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Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of

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Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Jul 2019, 02:30
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Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a spacecraft, as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.

A. as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
B. as large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel
C. as did large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
D. like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
E. like large sails did that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel

Originally posted by macjas on 04 Jun 2012, 22:56.
Last edited by Bunuel on 14 Jul 2019, 02:30, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2012, 15:16
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macjas wrote:
Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a spacecraft, as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.[/u]

A.as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
B.as large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel
C.as did large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
D.like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
E.like large sails did that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel


Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this one. :)

In any comparison, we have to answer the question: are we comparing nouns or are we comparing actions? Here, the main verb "constitutes" is not really an action verb ---it's more or less a proxy for "is". This sentence is purely a descriptive sentence, not a sentence that really has any action in it. The comparison is thus between nouns -- between "huge solar panels" and "large sails."

When you are comparing noun A to noun B, you use "like" ----- "A is like B", "A is a such-and-such, like B"

When you are comparing actions, you use "as" --- "A does such-and-such, as B does thingamajig"

So, we need "like" --- the word "like" need to be followed by a noun, and perhaps any phrase modifying the noun, but not by a full noun + verb clause.

So, first of all, eliminate (A)-(C) --- they have "as" instead of "like". That leaves (D)-(E).

(E) has a full noun + verb clause following "like", so that's out.

(D) has "like" + noun ("large sails") + a participial phrase modifying the noun ("billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel"), so this is a 100% grammatically correct structure and the best answer choice by far.

Here's a blog article I wrote on this topic.
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... omparison/

Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :)
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2014, 00:59
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mikemcgarry wrote:
macjas wrote:
Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a spacecraft, as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.[/u]

A.as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
B.as large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel
C.as did large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
D.like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
E.like large sails did that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel


Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this one. :)

In any comparison, we have to answer the question: are we comparing nouns or are we comparing actions? Here, the main verb "constitutes" is not really an action verb ---it's more or less a proxy for "is". This sentence is purely a descriptive sentence, not a sentence that really has any action in it. The comparison is thus between nouns -- between "huge solar panels" and "large sails."

When you are comparing noun A to noun B, you use "like" ----- "A is like B", "A is a such-and-such, like B"

When you are comparing actions, you use "as" --- "A does such-and-such, as B does thingamajig"

So, we need "like" --- the word "like" need to be followed by a noun, and perhaps any phrase modifying the noun, but not by a full noun + verb clause.

So, first of all, eliminate (A)-(C) --- they have "as" instead of "like". That leaves (D)-(E).

(E) has a full noun + verb clause following "like", so that's out.

(D) has "like" + noun ("large sails") + a participial phrase modifying the noun ("billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel"), so this is a 100% grammatically correct structure and the best answer choice by far.

Here's a blog article I wrote on this topic.
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... omparison/

Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :)


Hi Mike,

Thanks for explanation. I have a doubt, is it a rule to not use " has a full noun + verb clause following "like"" or is it not preferred ?
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2014, 19:52
gauravsoni wrote:
Hi Mike,

Thanks for explanation. I have a doubt, is it a rule to not use " has a full noun + verb clause following "like"" or is it not preferred ?

Dear gauravsoni,
I see that addict1ve already gave you a fine answer. I would just point out:
"like" is a preposition, and should be followed by nouns only (those nouns can have modifiers)
"as" is a subordinate conjunctions (i.e. a word that starts a full clause), so "as" is followed by a full NOUN + VERB clause.
There is nothing halfway or preference-like about this ---- this is an etched-in-stone rule.
See this article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-sente ... ike-vs-as/
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Mike :-)
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 22:11
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mikemcgarry : Hey Mike, I was wondering whether you could help me with this. In one of your lessons, I remember that you mentioned that the construction: Preposition + Noun + Participle is not considered correct on the gmat- the reson being that too much action was being crammed in a few words. In this question, a similar construction is happening in the Choice D, which also happens to be the correct answer. Is it safe to assume that this question has been wrongly framed. In my opinion, the best answer out of the remaining asnswer choices should be C. Can you help please. Thanks
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 23:48
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I would go with the choice D. Here is a quote from the gmat club's "Ultimate GMAT grammer" p54 as an explanation:

"The word like is very often misused in conversational English. In written English, like is traditionally used as a preposition (different from like the verb), while as is a conjunction (clause connector).

Like is used to compare only nouns (i.e. use like to say two things are similar, and let the clause that follows tell how they are similar).

The earth, like other planets, spins on an axis.
Like other planets, the earth spins on an axis.

As is used to compare clauses (i.e. use as if two actions are similar).

A globe spins around an axis, as does the Earth itself."
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 09:58
I agree that the OA should be (C). "billowing", in my opinion, makes the second part of the sentence a clause. This makes the use of the word 'like' a grammatically incorrect answer.
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 11:02
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bkpolymers1617 wrote:
mikemcgarry : Hey Mike, I was wondering whether you could help me with this. In one of your lessons, I remember that you mentioned that the construction: Preposition + Noun + Participle is not considered correct on the gmat- the reson being that too much action was being crammed in a few words. In this question, a similar construction is happening in the Choice D, which also happens to be the correct answer. Is it safe to assume that this question has been wrongly framed. In my opinion, the best answer out of the remaining asnswer choices should be C. Can you help please. Thanks

Dear bkpolymers1617,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, on the [preposition] + [noun] + [participle], this construction is not always wrong. See this blog for a more nuanced explanation of the situation.
with + [noun] + [participle] on GMAT Sentence Correction
What we have in this situation is the Case II situation described in that blog.

I would say that (D) is clearly the best answer, and (C) is 100% wrong and presents a very typical trap.

We use "as" when what follows is a [noun] + [full verb] structure: it is incorrect in a comparison to follow "as" with and noun that is not attached to a full verb. We use "like" when we have a noun and no full verb: it is incorrect in a comparison to follow "like" with a [noun] + [full verb] structure.

What we have after the "as"/"like" term is [noun] + [participle]. This is NOT a [noun] + [full verb] structure. Instead, this is a noun plus a noun modifier. Thus, this has to have "like."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 11:43
mikemcgarry wrote:
bkpolymers1617 wrote:
mikemcgarry : Hey Mike, I was wondering whether you could help me with this. In one of your lessons, I remember that you mentioned that the construction: Preposition + Noun + Participle is not considered correct on the gmat- the reson being that too much action was being crammed in a few words. In this question, a similar construction is happening in the Choice D, which also happens to be the correct answer. Is it safe to assume that this question has been wrongly framed. In my opinion, the best answer out of the remaining asnswer choices should be C. Can you help please. Thanks

Dear bkpolymers1617,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, on the [preposition] + [noun] + [participle], this construction is not always wrong. See this blog for a more nuanced explanation of the situation.
with + [noun] + [participle] on GMAT Sentence Correction
What we have in this situation is the Case II situation described in that blog.

I would say that (D) is clearly the best answer, and (C) is 100% wrong and presents a very typical trap.

We use "as" when what follows is a [noun] + [full verb] structure: it is incorrect in a comparison to follow "as" with and noun that is not attached to a full verb. We use "like" when we have a noun and no full verb: it is incorrect in a comparison to follow "like" with a [noun] + [full verb] structure.

What we have after the "as"/"like" term is [noun] + [participle]. This is NOT a [noun] + [full verb] structure. Instead, this is a noun plus a noun modifier. Thus, this has to have "like."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)





Hey Mike- I hope you know that you are awesome. I love Magoosh. Now coming back to the question. I did a detailed review of the choices again. Please let me know if I am thinking correctly please. Choice C is wrong because somehow it means that the large sails themselves constituted a part of the spacecraft sometime in history. Is this the trap that you are referring to?

I understand that option D has a participle phrase, and that participle phrases are not actual verb clauses. I get this point that it still acts a noun. But my question is that is this really the best way to show contrast. In your article, you mention in case 2 that the particular form (with+ noun+ participle) should act as a NOUN MODIFIER. But in this case, no such modification is taking place, infact this is a comparison. So probably, I would have marked option D, if I had realized the typical trap C was presenting. But still, D does not look to be the best of representations. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks so much.
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 14:59
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bkpolymers1617 wrote:
Hey Mike- I hope you know that you are awesome. I love Magoosh. Now coming back to the question. I did a detailed review of the choices again. Please let me know if I am thinking correctly please. Choice C is wrong because somehow it means that the large sails themselves constituted a part of the spacecraft sometime in history. Is this the trap that you are referring to?

I understand that option D has a participle phrase, and that participle phrases are not actual verb clauses. I get this point that it still acts a noun. But my question is that is this really the best way to show contrast. In your article, you mention in case 2 that the particular form (with+ noun+ participle) should act as a NOUN MODIFIER. But in this case, no such modification is taking place, infact this is a comparison. So probably, I would have marked option D, if I had realized the typical trap C was presenting. But still, D does not look to be the best of representations. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks so much.

Dear bkpolymers1617,

I'm happy to respond. Thank you for your kind words, my friend. :-)

The core comparison in this sentence is between the "huge solar panels" and the "sails." The writer somewhat poetically suggests that the "huge solar panels" on a "spacecraft" are comparable to the "large sails" on a "19th-century sea vessel."

Incidentally, all five answer choices end with the words "on a 19th-century sea vessel," so that should be part of the underlined section. That's a bit of sloppiness on Kaplan's part.

How would we state this bare comparison, with "like" or with "as"?
1) The huge solar panels on a spacecraft are as large sails on a 19th-century sea vessel. = WRONG
2) The huge solar panels on a spacecraft are like large sails on a 19th-century sea vessel. = CORRECT
That's the trap I was attempting to indicate. At this point, it should be very clear that "like" is correct and "as" is incorrect. Sentence #2 is perfectly correct.

Now, add a participle noun modifier to "sails."
3) The huge solar panels on a spacecraft are like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.
Still, "like" is correct, and sentence #3 is perfect correct. At this point, the core comparison is still very clear. This can introduce the element that confuses some non-native speakers, who confuse a participle modifier for a full verb: those students might think "as" is appropriate.

Now, we will make a more emphatic statement about the solar panels, but still retain the core comparison:
4) Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a spacecraft, like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.
Here, we are making a more extended statement about the solar panels, but we are still retaining the same comparison we had in #2 and #3. Admittedly, the core comparison might be a bit harder to pick out, but it's still the same. Thus, we still need to use the word "like" in the comparison of noun to noun. Sentence #4 is 100% correct, and this is version (D), the OA, from this SC question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2017, 07:32
Hi Mike,

I was concerned with answer choice 'D', especially present participle "billowing", because we are referring to 19th century vessel.
Do you think "past participle" would have been more correct?
i.e. had choice D read as "like large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel ", it would have been more perfect?.

Please help

Thanks
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New post 04 Oct 2017, 16:29
hellosanthosh2k2 wrote:
Hi Mike,

I was concerned with answer choice 'D', especially present participle "billowing", because we are referring to 19th century vessel.
Do you think "past participle" would have been more correct?
i.e. had choice D read as "like large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel ", it would have been more perfect?.

Please help

Thanks

Dear hellosanthosh2k2,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, full verbs carry very specific and well-defined tenses, but participles are a different breed. The present participle is an active participle--it's always active, but it doesn't always strictly refer to the present. In particular, if the participle modifies the subject of the sentence, it tends to take on the tense of the main verb. For example
He entered the room, carrying a box. = the action of "carrying" is in the past
Before I arrived, he had entered the room, carrying a box. = the action of "carrying" is in the past perfect

The use in (D) is analogous to this use. Don't assume that participles have fixed and rigid tenses, the way that a full verb in a particular tense would.

Also, notice, your example sentence do NOT involve a participle: instead, it involves a full verb inside "that"-clause.
. . . like large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel . . .
This is 100% grammatically correct, but a bit clunky, not as smooth as (D).

Changing from a present (active) participle to the past (passive) participle always changes the meaning.
He stood in the room, thinking. = a simple, perfectly normal sentence
He stood in the room, thought. = surreal, suggests that the man is only a figment of someone else's mind

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2019, 04:37
macjas wrote:
Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a spacecraft, as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.

A. as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
B. as large sails that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel
C. as did large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
D. like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
E. like large sails did that billowed on a 19th-century sea vessel


I do not know what I say is correct or not, but I want to say
if we use "like" we say that two nouns do the same action.
like you , I pass gmat.
this means you pass gmat and i pass gmat.
choice d means
like sails , the panel constitute
this means
sails constitute components and panel constitute component. this is absurd.

I can say
the panel which constitute the conspicuous component look like the sails which billowing on the vessels

I think the meanning of the above sentence is good but it is different from the meaning in choice d.

pls, comment, am i correct ?
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2019, 04:37
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