Climatic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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Climatic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at

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02 Feb 2009, 22:38
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214.Climatic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the weather.

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
(B) so gradual they can be indistinguishable
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them
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03 Feb 2009, 07:01
214.Climatic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the weather.

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
(B) so gradual they can be indistinguishable
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them

A and C both using ok idioms.
so X that Y
so X as Y

Between them, C is wordy "unable to be distinguished"=> indistinguishable.
Also you typically don't refer to climatic shifts as "they"

Hence pick A.
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03 Feb 2009, 07:25
I will go with C as OG explains that GMAT does not prefer so X as to Y structure.
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03 Feb 2009, 07:33
You need to apply the GMAT rules "BASED" on ANSWER choices.
Keep/Discard choices based on STRICT grammar rules not PREFERRED rules.
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03 Feb 2009, 08:00
Between A and C, I'll go with A

Agree with the above explanation that C is wordy and 'they' seems awkward

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03 Feb 2009, 11:49
scthakur wrote:
I will go with C as OG explains that GMAT does not prefer so X as to Y structure.

Agreed with you, so X as to Y is wrong idiom but So X as to be Y is idiomatic on GMAT. Hence A is the best.
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03 Feb 2009, 20:51
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
scthakur wrote:
I will go with C as OG explains that GMAT does not prefer so X as to Y structure.

Agreed with you, so X as to Y is wrong idiom but So X as to be Y is idiomatic on GMAT. Hence A is the best.

OG says "so X as Y" is used in negative sentence, that is "NOT so X as Y" is idiom. But 1000SC recorded that OA is A. I doubt the OA
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03 Feb 2009, 21:42
sondenso wrote:
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
scthakur wrote:
I will go with C as OG explains that GMAT does not prefer so X as to Y structure.

Agreed with you, so X as to Y is wrong idiom but So X as to be Y is idiomatic on GMAT. Hence A is the best.

OG says "so X as Y" is used in negative sentence, that is "NOT so X as Y" is idiom. But 1000SC recorded that OA is A. I doubt the OA

Actually GMAT contradicts itself on the use of "So X as to Y" construction.

The OG makes the claim that “the construction 'so X as to Y' is not a correct idiom” (OG #33, 11th edition) in connection with the following sentence:
"... so debilitating is it as to become an economic drain"

However, the wholesale rejection of "so X as to Y" is plainly unjustified, as can be seen from the perfectly correct sentences:
- Would you be so kind as to tell me the time? (Swan, "Practical English Usage," Oxford University Press 2005, p. 539)
- Its smell was so foul as to make a lady faint.

The GMAT itself violates the suspect “rule” against the idiom "so X as to Y":
"The Emperor Augustus, it appears, commissioned an idealized sculpture portrait, the features of which are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an 'artificial face.'" (OG #88, 10th edition, answer choice A)

So what we will do??
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03 Feb 2009, 22:04
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priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
Actually GMAT contradicts itself on the use of "So X as to Y" construction.

The OG makes the claim that “the construction 'so X as to Y' is not a correct idiom” (OG #33, 11th edition) in connection with the following sentence:
"... so debilitating is it as to become an economic drain"

However, the wholesale rejection of "so X as to Y" is plainly unjustified, as can be seen from the perfectly correct sentences:
- Would you be so kind as to tell me the time? (Swan, "Practical English Usage," Oxford University Press 2005, p. 539)
- Its smell was so foul as to make a lady faint.

The GMAT itself violates the suspect “rule” against the idiom "so X as to Y":
"The Emperor Augustus, it appears, commissioned an idealized sculpture portrait, the features of which are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an 'artificial face.'" (OG #88, 10th edition, answer choice A)

So what we will do??

This is what my understanding about so X as to Y.

so X as to Y -- is correct idiom when X --> just an adjective. Y -- verb ( be form)

So gradual as to be.. --> correct

"... so debilitating is it as to become an economic drain" --> OG says incorrect idiom because "is it" wrongly placed after debilitating
" it is so debilitating as to become an economic drain" --> would have been right.
Would you be so [u]kind [/u]as to tell me the time? (Swan, "Practical English Usage," Oxford University Press 2005, p. 539)
--> this is also perfect adj=kind verb=tell.

another example.
he is so tall as to reach
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03 Feb 2009, 22:29
Great reference and explaination, priyankur_saha@ml.com and x2suresh!

I think the problem here is the use of verb "unable". I have checked the Longman dic and I genererlized that "unable" is used for "human" rather than "things", right? need some strong reasons! guys!
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05 Feb 2009, 02:16
Is 'to be indistinguishable' verb here?
x2suresh wrote:
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
Actually GMAT contradicts itself on the use of "So X as to Y" construction.

The OG makes the claim that “the construction 'so X as to Y' is not a correct idiom” (OG #33, 11th edition) in connection with the following sentence:
"... so debilitating is it as to become an economic drain"

However, the wholesale rejection of "so X as to Y" is plainly unjustified, as can be seen from the perfectly correct sentences:
- Would you be so kind as to tell me the time? (Swan, "Practical English Usage," Oxford University Press 2005, p. 539)
- Its smell was so foul as to make a lady faint.

The GMAT itself violates the suspect “rule” against the idiom "so X as to Y":
"The Emperor Augustus, it appears, commissioned an idealized sculpture portrait, the features of which are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an 'artificial face.'" (OG #88, 10th edition, answer choice A)

So what we will do??

This is what my understanding about so X as to Y.

so X as to Y -- is correct idiom when X --> just an adjective. Y -- verb ( be form)

So gradual as to be.. --> correct

"... so debilitating is it as to become an economic drain" --> OG says incorrect idiom because "is it" wrongly placed after debilitating
" it is so debilitating as to become an economic drain" --> would have been right.
Would you be so [u]kind [/u]as to tell me the time? (Swan, "Practical English Usage," Oxford University Press 2005, p. 539)
--> this is also perfect adj=kind verb=tell.

another example.
he is so tall as to reach
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05 Feb 2009, 03:39
@Ritula,
'to be' is the verb; 'indistinguishable' is the adjective

@sondenso,

I don't think 'unable' is used only for humans or living things. For ex:- 'The truck was unable to pull the load' is correct

I think C is wrong also because, 'unable' is always accompanied by 'to' and then the verb in first form comes. 'Be', even though in first form, never appears after 'unable to'. We normally say 'they are unable to do it', 'He is unable to get in'

I can't think of any sentence that has 'be' after 'unable to'.

What do you guys think?

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Re: SC214   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2009, 03:39
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