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# The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2012, 07:45
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Hi Sachin,

In the construction “not X but Y”, X and Y should be parallel, but it is not necessary for the voices to be the same if the context demands so. For example:

The beggars did not get any money but were helped in other ways.

In this sentence, “did not get” is in active voice but “were helped” is in passive. It is so because here both the entities cannot be identically parallel. If we make both the voice active, the meaning will be violated.

However, this is not the case with the OG question. Choice E reads:

E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

In this choice we can make both the entities identically parallel without violating the meaning of the sentence. We can easily say:

Did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but slowly evolved…

The takeaway is that we must keep the entities as parallel as possible. When we can have identically parallel entities to convey the intended logical meaning, we must keep them that way. The list can be made non-identical only if the logical meaning cannot be conveyed by making the entities absolutely parallel.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2012, 16:35
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egmat wrote:
Hi Sachin,

In the construction “not X but Y”, X and Y should be parallel, but it is not necessary for the voices to be the same if the context demands so. For example:

The beggars did not get any money but were helped in other ways.

In this sentence, “did not get” is in active voice but “were helped” is in passive. It is so because here both the entities cannot be identically parallel. If we make both the voice active, the meaning will be violated.

However, this is not the case with the OG question. Choice E reads:

E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

In this choice we can make both the entities identically parallel without violating the meaning of the sentence. We can easily say:

Did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but slowly evolved…

The takeaway is that we must keep the entities as parallel as possible. When we can have identically parallel entities to convey the intended logical meaning, we must keep them that way. The list can be made non-identical only if the logical meaning cannot be conveyed by making the entities absolutely parallel.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Amazing.. Thanks a ton..

Is it also because usage of evolve mandates that? since evolution happens and not done by somebody?
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2012, 18:43
egmat wrote:
Hi Sachin,

In the construction “not X but Y”, X and Y should be parallel, but it is not necessary for the voices to be the same if the context demands so. For example:

The beggars did not get any money but were helped in other ways.

In this sentence, “did not get” is in active voice but “were helped” is in passive. It is so because here both the entities cannot be identically parallel. If we make both the voice active, the meaning will be violated.

However, this is not the case with the OG question. Choice E reads:

E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

In this choice we can make both the entities identically parallel without violating the meaning of the sentence. We can easily say:

Did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but slowly evolved…

The takeaway is that we must keep the entities as parallel as possible. When we can have identically parallel entities to convey the intended logical meaning, we must keep them that way. The list can be made non-identical only if the logical meaning cannot be conveyed by making the entities absolutely parallel.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Thanks for this information... It will be useful...

Just have a basic doubt !!

What about tenses in “not X but Y” parallelism.
Both should be of same tenses??

e.g ) I did not study well but i will score in exam...

Will this be a correct sentence construction ???
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2012, 18:47
Shanmugham,
I believe it depends on the meaning. If meaning mandates a change in tense, then I guess that wont violate parallelism.

Waiting for a confirmation from Shraddha though

Regards,
Sachin

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2012, 19:45
Sachin9 wrote:
Shanmugham,
I believe it depends on the meaning. If meaning mandates a change in tense, then I guess that wont violate parallelism.

Waiting for a confirmation from Shraddha though

Regards,
Sachin

Kudus if it helped

Thanks Sachin for sharing ur view...
Anyways it will be good if get confirmation from experts
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The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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30 May 2013, 21:34
I want to disect and unerstand answer choices of this question - the use of did - i picked A as verbs were in past tense parallel ;
Can someone help me with the link that points to Verbal Review -2 complete error analysis posts/thread ?

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.

(A) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but they were slowly evolved

Last edited by Zarrolou on 31 May 2013, 00:04, edited 1 time in total.
Merging similar topics
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Re: OG Verbal Review - 2 SC - Q4 - Error analysis [#permalink]

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30 May 2013, 21:53
Buddha wrote:
[1] I want to disect and unerstand answer choices of this question - the use of did - i picked A as verbs were in past tense parallel ;
[2] Can someone help me with the link that points to Verbal Review -2 complete error analysis posts/thread ?

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva
Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life
not in a fl ash of inspiration but evolved slowly from
previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but
evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but
were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
(E) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
they were slowly evolved

I'm no help on your question 2, but I will respond to your first question about 'did'.

This is a great meaning question around the difference between "sprang to life not in a flash" and "did not spring to life in a flash". The intent of the sentence is to show that Edison's inventions were not the result of a flash of inspiration but rather were the result of an evolutionary process. By saying his inventions "sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly" you are actually setting up a contradictory statement because you are saying his inventions sprang to life through evolution, but evolution is slow and certainly does not "spring to life". By changing the statement to read "his inventions did not spring to life but evolved slowly" you get the proper meaning that this was not a quick, 'spinging' action but rather a slow evolutionary process.

Does that help?

KW
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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31 May 2013, 01:08
Buddha wrote:
I want to disect and unerstand answer choices of this question - the use of did - i picked A as verbs were in past tense parallel ;
Can someone help me with the link that points to Verbal Review -2 complete error analysis posts/thread ?

You mention that you picked A because verbs were in past tense and parallel. For one thing, tense does not need to be same between various parts of the sentence. For example:

Buddha has studied hard for GMAT and will surely score well on GMAT.

This is a valid sentence, though the tenses are not same (first part uses present perfect and second part uses simple future).

Nevertheless, even going by your thought process, you mention that both verbs are parallel. I am assuming you mean that sprang and evolved are parallel in A. So, let us dissect the sentence at these verbs:

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically:

(a) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration
BUT
(b) evolved slowly from previous works.

So, the mini-sentences we have here are:

(a) The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration
(b) The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically evolved slowly from previous works.

Hopefully you see the issue with (a). We would not say:

He prepared for GMAT not with a hope of scoring 650.

We would rather say:

He did not prepare for GMAT with a hope of scoring 650.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2013, 11:10
on all these discussions i observe that no one has considered the subtle difference between "solwly evolved" and "evolvedv slowly" , just by using these concept 3 options choices can be chucked off. Leaving us with A and C. Now 1 step ll-ism concept will lead us to A.
Here the concept tested is ll-ism in noun phrases. In A one side has a prepositional phrase while at the other a verb phrase.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2013, 05:49
C...

sprang is past tense, so wrong....simple present is spring
not x but y is a right idiom
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2013, 16:51
kanusha wrote:
C...

sprang is past tense, so wrong....simple present is spring
not x but y is a right idiom

Can someone please explain why E is wrong?

E-gmat mentioned that "E" is in passive voice.

His inventions were slowly evolved from previous works
vs
His inventions did not spring to life

I think in both the above sentences, subject is "His inventions"
and in both the options, the subject is not the do-er. Subject is not doing any action.

So how do we differentiate active/passive in such cases?

Also,
"slowly evolved", slowly is adverb modifying evolved

In option C, evolved slowly...What is slowly modifying?

Any responses will be great & appreciated/
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Re: OG Verbal Review - 2 SC - Q4 - Error analysis [#permalink]

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04 May 2014, 16:58
KyleWiddison wrote:
Buddha wrote:
[1] I want to disect and unerstand answer choices of this question - the use of did - i picked A as verbs were in past tense parallel ;
[2] Can someone help me with the link that points to Verbal Review -2 complete error analysis posts/thread ?

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva
Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life
not in a fl ash of inspiration but evolved slowly from
previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but
evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but
were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
(E) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
they were slowly evolved

I'm no help on your question 2, but I will respond to your first question about 'did'.

This is a great meaning question around the difference between "sprang to life not in a flash" and "did not spring to life in a flash". The intent of the sentence is to show that Edison's inventions were not the result of a flash of inspiration but rather were the result of an evolutionary process. By saying his inventions "sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly" you are actually setting up a contradictory statement because you are saying his inventions sprang to life through evolution, but evolution is slow and certainly does not "spring to life". By changing the statement to read "his inventions did not spring to life but evolved slowly" you get the proper meaning that this was not a quick, 'spinging' action but rather a slow evolutionary process.

Does that help?

KW

Hey Kyle
Can you please explain why option E is wrong.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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04 May 2014, 23:04
skim wrote:
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Correct answer is C. C has the best parallel structure and also avoids un-necessary tense issues.
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Re: OG Verbal Review - 2 SC - Q4 - Error analysis [#permalink]

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06 May 2014, 10:01
282552 wrote:
KyleWiddison wrote:
Buddha wrote:
[1] I want to disect and unerstand answer choices of this question - the use of did - i picked A as verbs were in past tense parallel ;
[2] Can someone help me with the link that points to Verbal Review -2 complete error analysis posts/thread ?

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva
Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life
not in a fl ash of inspiration but evolved slowly from
previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but
evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a fl ash of inspiration but
were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
(E) did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
they were slowly evolved

I'm no help on your question 2, but I will respond to your first question about 'did'.

This is a great meaning question around the difference between "sprang to life not in a flash" and "did not spring to life in a flash". The intent of the sentence is to show that Edison's inventions were not the result of a flash of inspiration but rather were the result of an evolutionary process. By saying his inventions "sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly" you are actually setting up a contradictory statement because you are saying his inventions sprang to life through evolution, but evolution is slow and certainly does not "spring to life". By changing the statement to read "his inventions did not spring to life but evolved slowly" you get the proper meaning that this was not a quick, 'spinging' action but rather a slow evolutionary process.

Does that help?

KW

Hey Kyle
Can you please explain why option E is wrong.

Hi,

I see that there is still some confusion regarding this choice. Shraddha has done a good analysis of the errors in choice E in her post here:http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-voluminous-personal-papers-of-thomas-alva-edison-reveal-81030-20.html#p1148384

However, to solidify your understanding of the intended meaning of the author and the errors in various choices for this question, please refer to our detailed video solution of this question here:
https://e-gmat.com/blogs/?cat=45&paged=11

Regards,
Neeti.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2014, 21:24
The catch is

Not___________ but_______________ should maintain parallelism. C wins
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2014, 08:00
Sachin9 wrote:
ChrisLele wrote:
This question tests parallelism. Indeed most of the wrong answers can be eliminated simply because of lack of parallelism (see below).

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.

(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

'Not in a Noun Phrase but in a Noun Phrase' is violated by the use of the verb 'evolved.'

(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Same problem as in (A), but this time because of 'were slowly evolved.'

(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

'Did not 'Verb Phrase + Prepositional Phrase but 'Verb Phrase + PP' is maintained here. The Answer.

(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved

The use of past perfect, 'had...evolved' is unnecessary.

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Use of the passive construction, 'were slowly evolved' invalidates this answer choice.

Hope that helps

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Use of the passive construction, 'were slowly evolved' invalidates this answer choice.

Hi Chris,
You mention the above as the reason why E is wrong.
So, Do we need the voices ( passive/active ) to be parallel in a x but y structure?

Regards,
Sach

Though i am not an expert, i will try to answer this

Structure should be parallel.
As i understand E is wrong (unparallel) because it uses "they"

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically
1. did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but
2. they were slowly evolved

if u read reveal that his inventions typically they were slowly evolved...... its very awkward.

For correct choice

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically
1. did not spring to life in a fl ash of inspiration but
2.evolved slowly

Now it makes sense

his inventions did not spring...
his inventions evolved slowly

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2015, 07:05
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2016, 07:55
Option A: Not in a X but Y
Option C: Not X but Y

Option C is clear, precise and maintains parellelism
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2016, 09:05
The point is to note that not spring = sprang; Once this is clear, then it is simply a question of maintaining not…. but correlative conjunction //ism.

(A) sprang to life, not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly---not in a flash … but evolved =un//

(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved – not in a flash …. but were evolved slowly == un//

(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly --- did not spring (not sprang) …. But evolved = //
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved--- did not spring(not sprang) … but had slowly = un//

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but they were slowly evolved -- did not spring)not sprang ----- but they were slowly evolved = un//
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2016, 08:41
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
on all these discussions i observe that no one has considered the subtle difference between "solwly evolved" and "evolvedv slowly" , just by using these concept 3 options choices can be chucked off. Leaving us with A and C. Now 1 step ll-ism concept will lead us to A.
Here the concept tested is ll-ism in noun phrases. In A one side has a prepositional phrase while at the other a verb phrase.

Can you explain what is the subtle difference between slowly evolved and evolved slowly ??
Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2016, 08:41

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