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Members of Congress were surprised to learn that

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New post 08 Jul 2015, 08:07
2
10
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  85% (hard)

Question Stats:

44% (01:13) correct 56% (01:21) wrong based on 348 sessions

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Members of Congress were surprised to learn that legislation that was passed to prevent discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs had been used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.


A had been used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.
B had been used by convicted felons who demanded while serving terms of imprisonment.
C was used by convicted felons who demanded special treatment while serving out their terms of imprisonment.
D was used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.
E was used by felonious convicts who had demanded special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.

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New post 08 Jul 2015, 22:54
I marked A :( I thought it meant: Members of Congress were surprised to learn that legislation that was passed to prevent discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs had <earlier> been used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.
Can someone please explain the OA?
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New post 09 Jul 2015, 02:11
Although I answered it right, I am confused with choice A and D as 3274 said. At first glance, I tended to choose past perfect too.
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New post 13 Jul 2015, 17:51
Shouldn't the answer be (A)? The legislation had been used by felons up until the members of Congress found out about it (and may or may not continue from then on). The use of the words "demanding" and "while serving" seems to suggest duration, as each felon uses that legislation throughout his/her prison sentence, as opposed to just using that law at one time while serving. Answer (D) makes the law sound as if it's a simple one time event, when in reality, using legislation to one's benefit can be long-winded, even for non-convicts (e.g. the length of court cases, divorce law, etc.).
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New post 13 Jul 2015, 21:11
A cant be the answer since the convicted felons used the legislation... in essence the "use" followed" the legislation"..

Since "was passed " is used for the legislation we cant use "had been" for the usage by the felons... since "had been" should always preceed "was" in a timeline.

However I went with C... Maybe C is wrong because "serving out" is wrong usage..

But D looked like a run-on sentence to me..

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New post 13 Jul 2015, 21:24
dominicraj wrote:
A cant be the answer since the convicted felons used the legislation... in essence the "use" followed" the legislation"..

Since "was passed " is used for the legislation we cant use "had been" for the usage by the felons... since "had been" should always preceed "was" in a timeline.

However I went with C... Maybe C is wrong because "serving out" is wrong usage..

But D looked like a run-on sentence to me..

Regards,
Dom.


I think that's what GMAT wants.

Anyway, how do you refer to two events, the first one in the past, and the second one that happens afterwards and continued for a while and stopped in the more recent past? With two simple past tenses?
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New post 13 Jul 2015, 21:40
Hi iPen,

Timeline means the sequence of events.. past... present.. future..

We can have two past tenses considering that both the events are over.. though it will still make sense since the meaning of the sentence conveys the order.

But a "past participle verb" could have been better for the preceding event usually... but in the context of the sentence... legislation "had been passed" would mean that it was a process that happened over a period of time.. but it was passed.. in one shot so was is okay.. a one time event.. so "was passed" is okay.

Hope its clear..

Regards,
Dom.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 07:11
mikemcgarry
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Can you please explain why answer choice C is wrong??
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 07:24
Shree9975 wrote:
mikemcgarry
Narenn
Can you please explain why answer choice C is wrong??


"demanded" and "serving" should be made parallel = "demanding" and "serving"

Verb-ed and simple gerund noun should not be parallel.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 07:47
iPen wrote:
Shree9975 wrote:
mikemcgarry
Narenn
Can you please explain why answer choice C is wrong??


"demanded" and "serving" should be made parallel = "demanding" and "serving"

Verb-ed and simple gerund noun should not be parallel.


that is so NOT true. different noun modifiers can be parallel even if they have different structures. For ex. -ed noun modifier can be parallel to -ing modifier.

I guess the only mistake with C is "serving out".
Note that "their" is not ambiguous here. The pronoun cannot refer to Members of Congress, because they cannot serve the terms of imprisonment. It is made clear that the convicted felons serve the terms of imprisonment.
Demanding and Serving should NOT be parallel, as these 2 have different structures. Demanding - is a noun modifier while serving is an action!
Those who chose on this specific reason - you are wrong... sorry...


Members of Congress were surprised to learn that
legislation (that was passed to prevent discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs)
had been used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.


Had been used - is incorrect. the demonstrative pronoun that follows the noun legislation (Do not ignore the fluf, always take into consideration the whole sentence) clearly specifies that the legislation was passed some time ago. Convicted felons used this flaw in the legislation after it had been passed. We cannot modify the non-underlined portion of the sentence. Thus, had been used - is not correct.

A and B are out.

C was used by convicted felons who demanded special treatment while serving out their terms of imprisonment.
serving out - suspicious.
D was used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.
looks good.

E was used by felonious convicts who had demanded special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.
this choice has several errors. First, it changes the meaning of the sentence. Felonious convicts - oh my!
Second, had demanded - past perfect is not needed.
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New post Updated on: 14 Jul 2015, 13:24
I think, perhaps, (C)'s use of "their" is redundant and "who" should be "whom". EDIT: I was referencing the wrong word, "convicted felons" instead of the verb following "who".

To me, it sounds strange that one "demanded" something previous to the relative present process of "serving" which began previous to one who "demanded". If there was a comma separating the two words and "serving" is used as a non-essential modifier, then I can see it working. Whereas, using "demanding" and "serving" work with the past tense "used by..." because the two modify convicted felons, and are within the idea of "used by..." (in other words, not parallel with "used by" and the other simple past tense verbs).

Members of Congress were surprised to learn that legislation that was passed to prevent discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs was used by convicted felons demanding special treatment while serving terms of imprisonment.

Members of Congress (simple past verb 1) X.... that (Simple past verb 2) Y.... (simple past verb 3) Z.... demanding P while serving Q.

demanding P while serving Q is within the ..., as opposed to being parallel to the simple past verbs X, Y, Z. Serving is not used as an absolute phrase within the idea of Z, so it should be made parallel to demanding.

That's my 2 cents.

Originally posted by iPen on 14 Jul 2015, 12:30.
Last edited by iPen on 14 Jul 2015, 13:24, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 12:37
iPen wrote:
I think, perhaps, (C)'s use of "their" is redundant and "who" should be "whom".

To me, it sounds strange that one "demanded" something previous to the relative present process of "serving" which began previous to one who "demanded". If there was a comma separating the two words and "serving" is used as a non-essential modifier, then I can see it working. Whereas, using "demanding" and "serving" work with the past tense "used by..." because the two modify convicted felons, and not the verb "used by".


Whom - cannot be used in this situation.
serving does not present a PRESENT process. The whole action happened in the past.
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New post 14 Jul 2015, 12:44
mvictor wrote:
iPen wrote:
I think, perhaps, (C)'s use of "their" is redundant and "who" should be "whom".

To me, it sounds strange that one "demanded" something previous to the relative present process of "serving" which began previous to one who "demanded". If there was a comma separating the two words and "serving" is used as a non-essential modifier, then I can see it working. Whereas, using "demanding" and "serving" work with the past tense "used by..." because the two modify convicted felons, and not the verb "used by".


Whom - cannot be used in this situation.
serving does not present a PRESENT process. The whole action happened in the past.


Relative present... not absolute present. So, it doesn't make sense to have done something in the past while that action occurs at the same time as performing something else. But, to rectify the tense error, a comma separating the absolute phrase "while serving terms of imprisonment" denotes that the past event occurred sometime during the serving, and not at the exact same moment. Otherwise, the sentence is temporally ambiguous, as intent and sentence structure conflict. That's my understanding... please correct me if I'm wrong.

And, I just need to get my who vs. whom down better lol... my previous-and-no-longer-de-facto understanding was to modify the noun it's referencing prior to it with either he/she/they or him/her/them. So, e.g., "...used by they, who demanded" vs. "...used by them, whom demanded". Conversely, "they demanded" is correct over "them demanded". So, he/she/they or him/her/them is the subject of the verb following who/whom. So, yeah, it should be "who".
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