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In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child

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In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 27 Sep 2018, 01:49
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In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional, and ruling that it was a form of price-fixing and, as such, an abridgment of the right of contract.


(A) the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional, and

(B) the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia, and

(C) the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia,

(D) a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,

(E) when the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional,


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 203: Sentence Correction


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Originally posted by TeHCM on 15 Dec 2005, 01:05.
Last edited by Bunuel on 27 Sep 2018, 01:49, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2012, 07:56
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Hi,

When a verb-ing modifier is preceded by a comma, it always modifies the entire preceding clause. The verb-ing modifier denotes an action and this action must make sense with the subject of the preceding clause. Let’s take a set of simple examples to understand this usage:

a. Ria maintains a diary, writing her day-to-day accounts.

Here, “writing” is preceded by a comma. Hence, it modifies the entire preceding clause. This modifier explains HOW Ria maintains a diary. She does so by writing her daily accounts. The verb-ing modifier “writing” denotes an action. This action makes sense with the subject of the clause “Ria” because “Ria” does the action of writing.

b. A diary is maintained by Ria, writing her day-to-day accounts.

By writing this sentence in passive voice, we change the subject of the preceding clause that the comma + verb-ing modifier “writing” modifies. This modification does not make sense because the action denoted by “writing” does not make sense with the subject of the clause “A diary”. “A diary” does not perform the action of “writing”. Ria did that action. Hence, this sentence is incorrect.

Now study choices C (correct choice) and D of the official question:

Choice C: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia, ruling that it was a form of price-fixing, as such, an abridgment of the right of contract.

Choice D: In 1923, a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, ruling that it was a form of price-fixing, as such, an abridgment of the right of contract.

In choice C, “ruling” makes sense with “the Supreme Court” because the SC did the action of ruling and hence the modification is correct.

In choice D, the subject is “a minimum wage”. This subject does not make sense with the action denoted by “ruling”. Hence, this modification is incorrect.

Usage of “Verb-ing” Modifiers has been explained in detail in our concept named “Modifiers – Verb-ing”. This concept is listed under Level 1 Preview Concepts that are free for everyone. Just go to e-gmat.com, register for free and learn the concept. There are quizzes for your practice as well.

Hope this helps. :)
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QOTD: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 21:56
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Quote:
(A) the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional, and

The parallelism trigger “and” gives us the best hint on this one. The “and” is followed by “ruling that it was a form…”, so we need something that’s parallel to ruling. And we really don’t have that: there are no other “-ing” modifiers that could possibly be an option.

The word order at the beginning of the underlined portion is also just a little bit confusing. It sounds like “the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children” – which isn’t what the sentence is saying. It’s saying that the Supreme Court declared that the minimum wage as unconstitutional – so why not keep the phrase “minimum wage as unconstitutional” together? That would make the sentence clearer.

So we can eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia, and

In (B), the phrase “as unconstitutional” is in a much better spot: “declared as unconstitutional a minimum wage…” might sound funny, but it’s much clearer than the version in (A). We now know exactly what the Supreme Court actually declared, without having to think too hard about it. That’s great.

Trouble is, the parallelism still makes no sense, exactly as we described in answer choice (A): “and” is followed by “ruling”, and nothing is parallel with “ruling.”

So we can get rid of (B), too.

Quote:
(C) the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia,

The “and” is missing from (C), and that’s actually a good thing: now “ruling that it was a form of price-fixing” is a modifier that gives us more information about the previous clause (“the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage…”) And that makes perfect sense.

The placement of the word “unconstitutional” is also much better than in some of the other answer choices: it’s immediately clear that the Supreme Court declared the minimum wage unconstitutional, and that makes the sentence much clearer.

Let’s keep (C).

Quote:
(D) a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,

(D) is exactly the same as (C), except that it’s in passive voice: “a minimum wage… was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court” is an unnecessarily indirect way to say “the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage…”

To be clear: there are times when passive voice is perfectly acceptable. It’s not automatically wrong. But in this case, there’s no justification for the passive voice: why would we use passive when it’s clearer to just use active voice, and state that the Supreme Court took action?

(D) isn’t as good as (C), so we can eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) when the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional,

Like (A), (E) separates the phrase “as unconstitutional” from the action it modifies (“the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage”), and that’s a little bit confusing. For more on this issue, see the explanation for answer choice (A).

The bigger issue is that this thing just isn’t a sentence at all. The underlined portion is a modifier, and then it’s followed by another modifier (beginning with “ruling”) – so we never have a main clause, with a nice subject and verb.

So (E) is out, and (C) is our answer.
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2005, 08:23
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I think C is better than D. "ruling" in C modifies the supreme court whereas it modifies a minimum wage in D.
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2012, 22:39
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The gist of the passive voice sentence in D is: A minimum wage was declared illegal by the Supreme court. This act must have been done by
A body of people such as Supreme court or the Legal Dept and so on. The declaration could not have been made by the minimum wage. For a logical predication, it requires SC to act as the doer of the action. That is the reason it requires a clause which is active rather than passive.

This is my opinion.
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2013, 11:37
Whenever you spot an and, please make sure the structure following the and is grammatically similar with something preceding the and (for the simple reason that and joins two or more entities).

In A, and B, the structure following the and is: (and) ruling that it was a form of price fixing
But there is nothing preceding the and that is grammatically similar to this structure.

So, A and B would have been better if the non-underlined portion had: ..and ruled.. (and not ..and ruling..), because in that case the portions before and after and would have been grammatically similar: ...the supreme court declared...and ruled...

Reiterating, the structure in A and B: ...the supreme court declared...and ruling... is not a grammatically parallel structure.
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2014, 16:54
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sakshiag28 wrote:
In 1923, the supreme court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia as unconstitutional, and ruling that it was a form of price fixing and, as such, an abridgment of the right of contract.

A) the supreme court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia as unconstitutional, and
B) the supreme court declared as unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia, and
C) the supreme court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia,
D) a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court
E) when the supreme declared a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia as unconstitutional,


I'm happy to respond. :-) Here's my analysis.

Split #1: the idiom for "declare." The word declare idiomatically does not take a preposition --- the correct idiom is simply "to declare X Y", where X is some noun and Y is some judgement.
... to declare the assailant guilty ...
... to declare the new discovery invalid ...
... to declare the soup delicious ...

There is no preposition between the noun and the judgement. Putting the preposition "as" into this structure is incorrect:
... to declare the assailant as guilty ...
Every answer choice with the word "as" before the word "unconstitutional" makes this same mistake. On the basis of this split, we immediately can eliminate choices (A), (B), and (E). (Each one of those also has other problems!!)

After one split, we are down to only two choices. Choices (C) & (D) are both grammatically and idiomatically correct. The profound difference is in Rhetorical Construction. For more on that, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/rhetorical ... orrection/
Choice (C) is strong, direct, sleek, and powerful. Choice (D) is passive, indirect, flaccid, and mealy-mouthed. The choice between them is stark. Choice (C) is much better, and is clearly the best answer.

Notice that the modifying phrase beginning with the word "ruling" is a verb modifier, a.k.a. an adverbial phrase. Unlike noun modifiers, these are not subject to the Touch Rule, so we don't have to contort the first half of the sentence into a grammatical pretzel just so that the words "supreme court" are touching that modifier. For more on the Touch Rule, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/modifiers- ... orrection/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2014, 15:35
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Hi Mike,

1. In answer choice C, isn't it idiomatically incorrect? Declared a X(minimum wage) as Y(unconstitutional)?

2. Out of curiosity , which verb is the above highlighted verb modifier referring to ?

3. The idiom "Declared A B" is equivalent to "Consider A B", isn't it? Are there any other words that run along the same lines?
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New post 27 Jun 2014, 11:41
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russ9 wrote:
Hi Mike,

1. In answer choice C, isn't it idiomatically incorrect? Declared a X(minimum wage) as Y(unconstitutional)?


Dear russ9
With all due respect, I don't believe the word "as" even appears in choice (C).

You are perfectly correct that declare X as Y would be idiomatically incorrect.

russ9 wrote:
2. Out of curiosity , which verb is the above highlighted verb modifier referring to ?


Here's the OA version:
In 1923, the supreme court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the district of Columbia, ruling that it was a form of price fixing and, as such, an abridgment of the right of contract.
The participle "ruling" is a verb-modifier, or one might say a "clause modifier" --- there's actually not a sharp distinction between a verb modifier and a clause modifier. It provides the content of the court's decision, the effect of their action. This is typical for a verb modifier.
I told Kevin he was very smart, making him feel good about himself.
The bond market fell precipitously, sending stocks into a panic.
At Austerlitz, Napoleon crushed the Third Coalition, bringing an end to the Holy Roman Empire.
In each one, the first part, in green, is an independent clause, and the second part, in purple, is a verb-modifier giving the effect of the action, the result.

Does this make sense?

russ9 wrote:
3. The idiom "Declared A B" is equivalent to "Consider A B", isn't it? Are there any other words that run along the same lines?


In terms of common words, likely to appear on the GMAT, there are no other words in this pattern. BTW, here are some free GMAT Idiom Flashcards:
https://gmat.magoosh.com/flashcards/idioms
Mike :-)
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Re: QOTD: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 22:17
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(A) the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional, and:
*AS+NOUN: IN THE ROLE OF- NONSENSICAL HERE
* AND: CANNOT BE USED FOR JOINING A CLAUSE WITH VERBING MODIFIER (RULING)


(B) the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia, and:
SAME ERRORS AS A

(C) the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia,:
CORRECT

(D) a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,:
SUBJECT 'A MINIMUM WAGE' DOESN'T MAKE SENSE WITH VERBING MODIFIER 'RULING'

(E) when the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia as unconstitutional,:
NO MAIN CLAUSE IN THE SENTENCE

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Re: QOTD: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 11:40
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(D) a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,

(D) is exactly the same as (C), except that it’s in passive voice: “a minimum wage… was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court” is an unnecessarily indirect way to say “the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage…”

To be clear: there are times when passive voice is perfectly acceptable. It’s not automatically wrong. But in this case, there’s no justification for the passive voice: why would we use passive when it’s clearer to just use active voice, and state that the Supreme Court took action?

(D) isn’t as good as (C), so we can eliminate (D).


GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo , egmat

I thought D was the correct answer because the non -underlined word 'ruling' correctly modifies the 'supreme court' at the end of the sentence. Is that correct?
Also how do we realize which word the modifier is modifying (in this case - 'ruling'). Sometimes it could be the subject at the start of the sentence or sometimes the last word of the sentence.
Your reply would be well appreciated.
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Re: QOTD: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2018, 12:13
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Deepit wrote:
egmat

I thought D was the correct answer because the non -underlined word 'ruling' correctly modifies the 'supreme court' at the end of the sentence. Is that correct?
Also how do we realize which word the modifier is modifying (in this case - 'ruling'). Sometimes it could be the subject at the start of the sentence or sometimes the last word of the sentence.
Your reply would be well appreciated.



Hello Deepit,

Thank you for your query. :-)


The verb-ing modifiers modify the preceding noun entities when they are NOT preceded by a comma. For example:

The man wearing the red hat is my uncle.

In the above-mentioned sentence, wearing modifies the preceding noun The man.

When a verb-ing modifier is preceded by a comma and is placed after a clause, then it modifies the action in the preceding clause. In such a modification, the action presented by the comma + verb-ing modifier must make sense with the doer of the modified action.

Same is the structure we see in the correct answer choice of this official sentence as well.

In 1923, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia, ruling that it was a form of price-fixing and, as such, an abridgment of the right of contract.

As you can see, the verb-ing modifier ruling is preceded by the comma and placed after the clause. Hence, it is an action modifier. It modifies the action declared in the preceding clause.

The sentence intends to say that the Supreme Court declared xyz unconstitutional. In doing so, the court ruled something. So you see, in choice C, the action of ruled makes sense with the doer - the Supreme Court - of the modified action declared.

But this is not the case with Choice D. Choice D seems to suggest that a minimum wage did the action of ruling. This is certainly not the intended logical meaning.

You can learn all about the Verb-ing Modifiers at e-GMAT by simply registering at e-gmat.com for free. This concept is part of our Free Trial course.


Hope this helps. :-)
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Re: QOTD: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2018, 07:26
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The supreme court declared X Y, ruling something.
ruling something must modify supreme court.
Declare X Y is an idiom. just like consider X Y .
I think now its clear why C is correct

Answer should be C
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 09:15
Hey there,

I am quite confused by answer choice c, because it sounds as the court declared a minimum wage for women and that was unconstitutional.
But in my point of view it should be "the court declared X as Y".
Can anyone help me with this? I am not a native speaker.
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In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 11:56
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Echterlini wrote:
Hey there,

I am quite confused by answer choice c, because it sounds as the court declared a minimum wage for women and that was unconstitutional.
But in my point of view it should be "the court declared X as Y".
Can anyone help me with this? I am not a native speaker.

Hi Echterlini , I will be happy to help but I cannot tell which part of the discussion above does not make sense.

This sentence is really hard for native speakers (we do not typically speak this way)—for non-native speakers I think the sentence must sound a little crazy. :)

Quote:
it sounds as the court declared a minimum wage for women and that was unconstitutional.

Either unconstitutional or a is not in the right place to sustain your interpretation.

The official version:
(C) the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia,
This option describes what the Supreme Court decided about a minimum wage [law].
The Court decided that the law was unconstitutional and declared it unconstitutional.

Here is the version that would support your [incorrect] interpretation:
The Supreme Court declared (established) an unconstitutional minimum wage for women and children in the District of Columbia
This option is someone's opinion about the character of a law that the Court itself established (declared).
A commentator analyzes the minimum wage "declared" by the Court itself and announces that the Court's new rule is unconstitutional.

• Idiom Declare X Y

Above, Mike McGarry wrote, "declare X as Y would be idiomatically incorrect."
The official explanation for this question says the same thing: "This sentence depends on the correct use of an idiom: the court declares x unconstitutional."

About options A, B, and E, in which Declare X as Y is used, the author of the OE reiterates that "Declared as . . . unconstitutional is not the correct idiom."

• Structure of the idiom and function in this sentence
Declare (NOUN X) (NOUN Y)
or
Declare (NOUN X) (ADJECTIVE Y) ← this sentence uses this version

The noun, X, is minimum wage [for women and children in D.C.]
The adjective, Y, is unconstitutional

We need to invert the form in option C because the noun minimum wage is followed by modifiers that make the noun phrase very long.

If we tack on Y = "unconstitutional" after all those prepositional phrases,
we lose the direct connection between declared and unconstitutional,
a connection that is required by the idiom Declare X Y

Idioms can be strange. This one, as mentioned above, resembles Consider X Y.

One way to think about this idiom is that some words are omitted—just do not insert those words.
-- He declared the chocolate layer cake [to be] a culinary masterpiece.
-- He declared the chocolate layer cake [as] delicious beyond description
(I am NOT saying that these renditions are correct. They are not. They might help to clarify the logic.
Even if the logic does not make sense, memorize this one. Often we cannot explain why idioms are the way they are.)

I hope that helps.
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 22:05
Dear egmat

Regarding your explanation about the verb-ing modifier - “writing” denotes an action and this action makes sense with the subject of the clause “Ria” because “Ria” does the action of writing, I have a concern about whether the verb-ing modifier should necessarily make sense with the subject of the clause.
For ex:
Anna stayed up all night cramming for the GMAT exam, causing her to almost get fatigued on the following day.
In this sentence, the action "causing" is not carried out by Anna.

Could you help me clarify this?
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Re: In 1923, the Supreme Court declared a minimum wage for women and child   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2019, 22:05
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