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Darwin was not the first to advance a theory of evolution; his tremend

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Darwin was not the first to advance a theory of evolution; his tremend  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 29 May 2019, 02:29
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A
B
C
D
E

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Question Stats:

34% (01:10) correct 66% (01:11) wrong based on 456 sessions

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Darwin was not the first to advance a theory of evolution; his tremendous originality lay in the fact that he proposed the idea of natural selection as the means by which evolution worked.

(A) lay in the fact that he proposed the idea
(B) lay in the fact of his proposing the idea
(C) laid in the fact of his proposing the idea
(D) laid in his proposal
(E) lay in his proposal

Originally posted by gmataspirant2009 on 31 Aug 2009, 03:32.
Last edited by Bunuel on 29 May 2019, 02:29, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Darwin was not the first to advance a theory of evolution; his tremend  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2010, 13:25
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Hey All,

Tough question here, and it seems that people got more and more confused as they moved forward. A couple quick things. If you're posting on here, it's really helpful to include the underlined portion in the question stem. Otherwise, it's very difficult to look at the question. Secondly, I'd exhort you all to make an effort to fit problem answer choices into patterns/categories (MGMAT has some, but so does every other test prep company and resource). Okay. Let's take this baby apart!


233. Darwin was not the first to advance a theory of evolution; his tremendous originality lay in the fact that he proposed the idea of natural selection as the means by which evolution worked.

First off, remember that semicolons function in pretty much the same way as periods. We can ignore the first independent clause here and just focus on the second.

(A) lay in the fact that he proposed the idea
PROBLEM: First of all, it's hideous. But now think about the meaning. Did Darwin's originality lay in "the fact that he proposed the idea"? No. It lay in the proposal itself.

(B) lay in the fact of his proposing the idea
PROBLEM: IDIOM with fact. You have to say "The fact that burgers are delicious is immaterial", not "The fact of burgers being delicious is immaterial".

(C) laid in the fact of his proposing the idea
PROBLEM: "Laid" is the past tense of the verb "to lay" (As in "After we lay it down on the table, we'll have to give it a back massage."). "Lay" is the past tense of the verb "to lie" (As in "The truth lies elsewhere today."). This sentence involves the latter (purely based on the definitions of the two words, which ARE different), so we simply use "lay" as the past tense. Annoying, right? Also, this answer choice has the same issues as B.

(D) laid in his proposal
PROBLEM: See C.

(E) lay in his proposal
ANSWER: I think people dislike this because they aren't used to the idiom "proposal of". But it's correct. Sigh. On the plus side, even though I exhort my students not to go with concision unless ALL else fails, concision will lead you to this answer choice (as long as you recognize the difference between "lay" and "laid").

Hope that helps!

-t
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New post 13 Jun 2010, 04:25
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Hi Guys,

A quick note on transitive and intransitive verbs, as these are tested in the SC!

Transitive= the verb takes an object
Ex. The farmer grows trees.

Intransitive= the verb does not take an object.
Ex. The trees grow.

Thus 'grow' can be a transitive OR an intransitive verb.

However, some verbs are only intransitive or only transitive. Most important are lay/lie and raise/rise:

lay (transitive)
The students (subject) lay (verb) the pencils (object) on the desk.
V1: lay-- the students lay the pencils...
V2 (past simple): laid-- the students laid the pencils...
V3: laid-- the students have laid the pencils....

lie (intransitive)
The men lie in bed. (No object)
V1: lie-- The men lie in bed.
V2 (past simple): lay-- The men lay in bed. (That's right, the V2 of 'lie' = V1 of 'lay'!)
V3: lain-- The men have lain in bed.

raise (transitive)
The students raise their hands.
V1: raise-- The students raise their hands.
V2 (past simple): raised-- The students raised their hands.
V3: raised-- The students have raised their hands.

rise (intransitive)
Inflation rates rise. (No object)
V1: rise-- Inflation rates rise.
V2 (past simple): rose-- Inflation rates rose.
V3: risen-- inflation rates have risen.

If that's confusing to anyone, let me know.

Best,
Sarai
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New post 25 Dec 2009, 23:11
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I definitely go with E

C D – laid is incorrect here – lie lay lain; not lay laid laid
A B – in the fact that … is awkward; E is more concise

1000SC : OA is E
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New post 23 Mar 2010, 18:09
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Hey All,

For the heck of it, here's the grammatical usage note on "lay" in my online dictionary:

USAGE The verb lay means, broadly, 'put something down': : they are going to lay the carpet. The past tense and the past participle of lay is laid:: they laid the groundwork;: she had laid careful plans. The verb lie, on the other hand, means 'assume a horizontal or resting position': : why don't you lie on the floor? The past tense of lie is lay:: he lay on the floor earlier in the day. The past participle of lie is lain:: she had lain on the bed for hours. In practice, many speakers inadvertently get the lay forms and the lie forms into a tangle of right and wrong usage. Here are some examples of typical incorrect usage: : have you been laying on the sofa all day? (should be lying); : he lay the books on the table (should be laid); : I had laid in this position so long, my arm was stiff (should be lain). See also usage at lie 1 .

The past tense of lie is simply "lay". You would only use "lays" for the PRESENT tense of the FIRST version listed here. As in "He lays carpet all day, then goes home and has a beer." The past tense would then be "he lay carpet all day, then went home and had a beer."

Hope that helps!
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New post 14 Jun 2010, 08:03
Sarai,

Isn't bed the object in the following example you mentioned?

The men lie in bed. (No object)

When you said, intransitive verbs don't take objects, you probable meant that one can't use intransitive verbs like
'raise', 'lie', etc in sentences written in passive voice.

For example,

active: The men(subject) lie(verb) in bed(object).
passive: The bed (was/were/is) lie by the men --> Incorrect, because intransitive verb 'lie' can't take object 'bed'


Another example, using intransitive verb 'arrived'

active: Bob(S) arrived(V) on the platform(O).
passive: Platform(O) was arrived(V) by Bob(S) --> Incorrect

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New post 14 Jun 2010, 10:04
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Hi papillon86,

"in bed" is what is called a prepositional phrase.

"in" is a preposition.

"bed" is a noun.

Together (preposition + noun) they form a prepositional phrase, which is descriptive.

The object of a verb is the received (a noun) of the action.

Hope that helps!

-Sarai
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New post 28 Jul 2010, 04:23
And how do you know in E that "lay" refers to the past tense of the verb "to lie" and not to the present tense of te verb "to lay".
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New post 28 Jul 2010, 09:33
Hey Noboru,

Because one verb is transitive (meaning it takes an object), and the other is not. If someone's creativity "lies" in something, do you see how that word isn't taking an object? Taking an object would look like this: "I lay the book on the table." In that sentence, we know we have to transitive verb, to lay, because it's taking an object "the book". But if my genius lies in science, "in science" is just a prepositional phrase modifying the verb, and there is no object. If you use the transitive "to lay", you must have an object (you have to actually lay something somewhere!).

Does that make sense?

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New post 15 Dec 2012, 10:24
I eliminated A,B and C as they were awkward.
I selected the option "D", but it is wrong. :( The correct one is "E".

Can any one help on this?
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New post 17 Dec 2012, 07:40
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tanipra wrote:
I eliminated A,B and C as they were awkward.
I selected the option "D", but it is wrong. :( The correct one is "E".

Can any one help on this?


Good job eliminating down to D & E. The issue here is about the meaning differences between laid & lay. The verb "laid" (past tense of lay) is a transitive verb that requires an object. With "laid" there is an action happening to something - "I laid the book on the table". The very "lay" (past tense of lie) is intransitive and therefore doesn't require that a specific action happen to an object. One of the definitions of "lay" is: "To consist or have as a basis; often used with in: The strength of his performance lay in his training."

This meaning of this sentence requires the verb "lay" and matches nicely with the definition "to consist or have as a basis". Darwin's originality lay in (was based on) his proposal...

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