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In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of

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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
I am a little confused here with like vs as.

My understanding is that like is used for noun and as is used for a noun + verb clause. Here, a buffer is a noun, so shouldn't we use like?

Can someone please clarify this? mikemcgarry
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
pra1785 wrote:
I am a little confused here with like vs as.

My understanding is that like is used for noun and as is used for a noun + verb clause. Here, a buffer is a noun, so shouldn't we use like?

Can someone please clarify this? mikemcgarry

Dear pra1785,

I'm happy to respond.

The rule "like for noun, as for verb" is a useful general pattern, but it's far from the last word on comparisons. There are specific idioms associated with the verb "act" that break this pattern. See:
A Tricky GMAT Idiom: “act like” vs. “act as”

Does this make sense?
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
Comma+verb-ing modifier modifies preceding clause immediately before it. here- act as buffer
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
SWAT09 wrote:
Comma+verb-ing modifier modifies preceding clause immediately before it. here- act as buffer

But then 'act as buffer' is not doing the action of 'absorbing'. It is the 'buffer' that is doing the action, so ideally there should be no comma.

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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
jpv wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 56
Page: 646

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, so that it absorbs the energy of crashing waves and protecting the beaches.

(A) act as a buffer, so that it absorbs
(B) act like a buffer so as to absorb
(C) act as a buffer, absorbing
(D) acting as a buffer, absorbing
(E) acting like a buffer, absorb

breakwater of rocks stated in the stem suggests that it will play the role of a buffer. Hence 'as' rounds up doing that much better than like. Also we need to make something after comma in parallel to protecting. Hence only a -ing participle phrase will work here.

So seeing the answer choices on the above -

(A) act as a buffer, so that it absorbs

Explanation - absorbs is removing parallelism. Hence incorrect

(B) act like a buffer so as to absorb

Explanation - absorb is removing parallelism. Hence incorrect

(C) act as a buffer, absorbing

Explanation - uses 'as' correctly. Also maintains parallelism by using -ing form of absorb. Hence Correct.

(D) acting as a buffer, absorbing

Explanation - 'acting' is disrupting parallelism with 'rise'. Hence incorrect.

(E) acting like a buffer, absorb

Explanation - absorb is removing parallelism. Hence incorrect

Hence C
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
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ShashwatPrakash wrote:
SWAT09 wrote:
Comma+verb-ing modifier modifies preceding clause immediately before it. here- act as buffer

But then 'act as buffer' is not doing the action of 'absorbing'. It is the 'buffer' that is doing the action, so ideally there should be no comma.

ShashwatPrakash the intention here is " absorbing the energy of crashing waves and protecting the beaches" is the result of an activity = a breakwater of rocks that would rise six feet above the waterline and act as a buffer. The whole activity of - a breakwater of rocks rising six feet above the waterline and acting as a buffer is doing the action of absorbing and protecting. Its like cause and effect.

if it was ..act as buffer absorbing the energy..... then "absorbing" here will only modify concrete subject "buffer" but then doing so will not present a cause and effect situation.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
it very clear to me why we are using "as".
but i am confused with "absorb" vs "absorbing". I know "absorbing" is making the list parallel, but it is modifying
the preceding clause's action (Army Engineers proposed building) and that looks wrong.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
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In essence, the ' comma + verbing' phrase modifies both the subject of the preceding clause and the subject's action. The preceding clause may be an IC, a subordinate clause, or a relative clause.
Here, 'the army engineers proposed' is not the preceding clause. It is actually the "a breakwater of rocks that would rise six feet above the waterline and act as a buffer". It is "the breakwater that would rise and act", a relative clause that is modified by the absorbing and protecting.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
I have been using GMAT Pill and this is what it teaches:

If there is a sentence followed by a comma and a ing verb [the ing verb modifies the subject of the sentence]

However, in this sentence:

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.

The word "absorbing" is modifying "a breakwater of rocks", whereas the subject of the sentence is "the Amy Corps of Engineers".

I am very confused!
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
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What you read is sometimes but not always accurate, because, when a comma precedes a present participial phrase, or verb -ing modifier, what that phrase modifies is not always the subject of the sentence. Rather, such a phrase usually, but not 100 percent of the time, has as its agent, which is basically the subject of the participle, the subject of the preceding subject-verb pair, which subject is sometimes the subject of the sentence and sometimes the subject of a modifying clause.

Here are examples, one of each type.

The dog barked loudly, waking everyone in the house. - The agent of the participle "waking," which begins the closing phrase, is the subject of the sentence, "dog," and the phrase modifies the main clause of the sentence.

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. - The agent of the participle "absorbing," which begins the closing phrase, is the subject of the preceding modifying clause, "that," which refers to "breakwater," and the closing phrase modifies the preceding modifying clause.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
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.

egmat

Taking the snippet from your 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.

PS: I have already tagged you in a similar POST. Really confused with both after reading the doc.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
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, so that it absorbs the energy of crashing waves and protecting the beaches.

Meaning: - The Army Corps of Engineers plan to stop the erosion on the Each Coast Beaches. To accomplish this task, they decide to build a breakwater of rocks (breakwater is an expression – simply means a barrier). They expect this plan to achieve two tasks
1) The rocks will absorb the energy of the waves
2) The rocks will protect the beaches

Error:-
1) Parallelism error – it absorbs is not parallel to protecting the beaches

(B) act like a buffer so as to absorb – Like a buffer means the rocks will act similar to a buffer. But the sentence says that the rocks will act exactly as buffers. Hence we need the expression “As”

Remember – “As + noun” is used to describe a function/Role. Eg – Ron joined the company as a CEO. This means Jon’s position in the company is of a CEO

(C) act as a buffer, absorbingCorrect. The parallelism error is rectified. Now Absorbing is parallel to protecting. The use of the expression As is correct

(D) acting as a buffer, absorbing – We again see a parallelism error. In the original sentence, the rocks “rise” six feet and they “act” as a buffer. In this choice, “acting” is not parallel to “rise

(E) acting like a buffer, absorb – Same as (B) (D). The parallelism error still remains
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
sam9312 Abhi077

Quote:
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 your 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.

Let me try to help.

Quote:
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.

Here, absorbing and protecting are modifying the subject of earlier dependent clause:
that would rise six feet above the waterline and act as a buffer,
BUT, what does that refer to: breakwater of rocks
It is the rocks that are protecting and absorbing the beaches.

A small tip: try to pay heed to non-underlined sentence and the ||el marker: AND.
I hope you do get time to get to meaning under timed conditions, but why not take few low hanging fruits when GMAC gives them
Hope this helps.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
jpv wrote:
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, so that it absorbs the energy of crashing waves and protecting the beaches.

(A) act as a buffer, so that it absorbs

(B) act like a buffer so as to absorb

(C) act as a buffer, absorbing

(D) acting as a buffer, absorbing

(E) acting like a buffer, absorb

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 56
Page: 646

1. Parallelism issue: “a breakwater that would rise ~ and (would) act ~” -> verb-verb parallel. | “absorbing ~ and protecting ~” -> present participle parallel. Thus, eliminate (A), (B), (D) and (E).
2. “like” vs “as”: we use “like + noun” to metaphorically compare noun, and we use “as + noun” to show function or role of noun. Here, we want to describe breakwater’s function. Therefore, eliminate (B) and (E).
3. Use of “so that it absorbs” is worng. “so that” is correct only when main subject and that-clause’s subject are different. FYI, “so…that” is always correct.
4. In GMAT SC, “so as to do” is always wrong. I’m not a native English speaker, so I don’t know why it’s wrong, but I only know that memorize some rules can save a lot of time in actual test.

Hope this helps someone who struggles with this question

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
Hi...I think there are very good answer to this question, but I observed that most of the people are confused between usage of 'like' vs 'as'. Therefore, I will give my 2 cents.

According to " Manhattan GMAT - Sentence Correction Book "

'AS' is either a conjunction or a preposition, depending on the context. You should distinguish among several meanings.

Conjunction As appears with a clause. It has three uses:

Duration As: AS I strolled to the store, I smelled the air. (= while, during)
Causation As: I will not tell you, AS you already know. (= since, because)
Comparison As: You should walk AS she wants you to. (= in the same way)

Comparison As is the most important conjunction use of as on the GMAT. It sometimes appears together
with just, so, or even so too.

Right: JUST AS the trains were late yesterday, the buses are late today.
Right: JUST AS the trains were late yesterday, SO TOO are they late today.

Comparison As can also appear with a phrase, rather than a full clause.

Right: AS in the previous case, the judge took an early break.

Preposition As is used with a noun or noun phrase. It also has three uses:

Function As: AS your leader, I am in charge. (= in the role o0
Equation As: I think of you AS my friend. (=you are my friend)
Stage As: AS a child, I thought I could fly. (= when I was)

In any of these prepositional senses, As does not mean “similar to.”

Right: I will jump up LIKE a clown. (= in a clownish manner)
Right: I will jump up AS a clown. (= in a clown suit!)

To force the Comparison As meaning, use a clause. To make a clause, include a verb:

Right: I will jump up AS a clown MIGHT. (= like a hypothetical clown)
Right: I will jump up AS clowns DO. (= like actual clowns)

I hope everything is clear now. Here As is used as a comparison.
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Re: In a plan to stop the erosion of East Coast beaches, the Army Corps of [#permalink]
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