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# Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative

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Director
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Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative [#permalink]

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10 May 2010, 22:45
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1. Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative medicines, the patient's health improved in a few days.

As per Manhattan SC, the correct form is:
Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative medicines, the doctors saw the patient's health improve in a few days.

I think this answer is incorrect. Improve should be Improved.

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11 May 2010, 15:05
Let me try to explain.

Here's the original sentence:
Quote:
"Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative medicines, the patient's health improved in a few days."

This above sentence is wrong. It should look like this:

"Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative medicines, the doctors saw the patient's health improve in a few days."

Here's how I think through this question:

Step 1: Identify this sentence structure as [DESCRIPTIVE PHRASE], [MAIN SENTENCE].

Within one second, note that the first word "employing" is an -ING verb, so structurally the word "employing" MUST describe the subject immediately after the comma.

Look at the original sentence. Based on the sentence structure, "employing" must describe "patient's health." Ask yourself - does this make sense? Does it make sense that "patient's health" was/were employing groundbreaking techniques? NO! It doesn't.

What the sentence is trying to say is that it was the "doctors" who were employing groundbreaking techniques...not the patient's health!

Step 2: Fix the problem
We can fix this by positioning the word "doctor" so that it is in the beginning of the main part of the sentence.[/b] Now we ask the question, who is "employing groundbreaking techniques??" Well, in the corrected version, we see that it is the "doctors" who are "employing groundbreaking techniques"

As to your particular question, it seems you are making the assumption that just because you see one verb in the past tense ("saw") that every other verb must automatically be in the past tense as well. THIS IS NOT TRUE!

For example, you don't say "I saw the soldier died." Instead, you say "I saw the soldier die."

The first verb simply sets the time period whereas the second verb is part of the phrase that takes place in the time period set by the first verb. I explain this better in the past/present/future framework #9 of the GMATPill.

But please note that this assumption is not true. The above steps 1 and 2 alone are good enough to help you answer the question in 20 seconds.

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Director
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11 May 2010, 21:56
Thanks.

I know step 1 is dealing with dangling modifiers. So, we need doctors. But, for the step 2, I am still not convinced with the reasoning. There has to be some reason why the second verb need not be in past tense.
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11 May 2010, 22:29
1
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consider the following:

"The doctors saw the patient's health improve in a few days."

"The doctors saw that the patient's health improved in a few days."

If you add the word "that" then you can use the past tense "improved" as shown above.

You can also say: "The doctors saw the patient's health improving since a few days ago."

As a different example, consider:

"I saw this student cheat on the GMAT last week."
"I saw that this student cheated on the GMAT last week." [same thing--you need the word "that"]
"I saw that this student was cheating on the GMAT last week."
"I saw this student cheating on the GMAT last week."

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Director
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11 May 2010, 22:40
Thanks gmatpill for these examples.

My point is still not clear. When and Why we donot need to follow the ||sm b/w the verbs.

If this is a case of Superficial Parallelism then I dont think IMPROVE (subordinate verb) is giving additional info on SAW (main verb).
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12 May 2010, 17:56
ykaiim wrote:
Thanks gmatpill for these examples.

My point is still not clear. When and Why we donot need to follow the ||sm b/w the verbs.

If this is a case of Superficial Parallelism then I dont think IMPROVE (subordinate verb) is giving additional info on SAW (main verb).

This question is interesting..I went through few sites..Let me try..!!

"patient's health" is the object of the verb "saw" and isn't the subject of a verb. "Improved" is the past tense of the verb "improve" and would require a subject.

If we say "The doctors saw that the patient's health improved in a few days",we create a subordinate clause with a verb requiring a subject(patient's health).

Hope it makes some sense..!!

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12 May 2010, 22:22
Thanks. This is a new dimension added.

So, which sentence you think is correct?
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13 May 2010, 01:20
ykaiim wrote:
Thanks. This is a new dimension added.

So, which sentence you think is correct?

this "Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative medicines, the doctors saw the patient's health improve in a few days" is OK

OR

"Employing groundbreaking techniques in alternative medicines, the doctors saw that the patient's health improved in a few days"

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13 May 2010, 03:57
Hi ykaiim,
I liked you post and your sincearity to stick to the question till you understand correctly.
Let me try my part in this. Consider the sentence given by gmatpill:
"I saw the soldier died" Let's find out how this sentence is incorrect...
The "Seeing" process is done in the past. That's why it is "SAW" Now, while the "Seeing" process was going on in past, the "Dying" process was continuing or say you continued the "Seeing" process untill the "Dying" process finished. So you use "to be" form of the verb. That is why you write the sentence as "I saw the soldier die" or "I saw the soldier dying"
Does it make sence now?
Do let me know if still now clear.

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Manhattan Prep Instructor
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13 May 2010, 19:33
Hey Ykaiim,

Sorry, but GMATPill explained this correctly. A mistake that many GMAT students make is to focus on issues in the sentence that are not at issue. In other words, the existence of "improve" or "improved" or "improving". But as GMATPill explained, there are ways in which all of those could be correct. It's simply idiomatic. This question is about modifiers, and that's all you should worry about. Worry about other issues when other issues are important. This is NOT a parallelism question (I saw that word bandied about a bit, and it's out of place).

As for that idiom, GMATPill explained it quite well. If you want a REASON why it needs to be "improve" rather than "improved", consider that we don't say "I walk to the store yesterday." We just don't. It's past tense. Why? Because it is. The same rule goes here. Just as GMATPill said, we don't say "I saw the soldier died." It's simply wrong. The soldier died in the past, but at the moment we saw him, that was the present. If we wanted to go back further than that, we might say, "I saw that the soldier had died".

If you can find a question where the issue you're concerned with needs to be resolved to get an answer, I'd be happy to answer it, but I'll tell you right now, said question doesn't exist. : )

Hope that helps!

-t
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13 May 2010, 20:05

Hmm, I think it makes sense now after reading your and GMATPill's comments together - The first verb simply sets the time period whereas the second verb is part of the phrase that takes place in the time period set by the first verb.

Moreover, this is a great learning for me that the verbs can be placed idiomatically.
I think I didn't understand well or may be the language was a twist for me

PS - I dont know whether this post was an issue or not for others, but for me, Yes.

TommyWallach wrote:
Hey Ykaiim,

Sorry, but GMATPill explained this correctly. A mistake that many GMAT students make is to focus on issues in the sentence that are not at issue. In other words, the existence of "improve" or "improved" or "improving". But as GMATPill explained, there are ways in which all of those could be correct. It's simply idiomatic. This question is about modifiers, and that's all you should worry about. Worry about other issues when other issues are important. This is NOT a parallelism question (I saw that word bandied about a bit, and it's out of place).

As for that idiom, GMATPill explained it quite well. If you want a REASON why it needs to be "improve" rather than "improved", consider that we don't say "I walk to the store yesterday." We just don't. It's past tense. Why? Because it is. The same rule goes here. Just as GMATPill said, we don't say "I saw the soldier died." It's simply wrong. The soldier died in the past, but at the moment we saw him, that was the present. If we wanted to go back further than that, we might say, "I saw that the soldier had died".

If you can find a question where the issue you're concerned with needs to be resolved to get an answer, I'd be happy to answer it, but I'll tell you right now, said question doesn't exist. : )

Hope that helps!

-t

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14 May 2010, 22:53
Hi,

I want to know is it necessary to have parts of the idiom placed side-by-side in a sentence. For example -
...not only..., but also....

I want to ask can these be further bifurcated:
...not only..., but...also....

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15 May 2010, 23:15
thanks for the great explanation Gmatpill & Tommy.

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18 May 2010, 03:31
I just found some good explaination by Ron, Manhattan GMAT expert regarding this issue. I think this is far better way to explain (kudos to Ron):

If you're talking about GENERAL TRUTHS, then you use the present tense (regardless of the tense(s) in the surrounding context).
the only exception is for things that WERE general truths, but are no longer. in that case, of course, you'd use the past tense. (or, for things that WILL BE general truths but aren't yet, you should use the future tense.)
e.g.

In 1628, william harvey discovered that human blood circulates through the arteries and veins.
"discovered" --> past tense (since this happened in 1628)
"circulates" --> present tense (since this is a GENERAL TRUTH)

It would be inappropriate to say "circulated" unless blood doesn't circulate anymore in today's humans.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/pos ... tml#p35042
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29 May 2010, 03:49
Hi all,

I think, THEIR in the following attached senetence should be replaced by ITS, as this sentence is refering COUNCIL, which is singular.

Attachment:

Error.JPG [ 11.29 KiB | Viewed 1375 times ]

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05 Jun 2010, 10:20
any expert comment on above question?
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31 Jul 2010, 15:10
Im not an expert, but I'll put my money supporting "ITS" rather than "THEIR"
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Re: Manhattan SC doubts   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2010, 15:10
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