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# Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers

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Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2017
Posts: 234
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 630 Q49 V27
GPA: 4
Re: Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2018, 08:21
souvik101990 wrote:
Your success on Sentence Correction will depend much more on your ability to recognize what is wrong than to recognize what is right. This question offers an excellent example – you know that the structure “so X that Y” is a commonly accepted idiom.

You’ve become accustomed to seeing that structure and so when you see the phrasing “so X as to Y” in choice A and the much-more-familiar “so X that Y” in choice C, your inclination is to quickly eliminate A. But A is the correct answer.

Simply because “so X that Y” is correct does NOT mean that “so X as to Y” is incorrect. Idioms are commonly accepted ways to phrase an idea – but they are not exclusive. There are many – or several, or quite a few – ways to express any idea. And much like there is no “greatest prime number” (ask your instructor for the proof, using what you learned in Arithmetic) there is no “one and only” correct idiom. You can almost always find one more. So you can study idiomatic expressions for months and not have them mastered, and what’s worse – you’ll likely only lead yourself astray from your core competencies like verb tense. In this example, the past-tense in choice C (and B and D) is illogical. It’s wrong. So the not-as-common idiom in A, attached to the “correct” usage of verb tense, provides the correct answer. It’s not what you want to see – but the author knows this and constructed a question in which what you wanted to see was bait.

The authors of these questions are grammar experts and they know this about you – you will never know all of the correct idiomatic expressions, accepted sentence structures, or allowable ways to phrase an idea. So they use them. They take the common phrasing and attach it to an incorrect answer – one containing a major-category error that you should know – and correct that problem in a choice that uses an awkward, unexpected, but still correct structure or idiom. They know that you want to choose “what you know to be right” but that in doing so you’re apt to also wed yourself to something that is hidden, but wrong.

Also see the following thread from Brian at Veritas discussing this same question.

- OE from Veritas Prep

souvik101990

Just one clarification. Could you please elaborate why is usage of past tense in B,C and D incorrect?

Is it because usage of present tense in "are characterized" doesn't go well with past tense "posed" as given in options B,C and D.
Manager
Joined: 12 Mar 2017
Posts: 234
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 630 Q49 V27
GPA: 4
Re: Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 07:22
Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers for their brilliance and consistency, are characterized by sentences so dense and convoluted as to pose a significant hurdle for many readers interested in his works.

A. so dense and convoluted as to pose

B. so dense and convoluted they posed

C. so dense and convoluted that they posed

D. dense and convoluted enough that they posed

E. dense and convoluted enough as they pose

AjiteshArun , sayantanc2k

Are we eliminating C because "are characterized by" part which happens to be in present tense not parallel to "that they posed" part which happens to be in past tense.

sayantanc2k wrote:

Yes, the pronoun they is definitely ambiguous.

In fact because it is subject of a clause (they pose significant hurdle), it actually refers to writings, subject of another clause (writings are characterized), by virtue of parallelism. (GMAT allows such reference if there are more than two possible antecedents). Nonetheless they should actually refer to sentences, not writings.

I am still not clear why is "they" in C ambiguous. Doesn't "they" modify "sentences" which is nearer to the pronoun. Please help
Director
Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 525
Location: India
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
Re: Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers  [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2018, 12:03
Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers for their brilliance and consistency, are characterized by sentences so dense and convoluted as to pose a significant hurdle for many readers interested in his works.

A. so dense and convoluted as to pose

B. so dense and convoluted they posed

C. so dense and convoluted that they posed

D. dense and convoluted enough that they posed

E. dense and convoluted enough as they pose

B,C and D are using past tense,while the sentence is using present continuous. E is change in meaning.Thus A is the correct answer.
Re: Immanuel Kant's writings, while praised by many philosophers &nbs [#permalink] 04 Aug 2018, 12:03

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