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# Very often, while evaluating choices for grammatical

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e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 1528
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Kudos [?]: 2374 [4] , given: 162

Very often, while evaluating choices for grammatical [#permalink]  01 Feb 2012, 11:04
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Very often, while evaluating choices for grammatical parallelism, students mark incorrect all those choices that contain seemingly non-parallel list. They make this decision based on the notion that a verb-ed word form can never be parallel to verb-ing word form.
This is a false notion. Here is the reality -
Verb-ed and verb-ing word forms also act as adjectives or modifiers. When these word forms describe a common entity, these can be used in a grammatically parallel list. So definitely, if the context requires, verb-ed and verb-ing word forms can be parallel to one another.

Quote:
Lets take an example:
The room decorated with stars and resembling a palace in a fairy tale book was assigned to the oldest of the three daughters.

The sentence structure has been explained in the figure above. Now lets focus on the description of this room. Two things have been stated about the room using the following two modifiers -
1. Decorated with stars – The room was decorated with stars
2. Resembling a palace – The room resembled a palace

Notice the characteristics of these modifiers:
• One is verb-ed form and the other is verb-ing form.
• Both provide descriptive information about the room – i.e. both describe or modify the room
Thus, this list is absolutely parallel.

Quote:
Now lets consider one scenario in which decorated is changed to decorating – i.e. to verb-ing form to make the two elements “grammatically” parallel.
The room decorating with stars and resembling a palace….

Now lets understand what “decorating with stars” implies. In this form, “decorating” no longer implies that the ROOM was the one that WAS DECORATED with stars. This form non-sensically implies that ROOM did the action of DECORATING something or someone.

So as you can see, by forcing both word forms in verb-ing form, instead of making the list Parallel, we indeed made the list non-sensical.

Quote:
Now lets see this in action in an official question: (GMATPrep Question)

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

We will now apply the e-GMAT 3-step process to solve this question. We will pay close attention to the concept under discussion:

UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE

The growth of the railroads led to two things as shown
• the abolition of local times, and
• the establishment of regional times.
Also, two characteristics of local times have been mentioned in the sentence:
1. they were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian, and
2. they differed from city to city.

FIND THE ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE
1. Singular verb “was” does not agree in number with plural subject “local times”. SV must agree in number error.

2. The two characteristics of “local times” must be parallel to each other. Here, “which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian” (a clause) is not parallel to “differing from city to city” ( a verb-ed modifier phrase). Parallelism error.

Here we will only discuss choices D and E.

Commonly Confused Answer Choice – D - determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differed: Incorrect.
“determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian” (a verb-ed modifier) is not parallel to “differed from city to city” (a verb phrase). Notice here that “determined” is not a verb here – the local times did not do the action of “determining”. In fact, as discussed in meaning analysis – the local times were determined by the technique explained. On the other hand, the other verb-ed word form - differed – is indeed an action performed by the local times. The local times indeed differed from city to city. Thus, in this choice the two seemingly parallel elements in fact do not play the same role and hence are not parallel.

Correct Answer Choice E - determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing: Correct.
“determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian” (a verb-ed modifier phrase) is parallel to “differing from city to city” (a verb-ing modifier phrase). Both the modifiers correctly present the characteristics of “local times”.

Verb-ed word forms can be parallel to verb-ing word forms if they both act as modifiers and describe the same entity.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 39

Re: Verb-ed & Verb-ing CAN BE PARALLEL [#permalink]  17 Jul 2012, 19:10
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

why C is incorrect?

in C we also have parallelism.

which were

determined
//
differing.

this is quire parallelism.

pls, explain.
Re: Verb-ed & Verb-ing CAN BE PARALLEL   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2012, 19:10
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# Very often, while evaluating choices for grammatical

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