doubts from Ron's video on parallelism : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# doubts from Ron's video on parallelism

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Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Jun 2011
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doubts from Ron's video on parallelism [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2012, 18:20
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Exception to TOUCH rule (doesn't following statements contradict eachother)
MGMAT SC 4th ed. (pg-234): short predicate can separate noun & noun-modifier.
Ron's video( at 1:38hrs): says following sentence is wrong because you cannot separate noun & noun modifier "I know more about Shakespear than my brother does, who has not studies british lecture."

Another doubt from same video at 1:38hrs:
a) I know more about Shakespear than does my brother
b) I know more about Shakespear than knows my brother
Ron says- a) is correct because we can put helping verb before subject but b) is wrong because we cannot put action verb before subject. However, we know that, in above context, "does",acting as helping verb, stands for "knows" OR "does==knows" then why there is difference in usage
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: doubts from Ron's video on parallelism [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2012, 14:20
vikram4689 wrote:

Exception to TOUCH rule (doesn't following statements contradict eachother)
MGMAT SC 4th ed. (pg-234): short predicate can separate noun & noun-modifier.
Ron's video( at 1:38hrs): says following sentence is wrong because you cannot separate noun & noun modifier "I know more about Shakespeare than my brother does, who has not studies british lecture."

Another doubt from same video at 1:38hrs:
a) I know more about Shakespeare than does my brother
b) I know more about Shakespeare than knows my brother
Ron says- a) is correct because we can put helping verb before subject but b) is wrong because we cannot put action verb before subject. However, we know that, in above context, "does", acting as helping verb, stands for "knows" OR "does==knows" then why there is difference in usage

I'm happy to help with this.

First of all, the preferred spelling of the greatest English author is Shakespeare.

There are exceptions to the modifier touch rule. See this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... modifiers/

Second, the sentence you quoted from the video ......
"I know more about Shakespeare than my brother does, who has not studied British literature."
This sentence is not outright wrong --- in fact, this is most like what folks would say in colloquial English ---- but it is awkward and therefore unlikely to be correct on the GMAT. What makes it particularly unlikely to appear is that a simple change makes it flawless:
"I know more about Shakespeare than does my brother, who has not studied British literature."

"I know more about Shakespeare than knows my brother, ..."
That is 100% wrong. I understand, if English is not your first language, you may well wonder about this. After all, in the correct sentence, the word "does" in some sense "stands for" the verb "knows", but it's not like algebra. We can just do a mathematical substitution and get something correct. In general, main verbs have to come after the subject, and only auxiliary verbs (a.k.a. helping verbs") can precede the subject. It's one of these very subtle things. The phrasing "as does my brother" sounds high-brow but perfectly correct, and the phrasing "as knows my brother" sounds strangely and uncomfortably wrong.

Put you verbs in front of nouns, like Yoda sound you. That may be a quaint sound in some STAR WARS circles, but it won't count as correct on the GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Re: doubts from Ron's video on parallelism   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2012, 14:20
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# doubts from Ron's video on parallelism

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