the all important ‘spawned by’ .The second leg of the participial phrase 'extending' should parallel the first leg 'spawned'. It is legitimate to use both past and present participles as parallel structures in the same sentence. Hence A is the right answer, as many have already said.

P.S. I have a small note prepared for my students on this topic, titled A Pamphlet on the Use of Participles in GMAT, running to about 25 pages . Perhaps that may be of help to some.
.

Good One. I just woke up from my stubbornness of justifying B.
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25 Mar 2012, 01:21
A for me...........
parallel structure problem.......
both element give extra information about the fungus.
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04 May 2012, 12:27
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balajinaik wrote:

I have always had an issue with this type of question. What i have found in GMAt questions is that in most cases like the one here, the question talks about many properties of a single item. In the process they mix the verb tense thereby confusing the subject.

This Q is a classic example of that. The scientists discovered the Fungi, the next 2 are properties of the fungi. hence extends is correct and not extending

Balaji

Hi,

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.

It is imperative to understand the meaning of the sentence in order to get the correct answer. So let’s do that first. Scientists have recently discovered something that could be the largest and oldest organism on Earth. So what have they discovered? They have a discovered a giant fungus which has qualities that make the scientists believe that this fungus could be the largest and oldest living organism. What are these qualities? This giant fungus is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles. This fungus has been spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago. So this is why the scientists think that this fungus is the oldest living organism. The other quality that the fungus has is that it extends for more than 30 acres. This is the reason why the scientists think this fungus to be the largest living organism

After we have understood the meaning, let us evaluate the errors in the sentence. Now notice “spawned” is not verb here. It is verb-ed modifier that is presenting the quality of the giant fungus. In the very same way, “extending” is a verb-ing modifier that is also presenting another quality of the fungus. Hence, verb-ed modifier “spawned” and the verb-ing modifier “extending” are parallel to each other. Hence this sentence is correct as it is.

POE:

Choice A: extending: Correct.

Choice B: extends: Incorrect. This is a verb and a verb cannot be parallel to a modifier.

Choice C: extended: Incorrect. We again have a verb in the past tense that cannot be parallel to a modifier. Also the fungus is still extending. It is still there. So use of past tense is wrong anyway.

Choice D: it extended: Incorrect. Same error as in Choice D.

Choice E: is extending: Incorrect. This is a verb and a verb cannot be parallel to a modifier.

Hope this helps to understand why choice A is the correct answer.
Thanks.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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07 May 2012, 09:26
this question exploits the rule that if participle is used at the beginning we need to use a similar part of language at the end, however, we do not need to make both tenses the same.
Can I assume that in order to make a sentence comply with parallelism a choice of type of speech is more important than a choice of a tense?
Are there any other rules for parallelism similar to the one in the question?
Thanks
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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07 May 2012, 09:58
Hi there,

Check out e-gmat's explanation for this OG question by on following link:
sc-largest-living-organism-44423.html
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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07 May 2012, 16:55
egmat wrote:
Hi there,

Check out e-gmat's explanation for this OG question by on following link:
sc-largest-living-organism-44423.html

a very good explanation from egmat..
initially i thought that the question tests tense concept..after reading your explanation i have understood the topic tested.
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07 May 2012, 23:09
nitinneha wrote:
623. 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

According to me A is the correct answer.
According to the stem scientists [highlight]have[/highlight] recently discovered ........fungus that [highlight]is[/highlight] .........tentacles [highlight]spawned[/highlight] and ........forest.
Have ---> present tense
Spawned---> Simple past.This event occurred in the past as a result of which it is now in its present form.
Now let us analyse the following options:
A)extending--> read the sentence in this way,'Scientists have recently discovered .............. and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an......................and rootlike tentacles spawned by ....................and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.'Scientists have found a living organism, so that's why we have to use extending.
B)extends--> A living organism by itself cannot extend.'Scientists have found a living organism that is extending......' is true.'Scientists have foung a living organism ..........blah blah.....and extends...........'is clearly wrong.
C)extended--> This one is not correct, the reason is this if we would use extended (the past form of verb), then it would indicate that it no longer extends or it no longer holds true, which in this case is not true.
D)it extended-->The use of this in above stem as '.....and it extended....' is clearly wrong and makes no sense.
E)is extending-->'............and is extending...' is wrong .

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09 May 2012, 06:44
Excellent explanation SHRADDHA. Now I understood why spawned and extending are parallel.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what... [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2012, 23:17
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The underlined word is a part of a parallel structure "spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago AND extending for more than 30 acres" and, therefore, it should be grammatically and logically parallel with the word "spawned."

"Spawned" acts here as an adjective.
A - correct because "extending" is also used as an adjective and it is logically parallel with "spawned"
B - incorrect, "extends" is a conjugated verb
C- incorrect for the same reason as B
D - "it extended" changes the second part of the parallel structure into a clause, so it is incorrect to compare an adjective with a clause
E - incorrect, 'is extending" is a conjugated verb
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what... [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2012, 11:16
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Parallelism is not the only issue.
Even when a verb functions as a modifier, it conveys tense.
In C and D, extended implies past action. Although the filigree was spawned 10,000 years ago (in the past), it is still extending for more than 30 acres (in the present). Eliminate C and D.

In B, spawned (adjective) and extends (verb) are not parallel. Eliminate B.
In E, spawned (adjective) and is extending (verb) are not parallel. Eliminate E.

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

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28 Mar 2013, 05:33
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
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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the larges [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2013, 21:49
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
(0) it extended
(E) is extending
I picked c .why c is wrong?
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the larges [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2013, 07:30
mun23 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
(0) it extended
(E) is extending
I picked c .why c is wrong?

C would imply that the fungus existed in the past. the clause a giant fungus that is .... is describing the fungus saying it has some tentacles spawned by some fertilizers. "extending" describes the fungus perfectly how it is into 30 acres of soil.

example: tired and wanting to some entertainment, xyz went outside.
using tired and wanted some entertainment would be incorrect.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the larges [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2013, 17:26
mun23 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
(0) it extended
(E) is extending
I picked c .why c is wrong?

Hi Mun.
This is modifier question. Scientist have recently......... tentacles, spawned by X ..........and extending for Y.
Two modifier "spawned" and "extending" must be parallel.

C is wrong because past tense modifier is not correct. It seems like the action "extending" was done. That's incorrect.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the larges   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2013, 17:26

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