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A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on

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A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2018, 23:02
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blitzkriegxX wrote:
Hey aalekhoza

I will try to explain in simple terms as to why "to research on, to research about, to research into" is incorrect.

But first for the main doubts- "To research" is not a verb. Yes agreed. "To + action word" is not a verb.

Now only focus on the word "research".
Does it have a VERB before it? NO.
Hence we cannot use a preposition after it.

Simple Example:
1. The professor at the university has taken a leave to do a research on James Baldwin's books. -------- CORRECT.
Why is the above example correct? Because we have a verb before research.

2. The professor at the university has taken a leave to research on James Baldwin's books. --------- INCORRECT
Why is it incorrect? Because we DO NOT have a verb before research.
So how do i correct it? Just remove the preposition "on".

Hope it helps. :)
Please correct me if I am wrong. GMATNinja VeritasKarishma


Dear blitzkriegxX,
Your explanation is similar to what I researched later regarding the usage of the word "research".

I made a note of its usage that goes like -
When "research" alone is used as a verb, no preposition should be used. The verb research requires a direct object, not a preposition followed by its object.
Correct: He researched the subject.

When a verb such as "do" or "conduct" is placed before the word "research" (which is then used as a noun), a preposition should be used. "On", "into," and "about" are all acceptable.

Correct: He did research on the subject.
Correct: He did research into the subject
Correct: He conducted research about the subject.



'Research' can be used both as a noun and as a verb. However when the term is used as a verb, it doesn't normally take a preposition such as on, into, or about etc.

Thanks for your response, mate!
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A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 01 Oct 2018, 23:18
The only problem with remembering it this way "When "research" alone is used as a verb, no preposition should be used." is that it sometimes causes confusion when we have things like "to research". We might automatically think that "to research" is not a verb so it seems alright to use a preposition after it. I assumed u have the same confusion and i just tried to make it a little simpler. :lol: ;)

Originally posted by blitzkriegxX on 01 Oct 2018, 23:10.
Last edited by blitzkriegxX on 01 Oct 2018, 23:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2018, 23:14
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blitzkriegxX wrote:
aalekhoza wrote:
blitzkriegxX wrote:
Hey aalekhoza

I will try to explain in simple terms as to why "to research on, to research about, to research into" is incorrect.

But first for the main doubts- "To research" is not a verb. Yes agreed. "To + action word" is not a verb.

Now only focus on the word "research".
Does it have a VERB before it? NO.
Hence we cannot use a preposition after it.

Simple Example:
1. The professor at the university has taken a leave to do a research on James Baldwin's books. -------- CORRECT.
Why is the above example correct? Because we have a verb before research.

2. The professor at the university has taken a leave to research on James Baldwin's books. --------- INCORRECT
Why is it incorrect? Because we DO NOT have a verb before research.
So how do i correct it? Just remove the preposition "on".

Hope it helps. :)
Please correct me if I am wrong. GMATNinja VeritasKarishma


Dear blitzkriegxX,
Your explanation is similar to what I researched later regarding the usage of the word "research".

I made a note of its usage that goes like -
When "research" alone is used as a verb, no preposition should be used. The verb research requires a direct object, not a preposition followed by its object.
Correct: He researched the subject.

When a verb such as as "do" or "conduct" is placed before the word "research" (which is then used as a noun), a preposition should be used. "On", "into," and "about" are all acceptable.

Correct: He did research on the subject.
Correct: He did research into the subject
Correct: He conducted research about the subject.



'Research' can be used both as a noun and as a verb. However when the term is used as a verb, it doesn't normally take a preposition such as on, into, or about etc.

Thanks for your response, mate!


The only problem with remembering it this way "When "research" alone is used as a verb, no preposition should be used." is that it sometimes causes confusion when we have things like "to research". We might automatically think that "to research" is not a verb so it seems alright to use a preposition after it. I assumed u have the same confusion and i just tried to make it a little simpler. :lol: ;)


Sure, you did! Kudos given because you confirmed that I understood it correctly :)
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 19:48
normally, gmat tests meaning and logic. but why in this problem, preposition is tested. the reason is that a characteristics of english is combination of verb or noun with idiom. we do have to remember the basic combinations such as reseach on, information on, study of.../

the takeaway is that whenever we se a preposition, ask yourself is this preposition belong to any verb or noun or is independent preposition, which do not combine with any noun or verb.
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 20:51
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normally, gmat tests meaning and logic. but why in this problem, preposition is tested. the reason is that a characteristics of english is combination of verb or noun with idiom. we do have to remember the basic combinations such as reseach on, information on, study of.../

the takeaway is that whenever we se a preposition, ask yourself is this preposition belong to any verb or noun or is independent preposition, which do not combine with any noun or verb. this process makes us able to read english
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 15:55
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, to figure out which option is the correct choice! Here is the original question, with the major differences between each option highlighted in orange:


A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there.

(A) on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there
(B) about the books James Baldwin wrote in France
(C) into James Baldwin's books written while in France
(D) on the books of James Baldwin, written while he lived in France
(E) the books James Baldwin wrote while he lived in France

After a quick glance over the options, two major differences become clear:

1. How they begin
2. How they end


If we start with how each option begins, we need to focus on the idiomatic structure with the phrase "to research."

Whenever we research something, we have to ask the question: WHAT are we going to research? In English, we follow the structure "to research X," with X being the topic at hand. Let's see which options use the idiomatic structure correctly, and rule out those that don't:

(A) to research on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there --> "to research on X" is INCORRECT
(B) to research about the books James Baldwin wrote in France --> "to research about X" is INCORRECT
(C) to research into James Baldwin's books written while in France --> "to research into X" is INCORRECT
(D) to research on the books of James Baldwin, written while he lived in France --> "to research on X" is INCORRECT
(E) to research the books James Baldwin wrote while he lived in France --> "to research X" is CORRECT

There you go - option E is the only one that uses the proper idiom structure "to research X."


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New post 05 Nov 2018, 06:11
walker wrote:
A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there.

(A) on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there
(B) about the books James Baldwin wrote in France
(C) into James Baldwin's books written while in France
(D) on the books of James Baldwin, written while he lived in France
(E) the books James Baldwin wrote while he lived in France



I'm curious. If the question sounds like this :

Quote:
A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to conduct a research on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there


Can I choose B as the correct answer?

Wdyt?
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2018, 11:46
In Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, The first usage on Research - as a verb - is research (into/in/on something), of course, you can say research something , but can you really just eliminate the answers simply because of the prep after it? cuz wrong choices have other different splits. Can anyone plz help me out?
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New post 08 Dec 2018, 13:57
daagh What about the possibility that the professor wants to research books, which James Baldwin wrote while the professor lived in France? Unlikely of course, but I think it does prove that there is some ambiguity in choice (E). It just so happens that the ambiguity is not that bad.


I'm convinced that all of the options suffer from ambiguity. Thus it makes the most sense to go with (E) because it is the only one that doesn't suffer from using the wrong idiom.

Ambiguities found in each option:

(A) "while he was living there" could be subordinate to the "A professor..." clause or the "that Baldwin wrote..." clause. Even if we assume that it binds the "that Baldwin wrote..." clause, then the "he" could refer to "A professor" or "Baldwin".

(B) "in France" could refer to where James Baldwin wrote his books or it could refer to where the professor has taken his sabbatical.

(C) This one has grammar problems, but if we assume the author meant "into James Baldwins' books [that were] written while in France", then we run into ambiguity problems. They were written while who was in France?

(D) "he" could refer to James Baldwin or the professor

(E) "he" could refer to James Baldwin or the professor
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2018, 23:54
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Quote:
A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there.

(A) on James Baldwin's books that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there
(B)about the books James Baldwin wrote in France
(C) into James Baldwin's books written while in France
(D) on the books of James Baldwin, written while he lived in France
(E) the books James Baldwin wrote while he lived in France


For most of us, perhaps the use of the correct idiom has come to a great help to get over the vexing dilemma of ambiguity. We can simply brush aside the first four choices on wrong idiomatic expression alone.

Yet, what will happen if there were no help from idioms? Will we drop this official question calling it controversial?


Let us go deeper. Baldwin lived in the last century. The clause says that the professor has taken a sabbatical (present tense). This it is clear that all of the past tense events such as 'wrote and was living' in A, wrote in B, Baldwin wrote while he lived in France" in E, all pertain to Baldwin and not to the Professor. Therefore, I see no clash of entity as far as the pronoun 'he' is concerned.
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The introduction of the ambiguity of the pronoun 'he' is a clever pitfall by GMAT to test how many fall into it. Those who trip into the trap may not complete this question on the d-day

IMHO, this is the crux of this amazing OG question.
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 02:31
abhimahna wrote:
StrugglingGmat2910 wrote:
sir Can you please clarify why A is wrong
according to pronoun rule :his/her can refer to apostrophes and he and she can only refer to noun
but in the above sentence when we use: that Baldwin wrote in France while he was living there . why can't the he refer to the baldwin mentioned


Hey StrugglingGmat2910 ,

Problem with A is that we have two nouns to which "he" can refer to.

It could be either the professor or Baldwin. Therefore, the meaning is ambiguous here. Who was living in france?

Does that make sense?


Wouldn't the similar pronoun ambiguity exist in Choice E?
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Re: A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research on  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 08:45
daagh

I don't think this question is controversial. I agree the correct answer is (E), but for different reasons than those stated in your analysis. (E) suffers from ambiguity with the use of "he", but it is still the best answer because all the other answers suffer from ambiguity as well. (A), (B), (C), and (D) all suffer from ambiguity and they use the wrong idiomatic expression. (E) suffers from ambiguity, but uses the correct idiomatic expression. Therefore we choose (E).

For (E) I agree with you that "while he lived in France" is clearly a subordinate of the clause "(that) James Baldwin wrote" rather than the main clause "A professor at the university...". However, there is still ambiguity around the use of "he" (even with it bound to the correct clause). "He" could still refer to the professor.

For example, it is a possibility that (E) could be read like this:
A professor at the university has taken a sabbatical to research the books. The books that James Baldwin wrote while the professor lived in France.
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New post 10 Dec 2018, 00:30
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noted. thanks

daagh
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