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# A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in

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Director
Joined: 22 Aug 2007
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A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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Updated on: 27 Apr 2017, 05:23
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Question Stats:

85% (00:37) correct 15% (00:40) wrong based on 1122 sessions

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A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.

(A) A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that
(B) So secret was a recording system installation and operation in the Kennedy Oval Office
(C) It was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(D) A recording system that was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(E) Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that

Why can not it be E

Originally posted by IrinaOK on 02 Sep 2007, 16:49.
Last edited by hazelnut on 27 Apr 2017, 05:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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02 Jan 2014, 07:24
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Hi Akhil,

The so + that combination is used to show cause and effect. 'So' is followed by an adjective or adverb that is the cause of an action, and 'that' is followed by the result. E.g. She was so tired that she went to bed.

Option E says "Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that". Here, the cause and effect relationship is very ambiguous, because the part after 'so' is not immediately followed by the part with 'that'.

Also, note that in option E, 'that' is a relative pronoun: it refers to the noun before it, "recording system," and the meaning doesn't make any sense. In option A, 'that' correctly connects the effect to the cause. ('In the Kennedy Oval Office' is a modifier that can be removed without affecting the grammar of the sentence.)

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Meghna
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Manager
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2010, 01:20
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You absolutely right seekmba. This question tests you on 'so' idioms, which are frequently tested on the SC!

The 'so' idiom that is in play here is

Example: He was so hungry that he stopped at Burger King. / They ran so fast that they were out of breath by the time they got there.

Note: You can start with the descriptive word too! Ex: So hungry was he that he stopped....

Other 'so' idioms that the SC likes to mess with:

so that --> meaning "in order to"
Ex.I must practice so that I will be prepared for the competition.

not so... as --> inequality comparison
Ex. Tom is not so tall as Joe.

Ex. The politician's statement was so vague as to be ambiguous.
NOTE! This idiom does NOT express cause and result! It is used to STRENGTHEN A DESCRIPTION.
Incorrect: I must practice so as to be prepared for the competition.

In other words, DON'T MIX UP THESE IDIOMS! THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE

(Many more important idioms are discussed in SC Lessons 9 and 10 at gmaxonline!)

Best,
Sarai
##### General Discussion
Manager
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A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2007, 17:00
IrinaOK wrote:
A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.

(A) A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that
(B) So secret was a recording system installation and operation in the Kennedy Oval Office
(C) It was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(D) A recording system that was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(E) Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that

b/w A and E.
E is out. it sounds awkward.
"E awkwardly inverts the order of the subject and predicate in the
main clause and thus cannot be logically connected to the remainder of the sentence."
Manager
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2007, 21:08
Has to be A as E is passive.

Active voice is preferred over passive.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2007, 23:14
(A) A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that
(B) awkward
(C) 'It' has no clear reference
(D) awkward
(E) Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that

Between A and E, go with A. (I think 'E' is passive construction, not preferred)
Intern
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2010, 00:53
Can somebody throw some light on usage of "so secretly". What kind of usage is that? When is so used?

Also this thread should be moved to SC since it is not a CR question.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2010, 19:50
The idiom is so X that Y.

only A fits the bill.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2012, 08:18
this is gmatprep question, so I can search on the internet and see many postings. No posting explains the wrongness of E proplerly.

Is E wrong because we can not use inverted clause with another clause. ?

experts. please, explain fullly why E is wrong?

Thank you
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2012, 09:21
E simply sounds awkward to me, hence marked A.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2013, 02:36
The answer is 'A' 'it' refers to 'A recording system'
Manager
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2013, 20:45
IrinaOK wrote:
26. A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.
(A) A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that
(B) So secret was a recording system installation and operation in the Kennedy Oval Office
(C) It was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(D) A recording system that was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(E) Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that

Why can not it be E

OG explanation is not good, if I do not want to say that the og explanation is zero.

we, students, and even gmat experts have to infer the gmat thinking.

why E is wrong?
there are many pattern in English which is CORRECT BUT NOT PREFERED. This point leads to situation in which a pattern is eliminated but this pattern appear in oa in other sc problem.

between "so....that" there must be adverb

adverb " secretely" should touch "installed, operated" and "in the office"

we can not insert " the recording system" between "so" and "that".

That is my attempt to explain the problem. but, to be honest, in the test room, I can not infer the above thing.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2013, 10:53
vietmoi999 wrote:
IrinaOK wrote:
26. A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.
(A) A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that
(B) So secret was a recording system installation and operation in the Kennedy Oval Office
(C) It was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(D) A recording system that was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(E) Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that

Why can not it be E

OG explanation is not good, if I do not want to say that the og explanation is zero.

we, students, and even gmat experts have to infer the gmat thinking.

why E is wrong?
there are many pattern in English which is CORRECT BUT NOT PREFERED. This point leads to situation in which a pattern is eliminated but this pattern appear in oa in other sc problem.

between "so....that" there must be adverb

adverb " secretely" should touch "installed, operated" and "in the office"

we can not insert " the recording system" between "so" and "that".

That is my attempt to explain the problem. but, to be honest, in the test room, I can not infer the above thing.

Maybe its just me, but that in e seems to be modifying recording system and not the secretive nature of its operation and installation.

Also read this part and you can see the error.

recording system that even [...] did not know it existed .what's it doing here.

or
recording system that even x did not know existed

Also A is using correct idiomatic expression so x that y.

Hope i have put some light around it
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2013, 05:20
Hi,
Can anyone explain why e is incorrect.
I understand that it is in the form of an inverted expression but that too can be acceptable.
I am not able to get a convincing answer even after searching a lot on google as to why E is incorrect.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2014, 02:40
The OE in question pack says that

In Option(C) pronoun reference is ambiguous.

However, I do not see any pronoun ambiguity in that option as the case with option(A).

Can anyone highlight the pronoun ambiguity in option (C).
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2014, 09:12
1
(C) It was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office

In option C, reference of pronoun it is not clear.
It is not a place holder. it is interrupted by idiom so... that therefore that clause can not replace it.

If I say it= Plan
Plan was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office (Plan make sense)

But we can not infer exactly what should be the antecedent of It.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2014, 23:41
seekmba wrote:
The idiom is so X that Y.

only A fits the bill.

Even E is fitting this so not sure if this could be the sole reason for selecting A
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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24 Dec 2014, 22:46
1
akhil911 wrote:
Hi,
Can anyone explain why e is incorrect.
I understand that it is in the form of an inverted expression but that too can be acceptable.
I am not able to get a convincing answer even after searching a lot on google as to why E is incorrect.

If you are not sure about an inverted sentence, just flip it.

E:
Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.

Flip it:
A recording system that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed was installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office.

The flipped version definetely changes the intended meaning.

The original sentence use "so ... that ...." idiom, putting emphasis on "intstalled and operated secretly" and surprizing us with "even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed"

The flipped version uses "even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed" just to modify "a recording system"

That is why E is wrong.
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Re: A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2016, 07:37
1
1
akhil911 wrote:
Hi,
Can anyone explain why e is incorrect.
I understand that it is in the form of an inverted expression but that too can be acceptable.
I am not able to get a convincing answer even after searching a lot on google as to why E is incorrect.

I realize that you posted this back in 2013, but I wanted to fully answer this question not for you but for other students who may be wondering the same thing.

Yes, it is possible to invert the normal sentence order in English, but there are specific rules about how this is accomplished. Let's examine a simple sentence:

I have never been so insulted in my life.

The key to the inversion is the adverb, which I have placed in bold for clarity. The adverb must be moved to the front of the sentence, and the subject and auxiliary verb must be inverted.

Never have I been so insulted in my life.

Standard: I am rarely late for class.
Inverted: Rarely am I late for class.

Standard: I had scarcely sat down when the phone rang.
Inverted: Scarcely had I sat down when the phone rang.

The adverb can be replaced with an adverbial phrase as in the examples below:

Standard: You should on no account sign this contract without a lawyer.
Inverted: On no account should you sign this contract without a lawyer.

Standard: John is so tall that he can touch the ceiling.
Inverted: So tall is John that he can touch the ceiling.

Accordingly the standard and inverted form of the referenced sentence is:

A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy White House that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.

So secretly installed and operated was a recording system in the Kennedy White House that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.

Therefore, Choice E, which does not start with the adverb so, cannot be the best answer. It is true that the subject and verb have been inverted, but this has been inexpertly done, and the correct meaning and form have been lost.
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A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2017, 06:04
IrinaOK wrote:
A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that even Theodore C. Sorensen, the White House counsel, did not know it existed.

(A) A recording system was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office that
(B) So secret was a recording system installation and operation in the Kennedy Oval Office
(C) It was so secret that a recording system was installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(D) A recording system that was so secretly installed and operated in the Kennedy Oval Office
(E) Installed and operated so secretly in the Kennedy Oval Office was a recording system that

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