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

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GMAT Club Verbal Expert
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2020, 08:43
Manoj1998 wrote:
he knows to swim(this sentence is grammatically wrong)
is it wrong because the sentence doesn't have an antecedent preceding it?

In real life, you don't necessarily need the antecedent to appear in the same sentence, as long as the pronoun is clear from the surrounding context. For example,

"Mike went to the grocery store. He ran into his ex-girlfriend. He cried bitter tears while hiding behind a floor-to-ceiling display of Raisin Bran."

The "he" in the second and third sentences clearly refers to "Mike" in the first sentence.

If we are simply trying to say that a person has the ability to swim, we say, "He knows how to swim." But we could come up with other examples in which "he knows to swim..." is okay:

Quote:
"He knows to swim parallel to the shore if he gets caught in a rip tide."

I hope that helps!
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GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2020, 09:18
1
Hi Charles!

I wanted some help with a question.

In her 53 years, many spent struggling with the social system that impeded her pursuit of mathematics, Noether had an extraordinary impact on both algebra, which was her main field of expertise, and physics.

A) In her 53 years, many spent struggling with the social system that impeded her pursuit of mathematics
B) She spent many of her 53 years struggling with the social system impeding her pursuit of mathematics
C) Spending many of her 53 years struggling with the system of society that impeded her mathematics pursuits
D) Despite her 53 years of struggle with the social system impeding her pursuit of mathematics
E) In her 53 years, she spent many struggling with the social system that impeded her mathematics pursuits

This question is from E-GMAT, although on Gmat Club the OA is option D ( that's the one I selected), according to E-GMAT its option A.
The reason given for D to be wrong is because it changes the meaning of the sentence because it adds contrast to the sentence that was initially not intended.
Could please help me get clarity on which is the better option out of the two?

Thanks a ton!
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2020, 20:40
GMATNinja wrote:

Ask me anything about GMAT Sentence Correction and grammar

Hello! I'm Charles Bibilos, GMAT Club's resident Verbal Expert, and a GMAT teacher and tutor since... nevermind, I'll feel old if I tell you.

This thread is designed to be an absolute free-for-all on SC, and you're welcome to ask me absolutely anything. If your question is related to a specific question or a topic, please provide a link and a bit about what you want me to address.

And if you're looking for very general advice on how to improve your SC skills, try these links first:

Just be warned that non-official questions can be damaging on verbal, so I might be a bit dismissive of flawed, non-official questions. But still: it's an Ask Me Anything thread, so you're obviously welcome to ask me anything. Especially if it involves food. (Because I know you were going to ask: yes, caterpillars are indeed delicious when prepared properly. You're welcome.)

(Edit: because there's a lot of randomness in my soul, I'll answer these questions in no particular order. I'll answer them all eventually, though!)

And if you want to read some of the most generally useful posts on this thread, check out this greatest hits collection.

Sir plz clear my doubt :
https://gmatclub.com/forum/officials-in ... l#p2451808
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2020, 02:00
"Mr. Trump ducked his head, grabbing his lectern with both hands before backing away."

This sentence is from the style editor at the NYT so it should be correct (https://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com ... issteps-8/).

Why is grabbing not the past participle grabbed?
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GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2020, 07:38
Hi GMATNinja!
I have a question about the usage of "like" vs "as"
"JUST AS the trains were late yesterday, the buses are late today." How is AS correct in this sentence? Since the comparison is between nouns - trains and buses, shouldn't "LIKE" be used here?

Also, is there any rule wherein ONLY AS can be used for comparison? Would you please help clear my confusion!! Thanks in advance!
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2020, 23:09
Hi, GMATNinja,

As per Manhattan book, Foundation of GMAT Verbal, i do have a query regarding pronoun usage. Can you let me know anything wrong in my understanding?

True or False: "The company's profits were outstanding, and it went bankrupt because of outrageously poor management".

Explanation from book: The sentence, “The company's profits were outstanding, and it went bankrupt because of outrageously poor management,” would be considered incorrect on the GMAT. TRUE! For this sentence to make sense, and should be but (or yet, etc.).

My understanding: Here, it refers back to company but there is no company in the sentence. So, is it incorrect with respect to pronoun usage?

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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2020, 00:42
Raxit85 wrote:
Hi, GMATNinja,

As per Manhattan book, Foundation of GMAT Verbal, i do have a query regarding pronoun usage. Can you let me know anything wrong in my understanding?

True or False: "The company's profits were outstanding, and it went bankrupt because of outrageously poor management".

Explanation from book: The sentence, “The company's profits were outstanding, and it went bankrupt because of outrageously poor management,” would be considered incorrect on the GMAT. TRUE! For this sentence to make sense, and should be but (or yet, etc.).

My understanding: Here, it refers back to company but there is no company in the sentence. So, is it incorrect with respect to pronoun usage?

Hi, I know this question isnt posed to me but I had seen/read GMATninjas explanation on possessives. Here the "it" would refer to the companys profits and not the company itself. Hence, the sentence would be wrong.
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GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Mar 2020, 09:38
In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed building parallel to shore a breakwater of rocks that would rise six feet above the waterline and act as a buffer, absorbing the energy of crashing waves and protecting the beaches.

Taking the snippet from egmat pdf document on Verb-ING modifiers.

"As mentioned earlier, verb-ing modifiers are made from “verbs” and they denote action. Now,
any action needs a doer. In the same way, the verb-ing modifiers also associate with the subjects
of the preceding clause. What we must keep in mind is that the action denoted by verb-ing must
make sense with the subject of the clause. The use of verb-ing is correct only if it makes sense
with the subject of the clause it is modifying."

Now the correct sentence here ...

In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed building parallel to shore a breakwater of rocks that would rise six feet above the waterline and act as a buffer, absorbing the energy of crashing waves and protecting the beaches.

Now here according to the theory, absorbing and protecting are actions (modifiers) that must be done by a doer.

I don't think it is very clear that 'the Army Corps of Engineers' is doing these actions.

Posted from my mobile device

Originally posted by sam9312 on 04 Mar 2020, 09:23.
Last edited by sam9312 on 06 Mar 2020, 09:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2020, 06:37
Hello,

Is there a method for approaching SC questions, a protocol or say discrete steps, or is it just based on your choice making capabilities?

I'm really struggling with SCs. I'm generally scoring Q49-50, but my verbal won't go more than 33-35. I'm pretty good with RCs and CRs, but SC questions are creating a lot of problems for me. Please help!! Urgent..

Thanks
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2020, 21:28
GMATNinja wrote:

Ask me anything about GMAT Sentence Correction and grammar

Hello! I'm Charles Bibilos, GMAT Club's resident Verbal Expert, and a GMAT teacher and tutor since... nevermind, I'll feel old if I tell you.

This thread is designed to be an absolute free-for-all on SC, and you're welcome to ask me absolutely anything. If your question is related to a specific question or a topic, please provide a link and a bit about what you want me to address.

And if you're looking for very general advice on how to improve your SC skills, try these links first:

Just be warned that non-official questions can be damaging on verbal, so I might be a bit dismissive of flawed, non-official questions. But still: it's an Ask Me Anything thread, so you're obviously welcome to ask me anything. Especially if it involves food. (Because I know you were going to ask: yes, caterpillars are indeed delicious when prepared properly. You're welcome.)

(Edit: because there's a lot of randomness in my soul, I'll answer these questions in no particular order. I'll answer them all eventually, though!)

And if you want to read some of the most generally useful posts on this thread, check out this greatest hits collection.

Hi Gmat Ninja,

Could you help me to understand the following sentence please?

1. I own MORE THAN I should (MGMAT considers more as noun or pronoun in this case)
2. I sleep MORE THAN I should (more is now considered adverb)
(From MGMAT SC pg 185)

Why is that? In the 1st case, isn't MORE modifying OWN as an adverb? So shouldn't it play similar role to the second sentence? Please advise. Thanks

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2020, 20:04
Thanks for doing this. In the following question, why is 'viewing' (a comma ing) a noun modifier? I thought 'comma ing's always modified the action of the previous clause.

Many financial experts believe that policy makers at the Federal Reserve, now viewing the economy as balanced between moderate growth and low inflation, are almost certain to leave interests rates unchanged for the foreseeable future.

(A) Reserve, now viewing the economy as balanced between moderate growth and low inflation, are

(B) Reserve, now viewing the economy to be balanced between that of moderate growth and low inflation and are

(C) Reserve who, now viewing the economy as balanced between moderate growth and low inflation, are

(D) Reserve, who now view the economy to be balanced between that of moderate growth and low inflation, will be

(E) Reserve, which now views the economy to be balanced between moderate growth and low inflation, is
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2020, 09:04
When two countries engage in war, there is always one winner and one loser; the winner normally has its version of events included in history texts which are new, while the loser's viewpoint is trivialized usually .

B. the winner normally has its version of events included in new history texts, while the loser's viewpoint is usually trivialized
D. the winner normally has its version of events included in new history texts, while the loser's viewpoint is trivialized usually

Hi Gmatninja, Could you please advise what the rule of the order of adverb and verb is? Just like the example above, should the verb be followed by the adverb or should it be the other way around?
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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24 Mar 2020, 21:33
During the past decade, the labor market in France has not been operating according to free market principles, but instead stifling functioning through its various government regulations restricting the hiring and firing of workers.

I want to know is the construction marked in red ( , but instead) right? Isn't it creating double contrast? I know the statement is wrong for other reason too but I want to know more about " but instead".
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2020, 17:08
philipssonicare wrote:
"Mr. Trump ducked his head, grabbing his lectern with both hands before backing away."

This sentence is from the style editor at the NYT so it should be correct (https://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com ... issteps-8/).

Why is grabbing not the past participle grabbed?

Participles, when they're used as modifiers, don't have a tense. For example, I could write:

"Swimming perilously close to the fin sticking out of the water, Tim realized that it was not a great idea to dive into the ocean while nursing several open wounds."

But I could also write:

"Swimming perilously close to the fin sticking out of the water, Tim realizes that it was not a great idea to dive into the ocean while nursing several open wounds."

In other words, "swimming" is just describing "Tim." The tense is dictated by the main verb of the sentence -- "realized" in one case (the past), "realizes" in the other (the present).

The distinction between "grabbing" and "grabbed" is less one of a tense than one of meaning. "Grabbing" would be appropriate if the modified noun is performing the action and "grabbed" would be appropriate if the modified noun is the recipient of the action. For example:

"Grabbing his child by the legs and holding her out of an open window, Tim wondered if perhaps he was overreacting to the two-year-old's insult."

Here, it's Tim -- terrible parent that he is -- who's doing the "grabbing."

Alternatively, we could write,

"Grabbed from behind, Tim turned to see his wife calmly indicating that he should bring their child back into the apartment before he dropped her."

Now Tim is the one being "grabbed."

Takeaway: do not try to map the tense of participles on to the tense of a sentence's main verb! You always have to take context into account.

I hope that helps!
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Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: all videos by topic

SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for \$29.99 | Time management on verbal

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.
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Status: GMAT and GRE tutors
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GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 05:40
2
Kritisood wrote:
Hi GMATNinja!
I have a question about the usage of "like" vs "as"
"JUST AS the trains were late yesterday, the buses are late today." How is AS correct in this sentence? Since the comparison is between nouns - trains and buses, shouldn't "LIKE" be used here?

Also, is there any rule wherein ONLY AS can be used for comparison? Would you please help clear my confusion!! Thanks in advance!

In the above example, we're comparing clauses: the trains were late yesterday in the same way that buses are late today. In other words, while it would be perfectly logical to compare the nouns, in this case, we seem to be comparing what they do, since a verb phrase follows "trains."

Now, it certainly wouldn't be incorrect to use "like," but you'd rewrite the sentence if you wanted to do that: "Like trains, buses..." Notice that no verb follows "trains."

Is this an ironclad rule that you could look up in a usage guide? Nope. But the GMAT uses "like" and "as" in a way that's fairly predictable. Just make sure that you're not going on autopilot and neglecting to consider the logic of what you're reading.

Last, I'm not sure if I'm understanding your question about "only as" correctly, but if you're wondering whether the phrase "only as" is fundamentally wrong, or if there's some obscure rule that forbids its use, the answer is no.

"Tim put on a puppet show version of the "Fall of the House of Usher," as only he could do."

or

"Tim's daughter wants to dress up only as Elsa, never as Anna."

We could go on. The above sentences are fine, but I'm not sure what good this does you. So this is a good time for our daily public service announcement: don't try to memorize what constructions are permitted on the GMAT! There are far too many to internalize. Focus on the logic and meaning of the five options you're given instead.

I hope that helps!
_________________
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Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: all videos by topic

SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for \$29.99 | Time management on verbal

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Status: GMAT and GRE tutors
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Posts: 3265
Location: United States (CO)
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GRE 1: Q170 V170

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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 05:56
1
Raxit85 wrote:
Hi, GMATNinja,

As per Manhattan book, Foundation of GMAT Verbal, i do have a query regarding pronoun usage. Can you let me know anything wrong in my understanding?

True or False: "The company's profits were outstanding, and it went bankrupt because of outrageously poor management".

Explanation from book: The sentence, “The company's profits were outstanding, and it went bankrupt because of outrageously poor management,” would be considered incorrect on the GMAT. TRUE! For this sentence to make sense, and should be but (or yet, etc.).

My understanding: Here, it refers back to company but there is no company in the sentence. So, is it incorrect with respect to pronoun usage?

Good question! Your interpretation is based on how we used to think the GMAT handled non-possessive pronouns and possessive antecedents. For years, we thought this was forbidden. It's not - there are correct official answers in which we've seen this construction, so when you come across it, you'll need to find other, more concrete reasons to eliminate the option.

Notice also that the point of the example isn't the problem with the pronoun, but rather, with the use of "and" to connect contradictory clauses. In other words, the issue isn't a forbidden construction; the problem the sentence's logic, and thinking logically on SC questions is something we wholeheartedly recommend.

I hope that helps!
_________________
GMAT/GRE tutors @ www.gmatninja.com (we're hiring!) | GMAT Club Verbal Expert | Instagram | Blog | Bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: all videos by topic

SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for \$29.99 | Time management on verbal

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Status: GMAT and GRE tutors
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 3265
Location: United States (CO)
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170

GRE 2: Q170 V170
Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 06:10
1
David nguyen wrote:
Could you help me to understand the following sentence please?

1. I own MORE THAN I should (MGMAT considers more as noun or pronoun in this case)
2. I sleep MORE THAN I should (more is now considered adverb)
(From MGMAT SC pg 185)

Why is that? In the 1st case, isn't MORE modifying OWN as an adverb? So shouldn't it play similar role to the second sentence? Please advise. Thanks

Posted from my mobile device

This is purely a logic issue. The question is whether it would make more sense for "more" to describe an action or to describe a thing.

In the first case, it's more logical to own more of a thing than to do more owning. For example, Tim can own more bikes than Dana owns, but it would be awfully strange to suggest that Tim could own more frequently than Dana does. Because "more" is describing a noun, it's functioning as an adjective here.

In the second example, it's more logical to do more sleeping. Because "more" is now describing an action, it's functioning as an adverb. Same word, different roles.

The odds are basically zero that you'll have to worry about that particular phrase on the GMAT, and I wouldn't waste any more energy on it. It's just a good reminder that you'll often have to use logic and context, rather than an ironclad grammar rule, to determine how a given construction functions on SC.

I hope that helps!
_________________
GMAT/GRE tutors @ www.gmatninja.com (we're hiring!) | GMAT Club Verbal Expert | Instagram | Blog | Bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: all videos by topic

SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for \$29.99 | Time management on verbal

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.
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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2020, 07:56
Hello GMATninja,

Could you please explain differences between Idiom #1: so that and Idiom #2 so as to.

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Re: GMAT Ninja SC Expert - Ask Me Anything about GMAT SC and Grammar   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2020, 07:56

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