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Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day,

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Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day,  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2007, 20:03
6
29
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

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  95% (hard)

Question Stats:

30% (02:12) correct 70% (01:07) wrong based on 1161 sessions

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Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day, but such a feat has never been verifiably performed.

(A) Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day
(B) One day, it may be possible to combine atoms at the temperature of a room
(C) The combination of atoms at room temperature may one day be possible
(D) It may one day be possible to combine atoms at room temperature
(E) Combining atoms at room temperature may one day be possible

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Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day,  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 19:38
To truly understand this problem, we need to understand the “-ing” ending for verbals. First, it is worth noting that a verbal is NOT a verb – so it doesn’t have to follow verb conjugation rules. Verbals are words that at first glance might look like verbs but function as nouns or modifiers. Verbals with “-ing” suffixes are actually not “continuous present tense verbs” at all; instead, they are either gerunds (in other words, nouns… for example, “Running is something I like to do) or present participles (in other words, adjectives… for example, “running water”.) Verbals are not a “weaker” verb form at all, but a different construction altogether. However, the fact that verbals ending in “-ing” can, depending on context, be either a noun or an adjective is the key to unlocking this problem.

Both answer choices A and E contain the profoundly ambiguous phrase “combining atoms.” Notice how this phrase could mean either “atoms which combine” (using the present participle form) or “the act of combining atoms” (using the gerund form.) With the first option, atoms is the subject of the sentence, while the second option the gerund “combining” is the subject. This drastically changes the meaning, therefore eliminating both A and E as possible candidates.

Answer choice B can be eliminated because of the phrase “at the temperature of a room.” This implies a specific room, whereas “room temperature” is the idiomatic way of saying “around the temperature humans normally like.” The meaning totally changes. This is an Illogical error.

Answer choice C also contains an Illogical error. The meaning of the phrase “The combination of atoms at room temperature may one day be possible” implies that atom combinations are not possible at room temperature, and if this were true, life as we know it would be impossible. Molecules are a pretty big part of, well, everything.

The only answer remaining is answer choice D. Now, D contains what I call “Convoluted Camouflage” in my classes. The basic idea is this: the GMAT sometimes hides the correct answer by embedding unusual or obnoxious phrasing without containing grammar or logical problems. Many people see the pronoun “It” and get upset because this seems like an ambiguous pronoun with no clear antecedent. However, the phrase “it may be possible to…” is a common English idiom. This is a false alarm intended to trap people, when in fact such a construction is perfectly legal.
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Re: Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2011, 01:06
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AimHigher wrote:
Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day, but such a feat has never been verifiably performed.

(A) Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day
(B) One day, it may be possible to combine atoms at the temperature of a room
(C) The combination of atoms at room temperature may one day be possible
(D) It may one day be possible to combine atoms at room temperature
(E) Combining atoms at room temperature may one day be possible


I got confused by this sentence at first and was confused between A and E. But the answer is D.

Using a gerund suggests that you are referring to real activities or experiences.
Eg. The reporter likes living in New York. (i.e. he lives in NY and likes it)
Using an infinitive (as in our case here) suggests that you are talking about potential or possible activities or experiences.
Eg. The reporter like to live in Ney York whenever he works in the US. (i.e. he likes the option or possibility of living in NY whenever he comes to the US).

Hope this helps to clarify.l
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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2007, 20:10
AimHigher wrote:
Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day, but such a feat has never been verifiably performed.

(A) Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day
(B) One day, it may be possible to combine atoms at the temperature of a room
(C) The combination of atoms at room temperature may one day be possible
(D) It may one day be possible to combine atoms at room temperature
(E) Combining atoms at room temperature may one day be possible


I'll go for E.
I don' like B, D because of "it", which has no reference.
C is wordy.
A is not as clear as E.
Whats' oa?
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New post 16 Jul 2007, 21:20
I narrowed it down to A, B, and E
B is out bc of the "it" to start the independent clause
Between A & E, E just sounds like the more proper way to say it. In A, the "one day" kind of hangs out there in a wierd sounding way when compared with the syntax in E
I say E
What's OA?
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New post 17 Jul 2007, 13:10
i will go for E
bcoz A may sounds as if it is possible only 1 day (vs 2 or more)
the placement of one day in E clarify the meaning.
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New post 17 Jul 2007, 19:19
vineetgupta wrote:
boubi wrote:
i will go for E
bcoz A may sounds as if it is possible only 1 day (vs 2 or more)
the placement of one day in E clarify the meaning.


Good point... E it is.



I'll go with A.

if you replace "one day" with some other time (say "today") and compare -

something may be possible today Vs something may be today possible .

that may not be the best explanation but A seems to be a better option than E.
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New post 17 Jul 2007, 21:23
Can we please get the OA for this one? The only difference between A and E is the placement of "one day". Is there a rule for the GMAT that's kind of like a tie-goes-to-the-winner in favor of the original in a case like this?
Please share the OA if you can find it!
Thanks! :?
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New post 17 Jul 2007, 22:38
OA is D

Infinitive form

is preferred to

ing form
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New post 17 Jul 2007, 22:42
Where did you get that OA from?
I just think it strange that so many of us didn't even consider D at all because of the "It may be..." beginning.
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New post 17 Jul 2007, 23:07
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From CATPrep

http://www.catprep.com/exams/gmat/index.html
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New post 18 Jul 2007, 19:38
AimHigher wrote:
OA is D

Infinitive form

is preferred to

ing form


I'm confused.
What does "such a feat" refer to in D ?
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New post 18 Jul 2007, 22:49
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I am not able to buy D.
I am going with A.

We need to have proper construction to support "feat" in the second clause.
We need to show the description of "feat" in the first clause.

"Combining atoms at room temperature" is the feat and A looks better than E.

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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2011, 02:17
Hi,
Can anybody elaborate the official answer?
Thanks
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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2011, 02:54
I don't agree with OA. What does "it" refer to in D? Can experts throw some light on this please.
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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2011, 08:00
I was confused b/w A and D - picked A. Can experts explain why D would be preferred over A?
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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2011, 16:13
I like C...can anyone explain why is C not correct???
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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2011, 19:28
whats wrong with C,
and isn't "it" in the option D confusing ? What exactly "it" is representing
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Re: SC atoms at room temp  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2011, 07:54
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Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day, but such a feat has never been verifiably performed.

(A) Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day
The use of "combining" here is ambiguous. "Combining" can either be verb or an adjective. It is not clear
the usage of "one day" is also not correct here


(B) One day, it may be possible to combine atoms at the temperature of a room
"temperature of the room". changes the meaning. it should be room temperature

(C) The combination of atoms at room temperature may one day be possible
This is the noun form and generally the verb form is preferred to the noun form...maybe be the reason why it is wrong

(D) It may one day be possible to combine atoms at room temperature
"It" is an ambiguous pronoun. It doesn't have an antecedent. But it is the verb form ("to combine").
Maybe the reason why it is right. Although I would prefer the answer to be (C)


(E) Combining atoms at room temperature may one day be possible
The use of "combining" here is ambiguous. "Combining" can either be verb or an adjective. It is not clear
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Re: Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day,  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2011, 02:03
Chose E but obviously a debatable question.
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Re: Combining atoms at room temperature may be possible one day, &nbs [#permalink] 26 Oct 2011, 02:03

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