The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) - Page 2
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# The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local

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23 Sep 2009, 11:23
I have another problem with D and E.
The word determined has no clear referant. What is being determined, growth of railroads, or times?
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24 Sep 2009, 08:37
mendelay wrote:
I have another problem with D and E.
The word determined has no clear referant. What is being determined, growth of railroads, or times?

In general what I have noticed:

<clause>, participle modifier, <clause>.

In such cases, participle modifier modifies the immediate noun in the preceding clause. If the participle modifier, then only it in general can modify the preeding clause.
Note: It is not a rule but an observation. There could be exception, but in this case it is referring to (local times).
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24 Sep 2009, 11:36
sudeep wrote:
mendelay wrote:
I have another problem with D and E.
The word determined has no clear referant. What is being determined, growth of railroads, or times?

In general what I have noticed:

<clause>, participle modifier, <clause>.

In such cases, participle modifier modifies the immediate noun in the preceding clause. If the participle modifier, then only it in general can modify the preeding clause.
Note: It is not a rule but an observation. There could be exception, but in this case it is referring to (local times).

If it modifies the preceding clause then we still don't know which noun determined refers to.
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24 Sep 2009, 21:41
mendelay wrote:
sudeep wrote:
mendelay wrote:
I have another problem with D and E.
The word determined has no clear referant. What is being determined, growth of railroads, or times?

In general what I have noticed:

<clause>, participle modifier, <clause>.

In such cases, participle modifier modifies the immediate noun in the preceding clause. If the participle modifier, then only it in general can modify the preeding clause.
Note: It is not a rule but an observation. There could be exception, but in this case it is referring to (local times).

If it modifies the preceding clause then we still don't know which noun determined refers to.

I misquote in hurry, what I meant is that when the participle modifier is in the last, then only it can, in general, modify the preceding clause.
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25 Oct 2009, 01:44
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

here (A) and (B) are out as use of "was" for "local times" is incorrect ,but how to eliminate the other options.
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25 Oct 2009, 20:21

D is not parallel as a past participle "determined" will need a present participle "differing" to be parallel.
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10 Nov 2009, 16:42
E for me

(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

Local times ... differing is more logical
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31 Mar 2010, 18:34
Looks like the OA to this is E.

Can someone explain? This is too damn difficult!!
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02 May 2010, 01:04
manoharpln wrote:
This is a toughie - it looks like you've realized that the key to the problem is parallelism, but you've been tricked by the rather weird form of

parallelism exhibited here.

The only difference between choices D and E is differed/differing, and, as you've no doubt realized, the key issue is making the choice that's most parallel

to 'determined' (from the first half of the modifier).

Here's the key: 'Determined' isn't a verb here. It's a PARTICIPLE: a verb form that functions as an adjective.
The local times were WEIRD (adjective).
The local times were DETERMINED (participle acting as adjective) by ...

So you need to pick the second half that's also 'participle acting as adjective'. Try them both:
D) The local times were DIFFERED: uh oh, that doesn't work.
E) The local times were DIFFERING from city to city. That works. It's a 'present participle' rather than a 'past participle', but it's the only one of the

two that's a participle at all.
In D and E, you can tell determined = participle, not verb, because (a) it immediately follows a comma and (b) there's no subject you could match up with

determined in a normal subject-verb configuration. Even if you match determined with the noun "times" (to which the clause is referring) "times, determined

by" is not proper subject-verb config.

The discussion with detailed explanation can be found in the link:
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/100 ... t1787.html

Great explanation. Thank you!
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02 May 2010, 18:18
I narrowed it to (C) and (E)........but picked (C) because I thought "which" is correctly modifying "local times".

we need "differing" because the sentence mean to say that the local times are differing from city to city in present also....."differed" in past tense would have been incorrect.

However, can someone please explain why (C) is incorrect and (E) correct?

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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05 Jun 2010, 06:32
Hi seekmba

Even I did the same because which seems to refer to the local times.

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

The highlighted portion seems to modify only the [highlight]local times[/highlight] and nothing else.

The sentence would have been just -

[highlight]The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times.[/highlight]

But the blah blah after the sentence creates the problems.

2 observations
1. which not required
2. from x to y is correct idiom

But I think this question will not appear on the gmat since it splits the idiom "from x to y" with and. Idioms are atomic.
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Re: SC The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2010, 17:13
I still don't agree with OA, E. What's the reason to use past continuous tense here.

C looks better.
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Re: SC The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2010, 09:01

msrinath thank you a lot for explanation!
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Re: SC The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2010, 05:26
But in E, determined can modify not "local times" but the whole previous clause, therefore creating ambiguity. In C, "which" clearly refers to "local times" and the meaning is more clear.

Thoughts on that?

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Re: SC The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2010, 10:44

1. The rail roads, 2. the subtle llism and 3 Brutal SC
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Re: SC The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 05:19
even though the correct answer is E, in terms of parallel view.. it's little bit tricky...
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local [#permalink]

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21 May 2013, 14:41
can someone explain why using the relative pronoun which is incorrect here?
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2013, 11:28
Hi Guys,

I am re-opening this question for the discussion. Please try to explain each option.

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

OA E
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Re: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2013, 15:43
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pqhai wrote:
This question is about parallelism and modifier.

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
Wrong.
- Parallelism problem. "which was ...." is a clause --> not parallel to "differing" which is Verb-ing modifier.
- "was" is wrong because "local times" is plural.

(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed
Wrong. Simple past tense "differed" is not correct. Because "local times" always differ from city to city.

(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Wrong. Same as A. Clause and Verb-ing modifier are not parallel.

(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed
Wrong. Verb-ed "differed" is not correct because local times themselves differ from city to city. --> should use Verb-ing modifier.

(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing
Correct. "determined by" and "differing" are modifiers and are parallel. Hence, E is correct.

Hope it helps.

hey pqhai,

I get it why E is an answer, I got E too. my question is whether usage of which in C is correct or not(just forget about parallelism) .. what I think is "local times" is followed by an "of" hence it is a prepositional phrase, hence the noun is "the abolition" ..

so which is pointing to "the abolition" and use of "was" in A and B IMO is correct. what you say ??
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06 Jun 2014, 09:49
sasen wrote:
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
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
LOCAL TIMES should be "were"...out
(B)which was determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and which
differed
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
LOCAL TIMES should be "were"
(C)which were determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and
differing
THOGH "WERE" USAGE IS CORRECT,"WHICH WERE DETERMINED" should be parralel to
"WHICH WERE DIFFERING or WHICH DIFFERED"
(D)determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differed
HERE THE ELEMENTS ARE PARALLEL BUT IF YOU NOTICE CLOSELY DIFFERED USAGE IS
INCORRECT because THE SENTECNE IS TALKING ABOUT 2 PIECES ABOUT LOCAL TIME
A) DETERMINED BY ....
B) DIFFERING FROM CITY TO CITY
DIFFERED here is incorrect usage
(E)determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing
CORRECT

Hey
I have a query : can we take "which were" as repetative in option C ... as in E the modifiers are parallel
in the first go I thought C is the answer as both are parallel and correct .... Please correct me where I am missing ...
Thanks

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