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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 what could be the larges [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2013, 07:20
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?

In this case, C ("extended") and A ("extending") are each participle modifiers. These are basically short versions of relative clauses. An easy way to see how they work is to add a relative pronoun (that, which, who, etc.) and a verb.

"... filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles that is spawned by ... and that is extending ..."

Now we see that the sentence makes sense. The filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles is spawned by (or created by) something else, but it actively does the act of extending.

If we tried this with C, it would say:

"... filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles that is spawned by ... and that is extended ..."

This doesn't make sense. Now, the second modifier is in passive voice, so something else is extending the filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles, as if someone is stretching them 30 acres.

Easy rule: -ed modifiers create a passive construction (the thing being modified does not do the action - something else is acting on it), while -ing modifiers create an active construction (the thing being modified does the action)

You might think there is an issue with parallelism between -ed and -ing modifiers; however, this is not an issue. Since each of these are participle modifiers, they are the same type of modifier, so they are parallel. It doesn't matter that one is active and one is passive.
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02 May 2013, 00:13
All duplicate threads on this topic have been merged.

Please check and follow the Guidelines for Posting in Verbal GMAT forum before posting anything.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2013, 02:46
A it is .

i go with paul's explanation.
The sentence says it is the largest living organism and it is still there in the Michigan forest. i.e. it is still extending or growing(maybe the fungus extends more than 30 acres now, so its"EXTENDING")

hope it helps
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2013, 09:36
this is very hard because there are many new words, which make us unable to realize the intended meaning.

realize the meaning of ONLY ONE WORD, in this case, the word "rootlike" , to realize the intended meaning.

form the meaing of "rootlike", we guess that extending must be parallel with spawned. and A is correct.

it is very easy to explain this problem. but, How to do this, how to realize the intended meaning.

this question is unfair to the non native because non native have difficulty realizing the intended meaning.
I met this situation at the last gmat test .

VERY UNFAIR.
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28 Jul 2013, 12:05
EducationAisle wrote:
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.

hey ashish,

A noun || a noun
verb-ING || A noun
verb-ING|| verb-ED
werb-ED || A noun

does that hold true under all cases?
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28 Jul 2013, 13:26
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
EducationAisle wrote:
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.

hey ashish,

A noun || a noun
verb-ING || A noun
verb-ING|| verb-ED
werb-ED || A noun

does that hold true under all cases?

hi,
no they are not always parallel.

noun // noun // gerund(verb-ing acting as a noun)
verb-ing(acting as an adjective = participle) // verb-ed (this is also a participle and not a verb)

verb-ed===>this can be verb or participle(refer e-gmat article how to differentiate them)
verb-ed (acting as a verb) // verb

hope it helps.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2013, 21:23
Hi ashish,

so in this question,

spawned is acting as an adjective?
?
because excting is adjective for sure.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2013, 05:51
Yes; basically "spawned" is acting as a past participle, while "extending" is present participle.

Participles are adjectives. That's my understanding. Please correct if I am wrong.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2013, 07:03
WaterFlowsUp and saumya23, you are correct.

WaterFlowsUp, another parallelism is:

Eg.

Just 5 feet 6 inches tall, and facing the mighty British empire, Gandhiji delivered.

tall is an adjective, while facing the mighty British empire is a participle.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2013, 09:36
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2013, 11:55
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VTay25 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
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why is extending and spawned parallel participial phrases?

Scientists have discovered a giant fungus which is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles. There are two characteristics of the fungus 1) It has been spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago. 2) It extends for more than 30 acres in the soil of Michigan.

These two characteristics have been shown in the original sentence in the form of Adjectival clauses spawned by...........ago AND extending for more............forest. The first clause is Verb-ed Modifier and the second one is Verb-ing Modifier

Since the first characteristic of Giant fungus has been described by a Adjectival Clause, The second characteristic also need to be shown in the form of a Adjectival clause, which is done in the original sentence. Hence the sentence is correct as written. Choice A is Correct

B) Extends acts as verb and can not parallel to Modifier spawned.

C) Extended also acts as verb and can not parallel to Modifier spawned. Also simple past tense extended indicates that the process of extending has been stopped, which is wrong. The fungus is still there and extending.

D) It extended is independent clause which can not be parallel to Modifier.

E) Incorrect for the same reason cited in Choice B.

Hope that helps!
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12 Feb 2014, 04:19
Paul wrote:
A is the correct answer. This question is about the use of present vs past participle.
present participle is used to denote a present condition that still prevails
past participle is used to denote a completed action, usually in a passive mood

The sentence is definitely talking about the filigree:

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

What is b/w brackets is a prepositional phrase and remove it to make the sentence less cumbersome:

filigree 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

As you can see, the filigree spawned by X some 10,000 years ago. This warrants the use of past participle. Also, "spawned by" denotes passive voice which justifies the use of past participle.
As for the "extending", it is still prevailing today in the Michigan forest so you cannot use past participle "extended".

The present and past participles are used to describe the "filigree", they act as adjectives.

Hi Paul.

I decoded the meaning as : a giant fungus that is "<something> and [that] "extends"... So, here we are talking about two attributes of giant fungi instead of attributes of filigree.

OA should be B.

Am I correct ? Any reasons?

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

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26 Jun 2014, 02:18
I Agree that the answer should be A
But I have a Doubt. Couldn't find it in the several posts of this topic.

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.

In the 2nd part of this sentence - after the comma
If spawned & extending are participles
then there would be no Verb for the noun " a giant fungus " in this clause.

Is it because it is a Noun phrase/absolute phrase ?

Kindly clarify.
Thank you
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26 Jun 2014, 20:47
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niyantg 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.

In the 2nd part of this sentence - after the comma
If spawned & extending are participles
then there would be no Verb for the noun " a giant fungus " in this clause.

Is it because it is a Noun phrase/absolute phrase ?

You are correct in that the portion starting from a giant fungus is an absolute modifier. Absolute modifiers have the following construct: Noun + Noun modifier.

a giant fungus is clearly the Noun here. As for Noun modifier, there are three primary ways in which Noun modifiers can appear in English:

i) As Relative clause
ii) As Present Participles
iii) As Past Participles

The reason why this particular sentence is a beautiful study in Noun modifiers is because it uses all the three types of Noun modifiers:

i) Relative clause: that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles
ii) Present Participles: extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest
iii) Past Participles: spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago

p.s. Our book SC Nirvana discusses Absolute modifiers, their application and examples in significant detail. If you can PM you email, I can send you the corresponding section.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2014, 01:19
Thank You Ashish

EducationAisle wrote:
niyantg 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.

In the 2nd part of this sentence - after the comma
If spawned & extending are participles
then there would be no Verb for the noun " a giant fungus " in this clause.

Is it because it is a Noun phrase/absolute phrase ?

You are correct in that the portion starting from a giant fungus is an absolute modifier. Absolute modifiers have the following construct: Noun + Noun modifier.

a giant fungus is clearly the Noun here. As for Noun modifier, there are three primary ways in which Noun modifiers can appear in English:

i) As Relative clause
ii) As Present Participles
iii) As Past Participles

The reason why this particular sentence is a beautiful study in Noun modifiers is because it uses all the three types of Noun modifiers:

i) Relative clause: that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles
ii) Present Participles: extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest
iii) Past Participles: spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago

p.s. Our book SC Nirvana discusses Absolute modifiers, their application and examples in significant detail. If you can PM you email, I can send you the corresponding section.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2015, 07:27
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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2015, 12:17
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

(A) is correct since (E) unnecessarily uses "is" to maintain parallel structure.

"a giant fungus that.... is (+ of noun) an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles... and is (+ gerund noun) extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest."

I think only the articles (e.g. a/an, the) need to be repeated, since saying something like, "The coat is black and is warm." unnecessarily uses "is" twice. You may have two different verbs that need to be made parallel, but if it's the same verb, then there's no need to repeat it. For example, "The squirrel runs away from dogs and runs away from cats." unnecessarily uses runs away from twice.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2015, 00:58
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 root-like 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

Giant fungus is mentioned as a largest and oldest living organism on earth.
It means that it is still alive now so present continuous tense is required to indicate the same.

extends(Simple present tense) indicates a fact or general truth such as Sun rises. but there is no eternal truth here as it is not going to live forever. So B is incorrect.

since it is alive even now we cannot use past tense(extended). so C and D are incorrect.
Also that and extending are modifying giant fungus and usage of it is redundant and incorrect here in D.

whole giant fungus phrase is modifying the What could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth in the form of additional information.
Main sentence is the discovery by the scientists.

Adding is spoils the parallelism structure of the description between spawned and extending. so E is incorrect choice leaving given sentence correct as is.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2016, 11:09
the most diff. q i ever encountered
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2016, 14:28
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 thought that "extending" was making reference to the "rootlike tentacles" . Look at the statement again, why would "extending" refer to the fungus or "filigre of mushrooms", rather it would make more sense if it was referring to the "rootlike tentacles" since it "extends for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest", that makes more sense since we are talking about something going "in the soil", which is likely the "rootlike tentacles"....am I making any sense here!?

I chose B (extends)
Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2016, 14:28

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