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Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a

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

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Updated on: 11 Aug 2017, 00:46
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43% (01:02) correct 57% (01:10) wrong based on 417 sessions

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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

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we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender!

Originally posted by bkpolymers1617 on 10 Aug 2017, 22:06.
Last edited by broall on 11 Aug 2017, 00:46, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted question
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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 a  [#permalink]

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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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we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender!

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10 Aug 2017, 23:13

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

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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 a  [#permalink]

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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 a  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 10:56
bkpolymers1617 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 have chosen option C too.
Did not like either of them.
Now, that I know the right answer, suppose, it can be next explanation:

It seems to us that there must be "did" in the right option (I expected to see it in the end of the sentence, but only found in the beginning in option C) - we compare solar panels of spacecrafts and large sails on 19th-century vessels in the past. But maybe this is an error.

Option C is bad because, chosing it, we use logic above. BUT.
These 19th-century sea vessels float Today, Now, not in the 19-th century.
So we compare solar panels and sails today.

And because of it option D is better.

It is my assumption. Would like of course to hear from experts. Thank you!
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Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a  [#permalink]

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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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we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender!

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

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11 Aug 2017, 14:59
2
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 a  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 20:39
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
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Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a  [#permalink]

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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?.

Thanks
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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?.

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 a  [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2018, 20:01
mikemcgarry I hope you are well...

According to me:

Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a spacecraft, as large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel.

The author says that HSP constitute the most bla bla component of a spacecraft..
After that the author tries to make a comparison... The author says as HSP constitutes an important part of space , the large sail also used to CONSTITUTE the most important part of vessel...

According to me ,it is their relative importance and what they constituted is what is being compared ...

c) as did large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel
- here "did" refers back to the verb "constitute" ..
As constituted the large sails

In D we have two nouns compared... Now wouldn't it be more unambiguous to place large sails next to HSP rather than next to spacecraft...can't we argue that the spacecraft is compared to the large sails??

My doubt regarding C is , is it okay to have an inverted construction??

I mean C would be better if the verb "did " appeared after the subject "large sails" ...but is an inverted structure " verb+ noun" okay?? Even though it is fairly active?

Posted from my mobile device
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19 Dec 2018, 20:16
This is an easy one. It's d

d) like large sails billowing on a 19th-century sea vessel

And the reason for that is because you're describing the noun, the solar panels.
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27 Feb 2019, 03:03
Looking at the 3:2 split, the right word to use here is ‘like’ since we are talking about nouns. D is obviously the better choice of the two as it is much clearer and more concise.
Re: Huge solar panels often constitute the most conspicuous component of a   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2019, 03:03
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