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'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that'

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'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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I was recently asked about the difference between "evidence of" and "evidence that", and whether "evidence of" can ever be logically correct. So here's the e-GMAT take on these terms!

‘Evidence of’ should be followed by a noun, and this noun should be the entity whose existence has been proved by the evidence. For example:

• Astronomers have discovered evidence of life on Mars. – CORRECT
• Scientists have discovered evidence of the dinosaurs being herbivores. – INCORRECT
• Scientists have discovered evidence that the dinosaurs were herbivores. – CORRECT

In the first sentence above, astronomers discovered evidence about something: about life on Mars. This meaning is logically correct. But in the second sentence, ‘evidence’ is followed by ‘the dinosaurs’. Now, scientists did not discover evidence that proved "the dinosaurs". The evidence they discovered showed them that the dinosaurs were herbivores. This meaning is not brought out precisely in this sentence, since ‘being herbivores’ is a modifier for ‘dinosaurs’. While this kind of usage is quite common in everyday use, official questions are very precise, and the correct answers are extremely unlikely to allow this imprecise use of an idiom. So, the third sentence makes the intended meaning far more precise by replacing ‘evidence of’ with ‘evidence that’, and following it up with a clause that conveys the meaning clearly.

Here are some more typical ways in which ‘evidence of’ and ‘evidence that’ are used:

• Experts examining the power plant found no evidence of leaks.
• The economy has shown evidence of a slowdown in the recent past.
• The government has insisted that there is no evidence that the recent employment cuts were targeted at specific industries.
• Geologists have discovered evidence that some of the glaciers in the Arctic have survived previous eras of global warming.

Examining how these sentences are constructed, we can see that ‘evidence of’ is typically followed by a noun, whereas ‘evidence that’ is followed by a clause. So the usage of these terms depends on the intended meaning of the sentence. If we mean that we have found evidence of a noun, we use ‘evidence of’. If we mean that we have found evidence of a particular action, we use ‘evidence that’ followed by a clause.

Try applying this understanding to these official questions:

1. Astronomers have uncovered evidence that a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago, emitting dazzling radiation that could have disrupted Earth's protective ozone layer and sunburned our Stone Age ancestors.

A. that a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago, emitting
B. that a star as bright as the full moon exploded into view 340,000 years ago, emitting
C. of a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago and that it emitted
D. of a star as bright as the full moon, exploding into view 340,000 years ago and emitting
E. of a star as bright as the full moon that exploded into view 340,000 years ago and that emitted

2. Scientists have found new evidence of people initially registering emotions like sadness or anger in much the same way as heartburn—by monitoring what's going on within their bodies.

A. of people initially registering emotions like sadness or anger in much the same way as
B. of people initially registering emotions such as sadness or anger much the same as experiencing
C. that people initially register emotions such as sadness or anger in much the same way as they experience
D. that a person initially registers emotions such as sadness or anger much the same way as experiencing
E. that a person initially registers emotions like sadness or anger much the same as

I hope this understanding helps!

Meghna
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Last edited by carcass on 21 May 2014, 14:04, edited 1 time in total.
Undelined the sentence

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2014, 03:26
Nice article e-GMAT! Thanks.

Here is the OA :
1 B
2 C

Look forward to some 700+ questions and few more articles on Idiom part...
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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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1. Astronomers have uncovered evidence that a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago, emitting dazzling radiation that could have disrupted Earth's protective ozone layer and sunburned our Stone Age ancestors.

A. that a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago, emitting -- verb is missing -- exploding is modifying moon.
B. that a star as bright as the full moon exploded into view 340,000 years ago, emitting -- subject verb matching -- ing modifier is used correctly.
C. of a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago and that it emitted -- evidence of a star -- star is not the intended object of preposition. -- exploding is modifying moon -- ing modifier cant be parallel to restrictive clause "that it..."
D. of a star as bright as the full moon, exploding into view 340,000 years ago and emitting -- same as C -- -ing modifier exploding and emitting is modifying Astronomers.
E. of a star as bright as the full moon that exploded into view 340,000 years ago and that emitted -- same as C -- that modifying moon, a fatal meaning error.

2. Scientists have found new evidence of people initially registering emotions like sadness or anger in much the same way as heartburn—by monitoring what's going on within their bodies.

A. of people initially registering emotions like sadness or anger in much the same way as[color=#ed1c24] -- people are not intended object of preposition of -- faulty comparison people are compared with heartburn. [/color]
B. of people initially registering emotions such as sadness or anger much the same as experiencing -- same as A -- no other error.
C. that people initially register emotions such as sadness or anger in much the same way as they experience --comparison-- People register || people experience -- correct.
D. that a person initially registers emotions such as sadness or anger much the same way as experiencing -- registers || experiencing
E. that a person initially registers emotions like sadness or anger much the same as -- faulty comparison -- Invalid use of like.
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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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Hi @bagdmba: thanks for posting the correct OAs. :-)

@PiyushK: thanks for the analysis. Note that one modifier can jump over another to refer to the preceding noun. E.g. Option E of the first question:

PiyushK wrote:
E. of a star as bright as the full moon that exploded into view 340,000 years ago and that emitted -- same as C -- that modifying moon, a fatal meaning error.


One of the errors here is that the modifier "that exploded..." is ambiguous. It can refer to either the star or the full moon. "As bright as the full moon" is a modifier for "the star". If we remove it, this option will read: "of a star that exploded." This would be correct. So I would call this an ambiguity error. This is one of the reasons that I picked this question to illustrate the topic of this post. The imprecise meaning indicated by the phrase "evidence of a star" is a strong reason to eliminate this choice.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Meghna
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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2014, 08:20
[quote="PiyushK"]1. Astronomers have uncovered evidence that a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago, emitting dazzling radiation that could have disrupted Earth's protective ozone layer and sunburned our Stone Age ancestors.

A. that a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago, emitting -- verb is missing -- exploding is modifying moon.
B. that a star as bright as the full moon exploded into view 340,000 years ago, emitting -- subject verb matching -- ing modifier is used correctly.
C. of a star that was as bright as the full moon exploding into view 340,000 years ago and that it emitted -- evidence of a star -- star is not the intended object of preposition. -- exploding is modifying moon -- ing modifier cant be parallel to restrictive clause "that it..."
D. of a star as bright as the full moon, exploding into view 340,000 years ago and emitting -- same as C -- -ing modifier exploding and emitting is modifying Astronomers.
E. of a star as bright as the full moon that exploded into view 340,000 years ago and that emitted -- same as C -- that modifying moon, a fatal meaning error.

Here in the question as per my understanding aren't we discussing about evidence of "star" though I understand there are other errors in the sentence that makes correct option B ...."????

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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GmatDestroyer2013 wrote:
Here in the question as per my understanding aren't we discussing about evidence of "star" though I understand there are other errors in the sentence that makes correct option B ...."????


Lets juxtapose option B with following sentence.

I) Police have found evidence of my brother stealing diamond.
or
II) Police have found that my brother stole diamond.
Option (I) is incorrect because police not found evidence of my brother rather found evidence of his act of stealing.
In option (II) meaning error is corrected in this manner.

Similarly, evidence of a star is not actually what author wants to say; author wants to describe explosion.

As per my observation we use evidence of for action nouns not for proper noun.
e.g evidence of explosion, evidence of stealing ... but I never seen something like evidence of sun or star or car.. any proper noun in this way.
Context and style is important.
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'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2015, 00:29
How about 'evidence to'?

Example: OG2015, SC #128 (Australian embryologist have found evidence ...)

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2015, 22:31
Thank you for this useful post! I was looking for exactly this usage explanation..
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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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Here is the OA :
1 B
2 C

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'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2016, 00:43
Is there any specification for the idiom "Evidence for ". Searched online but the versions are different such as this http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/ ... f.1682498/

Can experts chetan2u specify the usage on GMAT.

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 08:06
PiyushK wrote:
2. Scientists have found new evidence of people initially registering emotions like sadness or anger in much the same way as heartburn—by monitoring what's going on within their bodies.

A. of people initially registering emotions like sadness or anger in much the same way as[color=#ed1c24] -- people are not intended object of preposition of -- faulty comparison people are compared with heartburn. [/color]
B. of people initially registering emotions such as sadness or anger much the same as experiencing -- same as A -- no other error.
C. that people initially register emotions such as sadness or anger in much the same way as they experience --comparison-- People register || people experience -- correct.
D. that a person initially registers emotions such as sadness or anger much the same way as experiencing -- registers || experiencing
E. that a person initially registers emotions like sadness or anger much the same as -- faulty comparison -- Invalid use of like.

Why is the use of 'like' invalid ?
As per my understanding, "sadness or anger" is a noun. So shouldn't we use 'like' for comparison ?
Please explain.

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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 08:51
arpit2093 wrote:
Why is the use of 'like' invalid ?
As per my understanding, "sadness or anger" is a noun. So shouldn't we use 'like' for comparison ?
Please explain.
The GMAT doesn't seem to like using like to introduce examples. As sadness and anger are examples of emotions, we'd normally expect the GMAT to prefer such as to like. Also, keep in mind that there is a pronoun mismatch in E (a person followed by their).
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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that' [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 09:32
AjiteshArun wrote:
arpit2093 wrote:
Why is the use of 'like' invalid ?
As per my understanding, "sadness or anger" is a noun. So shouldn't we use 'like' for comparison ?
Please explain.
The GMAT doesn't seem to like using like to introduce examples. As sadness and anger are examples of emotions, we'd normally expect the GMAT to prefer such as to like. Also, keep in mind that there is a pronoun mismatch in E (a person followed by their).

Thanks a ton :)


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Re: 'Evidence of' versus 'evidence that'   [#permalink] 25 Oct 2017, 09:32
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