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# GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar

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20 May 2019, 09:28
Hi GMAT NINJA,

Can you clarify when to use that vs. when to use which?

Best,
Michael
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22 May 2019, 05:14
Hi
If you could help me with this-
(U)The compounds identified by MBR are often of lower quality than those identified by(U) MR.

Correction according to kaplan key-
MBR often identifies compounds that are of lower quality than those identified by MR.

how is it the original sentence wrong?
It says that it is not parallel.
I thought that "those" is parallel with compounds and "MR" with "MBR".

Posted from my mobile device
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22 May 2019, 09:36
delmoneyy wrote:
Hi GMAT NINJA,

Can you clarify when to use that vs. when to use which?

Best,
Michael

Answered in somewhat excruciating detail here. Enjoy!
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24 May 2019, 22:26
1
aj3001 wrote:
Hi GMAT Ninja,

Please explain the difference in usage of WHICH and THAT. I am really struggling with it.

The cat, which is very old, took a nap.
The cat that is very old needs to see the vet today.
The relative pronoun "which" is used for non-essential information set off by commas; "that" is used for essential information and requires no additional punctuation.
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25 May 2019, 08:46
GMATNinja wrote:
bhargavakumartu wrote:
Hi
If you could help me with this-
(U)The compounds identified by MBR are often of lower quality than those identified by(U) MR.

Correction according to kaplan key-
MBR often identifies compounds that are of lower quality than those identified by MR.

how is it the original sentence wrong?
It says that it is not parallel.
I thought that "those" is parallel with compounds and "MR" with "MBR".

Posted from my mobile device

This is part of why I keep ranting about sticking with official materials for verbal: it's impossible for test-prep companies to accurately mimic the style of GMAT verbal.

With all due respect to the smart folks at Kaplan, it looks like they missed the mark on this one. There's nothing wrong with the sentence you cited, since it seems to compare "the compounds identified by MBR" (whatever the heck "MBR" might be) to "[the compounds] identified by MR." No problem at all there.

So don't lose any sleep over this!

Thank you, it is very helpful.
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28 May 2019, 12:58
Hi GMATNinja

Please can you help me with this question? This is a question from gmatclub test (V11-14) but my doubt is regarding the use of "account for", which, as far as I know, can be used as "to be responsible for". Having said so, why is answer B incorrect?

The latest investigation proves that either the building-owner or his tenants are to be accounted for yesterday’s fire that burnt as long as or longer than four hours.

A. to be accounted for yesterday’s fire that burnt as long as or longer than
B. accounted for yesterday’s fire, which burnt at least as long as
C. held accountable for yesterday’s fire, which burnt longer or as long as
D. accountable for yesterday’s fire, which burnt at least as long as
E. to be held accountable for yesterday’s fire that burnt longer than or at least as long as
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10 Jun 2019, 06:19
Dear GMATNinja,
I request your suggestion for Idioms study material. I will require meaning and examples both. Though I have gone through Aristotle SC Grail and certain links/Excel file on GMATclub, I am not able to find study idioms with both meaning and examples.

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16 Jun 2019, 00:05
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
Could you please help me explain more the usage of "each other", "another" and "the other" in this official question?

Among the Tsonga, a Bantu-speaking group of tribes in southeastern Africa, dance teams represent their own chief at the court of each other, providing entertainment in return for food, drink, and lodging.
(A) the court of each other, providing entertainment in return for
(B) the court of another and provide entertainment in return for
(C) the court of the other, so as to provide entertainment as a return on

I have read the OG explanation, as well as explanation for this question from this thread https://gmatclub.com/forum/among-the-ts ... 41546.html but I'm not quite sure whether I understand exactly their difference.

Here is what I think:

1. There are only 2 definite objects or people in a group. If 1 object is already mentioned, "the other" will be used to refer to the second object. On the other hand, when there are more than 2 objects, "another" will be used to refer to any other objects in this group.

2. "each other" is used when there are at least 2 objects or people in a group.
For example:
My friend, Nicole and I exchanged gifts with each other last Christmas
Our group exchanged gifts with each other last Christmas
However, I can't distinguish between the usage of "each other" and "another" because it seems to me that "another" can be used to replace "each other" in "our group" example above

Please correct me. Thank you very much!

Ooh, good question, Samine. I'm not sure that you’ll ever see this particular issue again in an actual GMAT question, but it’s oddly interesting. My first instinct was that your explanations were spot-on, and it took me a while to figure out what was missing.

You’re right that the term “each other” would be used when there are at least 2 objects or people in a group. But the thing you’re missing is that “each other” suggests that everybody in the group is performing the same, reciprocal action. Using your examples:

“My friend, Nicole and I exchanged gifts with each other last Christmas.” – You and Nicole BOTH perform the action of exchanging gifts.
“[Everybody in] our group exchanged gifts with each other last Christmas.” – EVERYBODY in the group performs the action of exchanging gifts.

Back to answer choice (A) from the OG question:

Quote:
Among the Tsonga, a Bantu-speaking group of tribes in southeastern Africa, dance teams represent their own chief at the court of each other, providing entertainment in return for food, drink, and lodging.
(A) the court of each other, providing entertainment in return for
(B) the court of another and provide entertainment in return for
(C) the court of the other, so as to provide entertainment as a return on

(A) doesn’t quite make sense. “Each other” has to refer to “dance teams”, right? So then the sentence seems to say that dance teams represent their own chief at the court of other dance teams. And that’s pretty weird: have you ever heard of a dance team with its own royal court?

(Speaking as a veteran of quite a few dance companies: we were lucky if the dance company had its own dressing room, let alone a royal court. Once, I had to change costumes 17 times during a single show – and had to do the costume changes in a hallway. I am not making this up. There were also some very interesting wardrobe malfunctions on opening night, but you really don't want to hear about my accidental moments of near-nudity in front of live audiences…)

Anyway, (B) seems clearer: “another” can now refer to a chief, instead of a dance team. So now that makes sense: “dance teams represent their own chief at the court of another chief.” Nice.

And (C) is odd, too: “the other” suggests that there’s only one other chief, or one other dance team. Neither of those quite work: “dance teams represent their own chief at the court of the other chief…”? Which other chief? Or if it’s “dance teams represent their own chief at the court of the other dance team”, that’s still weird: which other dance team are we talking about?

So for that reason, (B) seems to be the best of the three.

I hope this helps!

Can I also eliminate option C for using 'as a return on'?
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17 Jun 2019, 23:27
1
Hi, Charles,

The investigations of many psychologists and anthropologists support the generalization of there being little that is a significant difference in the underlying mental processes manifested by people from different cultures.

(A) of there being little that is a significant difference
(B) of there being little that is significantly different
(C) of little that is significantly different
(D) that there is little that is significantly different
(E) that there is little of significant differences

How to explain C is not correct here? The answer is D.

Posted from my mobile device
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18 Jun 2019, 09:51
Aristotle Sentence Correction : Comparison Practice drill :

6. John's shirt, like that of his brother's, is pink in color.

What is the error in the sentence ?
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19 Jun 2019, 17:23
Mizar18 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja

Please can you help me with this question? This is a question from gmatclub test (V11-14) but my doubt is regarding the use of "account for", which, as far as I know, can be used as "to be responsible for". Having said so, why is answer B incorrect?

The latest investigation proves that either the building-owner or his tenants are to be accounted for yesterday’s fire that burnt as long as or longer than four hours.

A. to be accounted for yesterday’s fire that burnt as long as or longer than
B. accounted for yesterday’s fire, which burnt at least as long as
C. held accountable for yesterday’s fire, which burnt longer or as long as
D. accountable for yesterday’s fire, which burnt at least as long as
E. to be held accountable for yesterday’s fire that burnt longer than or at least as long as

Mizar18, it pains me to admit that I spent an unreasonable amount of time thinking about this one. And I think you're correct: "account for" can also mean "to be responsible for." For example:

"Burling accounted for three of his club's four goals in the victory over DC United."

Reasonable usage, right? In this case, "accounted for" pretty much does mean "to be responsible for."

We could argue that because the sentence is specifically assigning blame ("the investigation proves that..."), "accountable for" is the clearer idiom. But the better argument is probably that the question is flawed, and needs to be changed.

While we're on the topic of idioms...

priyanshu14 wrote:
Dear GMATNinja,
I request your suggestion for Idioms study material. I will require meaning and examples both. Though I have gone through Aristotle SC Grail and certain links/Excel file on GMATclub, I am not able to find study idioms with both meaning and examples.

Most people really don't want to hear this, but studying idioms is rarely a great strategy for improving your SC score, since there are more than 25,000 idioms in English -- and any of them are fair game on the GMAT. It's rare that idioms are an unavoidable, deciding factor on official SC questions, though it does happen occasionally. So memorizing a few hundred idioms probably isn't the best way to improve your SC score.

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19 Jun 2019, 17:36
baliga007 wrote:
Quote:
Among the Tsonga, a Bantu-speaking group of tribes in southeastern Africa, dance teams represent their own chief at the court of each other, providing entertainment in return for food, drink, and lodging.
(A) the court of each other, providing entertainment in return for
(B) the court of another and provide entertainment in return for
(C) the court of the other, so as to provide entertainment as a return on

Can I also eliminate option C for using 'as a return on'?

Yes, I suppose you could. It only really makes sense to use the phrase "a return on" if we're talking about investments of some sort. So it wouldn't make sense to say that the entertainment is "a return on food, drink, and lodging", since the food, drink, and lodging aren't investments made for the purpose of earning "a return."

But I would be absolutely floored if you see that specific issue again in an official SC question.

I hope this helps!
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19 Jun 2019, 17:48
ekawali wrote:
Can you please guide on how to approach Adjective-Adverb Questions. I am always confused whenever questions like (supposed vs supposedly, quickly vs more quickly type) pops up..

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, but I'll give it a shot.

You probably understand the basics already: adjectives can only modify nouns, while adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. So in general, if you have to choose between an adjective ("recent", for example) and an adverb ("recently"), the task is to figure out what the modifier is trying to describe.

Here are some fragments of this official question:

• "recent extended sales slump" -- because "recent" is an adjective (no "-ly" on the end), it must modify the noun "sales slump." And that's fine: the phrase is just telling us that the sales slump happened in the not-too-distant past.
• "recently extended sales slump" -- now, "recently" is an adverb. So it can't modify the noun "sales slump" anymore. Instead, it modifies the adjective "extended". So now the phrase is saying that the sales slump was extended in the not-too-distant past. That's not necessarily wrong, but it's a very different meaning than the phrase "recent extended sales slump."

So again, it's all context-dependent, and when you see the same modifier in two different forms (as an adverb in some answer choices, but as an adjective in others), your job is to see if one form of the modifier creates an illogical meaning somehow.

I'm not sure if I answered your question, but I hope this helps a bit!
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19 Jun 2019, 18:32
dikshitratan wrote:
Aristotle Sentence Correction : Comparison Practice drill :

6. John's shirt, like that of his brother's, is pink in color.

What is the error in the sentence ?

Here's a different set of examples that should help you figure out the Aristotle question:

1. "The debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than Japan." -- Nonsense, right? It's literally saying that the debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than the nation of Japan. Not cool.
2. "The debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than that of Japan." -- Much better: "that" is a singular pronoun that refers back to "the debt-GDP ratio." So the comparison makes sense now: "the debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than [the debt-GDP ratio] of Japan." Cool. (More on the GMAT's many uses of "that" in this article and this video.)
3. "The debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than Japan's." -- I guess this is OK, though it's less elegant than #2. We have to assume that "Japan's" means "Japan's debt-GDP ratio", and that seems reasonable enough.
4. "The debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than that of Japan's." -- OK, now we've gone too far. "That" refers to "debt-GDP ratio" again, and if we assume that "Japan's" means "Japan's debt-GDP ratio", then we get a redundant, nonsensical mess: "The debt-GDP ratio of Greece is lower than the debt-GDP ratio of Japan's debt-GDP ratio." Huh?

You'll find similar issues in this GMATPrep question or this one.

I hope this helps!
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02 Jul 2019, 15:30
Hey Gmatninja,

Was wondering if you could provide some clarity on this question:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/government-o ... 03784.html

I got as far as narrowing down the the choices to A and D but the two 'had's in the sentence threw me off...

My usual strategy for 'had' is try and look for some kind of time aspect in the sentence with the 'had' verb occurring first. Otherwise I'll pick had if it doesn't conform if I am confident other answers are wrong.

In this case though, A, at least by ear, sounds fine...
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02 Jul 2019, 16:21
sefwow wrote:
Hey Gmatninja,

Was wondering if you could provide some clarity on this question:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/government-o ... 03784.html

I got as far as narrowing down the the choices to A and D but the two 'had's in the sentence threw me off...

My usual strategy for 'had' is try and look for some kind of time aspect in the sentence with the 'had' verb occurring first. Otherwise I'll pick had if it doesn't conform if I am confident other answers are wrong.

In this case though, A, at least by ear, sounds fine...

Yeah, you have the right idea, sefwow: if you see "had + verb" (known as past perfect if you like jargon), the action in that tense needs to logically occur before some other action -- or time marker -- in the past. More on that general idea in this video.

Here are (A) and (D) again:
Quote:
Government officials announced that restrictions on the use of water would continue because no appreciative increase in the level of the river resulted from the intermittent showers that had fallen throughout the area the day before.

(A) restrictions on the use of water would continue because no appreciative increase in the level of the river

(D) restrictions on the use of water would continue because no appreciable increase in the level of the river had

The phrase "... intermittent showers that had fallen..." isn't underlined, and it's in past perfect tense -- so it has to come before some other action or event or marker in the past. We have "government officials announced...", and that's a later action in the past. So far, we're in good shape.

Now, the question is whether "... no appreciable increase in the level of the river resulted..." should be in simple past ("resulted", in (A)) or past perfect ("had resulted", in (D)). It seems to me that the past perfect "had resulted" makes more sense, since it seems reasonable that rivers would rise pretty much at the same time as the rain showers. And since the showers are in past perfect ("intermittent showers that had fallen"), my first thought is that we'd want to say that "no appreciable increase... had resulted..."

Of course, if you happen to know that rivers often rise AFTER rain, then maybe you could argue that the simple past, "resulted," is also fine. Oooh... tricky!

So hey, I'd personally vote for past perfect here, but there's a bit of a grey area.

And guess what: the GMAT has made it a non-issue! There's another difference between (A) and (D): "appreciative" (in (A)) means "to be grateful for something." I don't think the increase in the river level is particularly grateful for anything. In (D), we have "appreciable", which basically means "significant." Much better.

So yes, the GMAT loves to test past perfect tense, but in this case, they've left us with some ambiguity about which tense is better. But as usual, they've given us a more decisive issue to focus on.

I hope this helps!
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03 Jul 2019, 07:10
aj3001 wrote:
Hi GMAT Ninja,

Please explain the difference in usage of WHICH and THAT. I am really struggling with it.

The cat, which is very old, took a nap.
The cat that is very old needs to see the vet today.
The relative pronoun "which" is used for non-essential information set off by commas; "that" is used for essential information and requires no additional punctuation.

"which" can also refer to essential information. there are certain examples I can't recall.
they were like this-
"The house for which I yearn belongs to Ted" (I read something like this in Manhattan)

in this "which" is providing an essential information... this part kind of confuses me, when to use "which" for essential and when to use "that" for essential..
any help on the topic will be appreciated.
thanks
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09 Jul 2019, 15:17
Shrey9 wrote:

"which" can also refer to essential information. there are certain examples I can't recall.
they were like this-
"The house for which I yearn belongs to Ted" (I read something like this in Manhattan)

in this "which" is providing an essential information... this part kind of confuses me, when to use "which" for essential and when to use "that" for essential..
any help on the topic will be appreciated.
thanks

There's a long rant about "which" and "that" -- and why the difference really isn't important at all on the GMAT! -- in this post.

Here's a short preview:

Quote:
So this is heresy in the GMAT world, but... well, I don't think that the difference between "which" and "that" matters much on the GMAT. There are very, very few official GMAT SC questions that use the difference between "that" and "which" as a deciding factor...

... it's really hard for the GMAT to test such a subtle distinction between "which" and "that"..."

Enjoy!
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Intern
Joined: 05 Jun 2018
Posts: 14

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15 Jul 2019, 17:43
Hi,

Can you please tell me as to how to figure out if the modifier is modifying the last word, the first word of the noun phrase or the whole clause?

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Manager
Joined: 15 Jul 2016
Posts: 105
Location: India
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V36

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19 Jul 2019, 22:14
Hi GmatNinja,

I'm facing trouble with this official question.

The increased popularity and availability of televisions has led to the decline of regional dialects, language variations which originate from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated by geographic isolation.

(A) which originate from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated

(B) that originated from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated

(C) originated from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated

(D) originating from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated

(E) originating from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuating

I'm confused between C & D. I know the rule that in //ism, the modifiers can be in different form, however, I'm facing trouble recognizing why originated is not a modifier but verb ?

Thankyou!!
Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar   [#permalink] 19 Jul 2019, 22:14

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