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The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local

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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local... [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 12:38
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Difficulty:

  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

42% (01:37) correct 58% (01:03) wrong based on 57 sessions
We are replacing a non-essential modifier, so we need to determine what it is trying to modify. Since we are talking about determining something based on where the sun is located, the intention of the author is probably to have the modifier describe the local times.

1.) Since "local times" is plural, we need to have a plural verb if one is included. There is no difference between "which were determined by" and "determined by," so we can go with either option. If we choose "determined by," there is no subject/verb agreement issue because it works for both singular and plural.
2.) The only other difference is the end of the modifier, so we need to make sure it is parallel and correctly modifies the noun "local times." We cannot use a relative pronoun "which" and a participle "differed/differing" together, so we need to choose one route. While -ed and -ing do not seem parallel, they actually are because they are both participle phrases (and expanded out to relative clauses they are "which were determined by" and "which differ").
3.) We need to go with an active modifier because sometime is not doing the differing to the "local times" - instead, the "local times" are doing the action of being different. (Seems odd, but that is how it is described in English.)

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 - "was" does not match "local times" and the participle does not parallel the relative pronoun
B. which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed - "was" does not match "local times" and the participle does not parallel the relative pronoun
C. which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing - "were" matches "local times" but the participle does not parallel the relative pronoun
D. determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed - no verb issue, but we cannot use the past participle because the times are actively being different (nothing is differing the times)
E. determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing correct - no verb issue, parallelism between the two participle phrases, and correct present participle "differing" to show active action by the times
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local... [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2013, 01:18
local times = plural, so we need a plural "were" and it comes to down to between C, D and E.
using 'differed' means it happened in the past.
Between C and E, C is not parallel, differing should tell more about sun's changing position.

So E it is.
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local... [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2013, 04:47
Please underline the question part of the sentence as requested before..makes to answer easier and accurate.
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local... [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2013, 15:29
Verb tense: local times are plural, so A and B are wrong.
Down to C, D, E.
C is wrong because the structure is not parallel.
D is wrong because the use of "differed", past tense is not correct, it should be progressive tense. Hence E is the best.
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local...   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2013, 15:29
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