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# For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima

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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-
shoonya wrote:
For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

(A) a method to protect
(B) as a method protecting
(C) protecting
(D) as a protection of
(E) to protect

Meaning is crucial to solving this problem:
Understanding the intended meaning is key to solving this question; the intended meaning of this sentence is that for members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment that protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

Concepts tested here: Meaning + Verb Forms + Grammatical Construction

• In the “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun; this is one of the most frequently tested concepts on GMAT sentence correction.
• The infinitive verb form ("to + base form of verb" – “to + protect” in this sentence) is the preferred construction for referring to the purpose or intent of an action.

A: This answer choice incorrectly uses “a method to protect” to modify “items of military equipment”, illogically implying that the military equipment was a method for protecting warriors against enemy arrows and spears; the intended meaning of this sentence is that the military equipment itself protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears; remember, in the “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun.

B: This answer choice incorrectly uses “as a method protecting” to modify “items of military equipment”, illogically implying that the military equipment was a method for protecting warriors against enemy arrows and spears; the intended meaning of this sentence is that the military equipment itself protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears; remember, in the “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun.

C: Correct. The sentence formed by this answer choice correctly uses the phrase “protecting warriors against enemy arrows and spears” to "items of military equipment”, conveying the intended meaning of the sentence- that for members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment that protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

D: This answer choice incorrectly uses “as a protection of” to modify “items of military equipment”, leading to an incoherent meaning; the intended meaning of this sentence is that for members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment that protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears; remember, in the “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun.

E: Trap. This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase “to protect”; the use of the infinitive verb form ("to + base form of verb" – “to + protect” in this sentence) modifies the verb “were”, illogically implying that the animal-hide shields were essential items of military equipment for the purpose of protecting warriors against enemy arrows and spears; the intended meaning is that the animal-hide shields were essential items of military equipment that protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears; please remember, the infinitive verb form ("to + base form of verb" – “to + protect” in this sentence) is the preferred construction for referring to the purpose or intent of an action.

Hence, C is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of "Phrase Comma Subject" and "Subject Comma Phrase" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):

All the best!
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The sentence has modifier issue

(A) a method to protect (“military equipment” cannot modify “a method” – Eliminate it)

(B) as a method protecting (“military equipment” cannot modify “as a method” – Eliminate it)

(C) protecting (“military equipment” can modify “protecting” – Hold it)

(D) as a protection of (“military equipment” cannot modify “as a protection” – Eliminate it)

(E) to protect (“military equipment” cannot modify “to protect” – Eliminate it)

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For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

A. a method to protect
Shields are not methods....kung fu is a method :D
B. as a method protecting
Shields are not methods....kung fu is a method :D
C. protecting
they do not protect them now....it was in the 17th century.
D. as a protection of
Awkward use
E. to protect
Correct

lol...I got this correct earlier on...and forgot about my fundamentls...damn....here's the reasoing from my previous post...

"Honestly it took me more than a minute to answer this. Here's my reasoning

I chose C

D was the first option that i eliminated as

, as a protection of what?? warriors ??....well we never say as a protection of who...do we?? .....nonetheless both are not idiomatic...

A and B were out because weapons are forms of self - defense and not ways/methods of self-defense. We can say Karate is method but do we say knife/gun is a method??....errrr no...

I got stuck with E, cause 'to protect someone' is grammatically correct , such as 'I want you to protect him', but the issue now comes down to modifiers. So in our previous example we would not go about writing 'I want you, to protect him' but the usage of 'x, protecting him' where protecting modifies x is the right usage. Trust me the ',' makes the difference here.... "

Its C guys!!!

Originally posted by Ashwin_Mohan on 15 Jul 2008, 11:09.
Last edited by Ashwin_Mohan on 15 Jul 2008, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
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To confirm:

so the participial phrase (protecting warriors against enemy arrows and spears) in our case modifies the independent clause (its subject) (animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment) and not the noun (military equipment). Is that correct?

-> Would the following structure be incorrect then?
For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment that protected warriors against enemy arrows and spears

What do you guys think?
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
Hi, could anyone please explain what participle phrases/clauses mean? I am not at all clear on that concept. It'll be great if anyone could help on this. Thanks.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
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shoonya wrote:
For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

A) a method to protect
B) as a method protecting
C) protecting
D) as a protection of
E) to protect

Guys, I need to know why the wrong choices are really wrong. Could you please explain your reasons of eliminating an answer choice in this case? I mean all the wrong choices.

thanks

C, The sentence test word choice.
"animal-hide shields" is not a method => eliminate A,B
(D)" as a protection of" is wordy unessarilly
(E):"to protect" we are not talking about the purpose so to-inf is not appropriate here.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
prasforgmat wrote:
Is it universal rule that infinitives (to) cannot come just after comma?

No. There are certainly possibilities where this can be done.
"For lizards, organisms that inhabit the earth, to [X] is to [Y]."
"For lizards, organisms that inhabit the earth, to [die] is to [leave your remains for the rest of the ecosystem]."

In this example "to" is right after a comma.
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miaojunmaggie wrote:
can anyone explain why we cannot use "to protect" here? the OG explanation is sort of strange. What does it mean by saying that "to protect" cannot act as a nonrestrictive adjectival phrase modifying items? What's nonrestrictive adj.?

First of all, in the original sentence, "a method," as a noun, seems most syntactically comparable to another noun. But syntactically it looks as though this "method" refers to "items of military equipment," since adjectives (with the sole exception of predicate adjectives) cannot be separated from the nouns they modify by conjugated verbs. Semantically, we WANT the "method" to be the shields. But that is ungrammatical. Furthermore, a "method" is not strictly speaking a tangible thing such as a shield, so semantically that seems a little bit weird.

It is better to use "protecting" rather than "a method to protect" or even "a method of protecting" since the gerundative phrase can be an adverb and therefore refer to the whole preceding clause.

Second, infinitive phrases tend to work best when they are used as nouns, not as modifiers. "A method to protect" would not be as good as "a method of protecting," particularly since "a method to protect" appears to imply that the method is DESTINED or FORCED to do the protecting.
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targetgmatchotu wrote:
For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa, animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment, a method to protect warriors against enemy arrows and spears.

A. a method to protect

B. as a method protecting

C. protecting

D. as a protection of

E. to protect

Not convinced with the old discussions on this, plz throw some light and concepts

Hii Saurabh.
Logic of the sentence is:
1)For members of the seventeenth-century Ashanti nation in Africa
2) animal-hide shields with wooden frames were essential items of military equipment,
3) These military equipments were used to protect warriors.

Now error analysis:
A) The military equipments were not methods.
B) An ing verb without comma will modify just the preceding noun. Hence in this case, the implied meaning is that the method is protecting warriors. Without comma, the construction becomes very ambigous.
C) Correct choice. An verb-ing preceded by a comma modifies the entire preceding clause and hence implies that animal-hide shields with wooden frames is protectig the warriors.
D) Method as a protection- illogical
E) Infinitives are not preceded by a comma. Incorrect

+1C
Hope that helps.
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As per the meaning of the sentence, shields were important for them as these shields protect then from something.

Clearly, C maintains the meaning and this the correct answer.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
abhimahna wrote:
As per the meaning of the sentence, shields were important for them as these shields protect then from something.

Clearly, C maintains the meaning and this the correct answer.

I'm still not getting the answer. I studied "to verb vs for verb-ing notes" also but this question is still confusing

Here if you want to go with "to verb" then you should have a purpose in the passage. Here in the main question the soldiers hide their weapons to protect from enemies.

They hide weapons is the context. Purpose is to protect them from enemies.

But the answer is "for protecting". According to you if i replace "to protect" in the actual sentence the meaning will change. Can you help me in this?

abhimahna egmat
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sai897 wrote:
I'm still not getting the answer. I studied "to verb vs for verb-ing notes" also but this question is still confusing

Here if you want to go with "to verb" then you should have a purpose in the passage. Here in the main question the soldiers hide their weapons to protect from enemies.

They hide weapons is the context. Purpose is to protect them from enemies.

But the answer is "for protecting". According to you if i replace "to protect" in the actual sentence the meaning will change. Can you help me in this?

abhimahna egmat

I understand your point but here as per the question the meaning is certain tools are important items and then we are told why are they important/how are they useful. They are important because they protect warriors against enemies.

Also, answer is not 'for protecting' but 'protecting'. Meaning tools are essential as they have a consequence of protecting.

Take these examples:

I want to give GMAT to get an admit in Harvard. Here the purpose/intend is given.

I woke up late in the morning, missing my GMAT exam. Here the consequence is given.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
IMO, the approach to this topic would be

(A) a method to protect – Animal shields are not a method. They are just materials so drop this

(B) as a method protecting --- same as in A

(C) protecting --- protecting modifies the simple clause preceding it. Correct choice

(D) as a protection of --- shields are not[protection or protections

(E) to protect --- The tricky issue here is the that we cannot idiomatically use an infinitive after a comma.

Hi daagh,
I've a doubt for this highlighted part.
In the following link, the correct choice is where "infinitive" is being used after COMMA.
Could you put some light on the following question, please?
https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-court-he ... l#p2197222
Thanks__
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
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Is the question that you have cited an official question? It is said to be from the Gmatclub. Let's evaluate vis-a-vis some official examples. Can you pl. sift through the OG lot and find some so that they can help us learn more?
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
Is the question that you have cited an official question? It is said to be from the Gmatclub. Let's evaluate vis-a-vis some official examples. Can you pl. sift through the OG lot and find some so that they can help us learn more?

daagh,
So, do you think that this GMAT club's question is in wrong format? If this is the case, shouldn't it be in corrected form by gmatclub experts or some other like that?
Thanks__
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I never said so; you are making wrong assumptions. We always evaluate in comparison to official clues. if you don't want to do it', You are welcome not to do it. No one is stopping you. Good luck.
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Re: For members of the seventeenth century Ashanti nation in Africa, anima [#permalink]
daagh wrote: