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# Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing

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05 Aug 2011, 00:21
D modified scholars...So A is correct
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05 Aug 2011, 11:09
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gmatbull wrote:
what is the difference between these two versions?

(i) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as...
(ii) scholars’ categorization of Tacitus’s Germania as...

Although version (ii) wan't given in the question, I only want to
understand the difference between them

Latter uses noun+of construction when direct verb is available for this construction as used in the first sentence. As per MGMAT, noun+of constructions are considered wordy and should be replaced by a verb, although you may think that categorizing is not the main verb of this sentence.

I also feel for D but I agree with others about A.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 07:21
I agree with A, IMO

(A) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as --Correct
(B) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as if an ethnographic treatise.--If is mostly used to depict cause-effect / subjunctive mood and in this case it is neither of the both.Hence, "IF" is incorrectly used.
(C) scholars, categorizing of Tacitus’s Germania as an ethnographic treatise--the scholars should be in possesive case.This sentence construction also changes the meaning from the original. This construction "Categorizing of Tacitus’s Germania as an ethnographic treatise." seems like a fragment.
(D) .. amused by scholars who categorize Tacitus’s Germania as an ethnographic treatise---Change in meaning again, the main subjects are not amused by scholars but by the scholars' categorizing.
(E) amused by scholars who categorize Tacitus’s Germania if an ethnographic treatise --Change in meaning and incorrect usage of if
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 07:46
IMO D
how has one arrived at the conclusion that the meaning of the sentence is A and not D? Kindly explain.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 08:10
One way i could think of D as a wrong choice is that it says CATEGORISE rather than CATEGORISED.... But still I m not sure about A...
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 08:59
amit82 wrote:
IMO D
how has one arrived at the conclusion that the meaning of the sentence is A and not D? Kindly explain.

It is always like that only.If 2 options (including original) are grammatically and logically correct, we have to stick with the original option i.e. A because it is preferred by GMAT.

There are lots of thread in which the same question of "change in meaning" is discussed.You can go through them as well.
changing-meaning-of-original-sentence-93405.html
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 09:10
amit82 wrote:
One way i could think of D as a wrong choice is that it says CATEGORISE rather than CATEGORISED.... But still I m not sure about A...

My friend if you are rejecting this on grounds of tense by assuming that Modern critics are amused(participle) by early scholars (past indication) who categorize (they may be alive say 130 years old and still try to categorize--Present) or they can be (dead/ or they used to categorize ( categorized) in early periods--Past tense ), it will still have some distortion in meaning, so better to go for A.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 12:16
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edit: after writing it all out I see why it is A.

critics are amused by the categorizing itself, not by the scholars.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2012, 12:36
Went for A pretty soon. Really do not find a fault with B as such. Just found A to be better suited here.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2012, 13:09
I picked D
but I see now why A although awkward, is the correct answer
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2013, 05:41
I also find D as most suitable can some faculty memeber discuss this question in detail.

So that we may have discussion with complete explanation.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2013, 07:24
(A) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as
(B) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as if (as if is a bit awkward and changes the meaning slightly)
(C) scholars, categorizing of Tacitus’s Germania as (modifying scholars)
(D) scholars who categorize Tacitus’s Germania as (changes the meaning, amused by the categorization, not the scholars)
(E) scholars who categorize Tacitus’s Germania if (changes the meaning, amused by the categorization, not the scholars)
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2014, 06:27
linglinrtw wrote:
(A) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as
(B) scholars’ categorizing Tacitus’s Germania as if (as if is a bit awkward and changes the meaning slightly)
(C) scholars, categorizing of Tacitus’s Germania as (modifying scholars)
(D) scholars who categorize Tacitus’s Germania as (changes the meaning, amused by the categorization, not the scholars)
(E) scholars who categorize Tacitus’s Germania if (changes the meaning, amused by the categorization, not the scholars)

Good analysis of D and E. However, "categorizing" is not modifying "scholars" in C - instead, "categorizing" is modifying the entire preceding clause "Modern critics are amused by early scholars".

-ing can be one of three things:
1. verb
2. noun
3. present participle modifier

To be a verb, -ing must have a "to be" in front of it (ex. I am typing). That doesn't happen here.
To be a noun, -ing has to be a subject or an object of something (i.e. it has to function as a noun). That also doesn't happen here.
So, "categorizing" is a present participle modifier.

Without a preceding comma, a present participle modifier gives us restrictive (necessary to identify) information about the preceding noun or noun phrase. For example:

"The girl playing the piano is excellent." Here "playing the piano" is giving us information about the girl - information that we need to know in order to identify which girl is excellent.

However, with a preceding comma, a present participle modifier gives us additional information about the entire preceding clause. For exmaple:

"The girl played the piano, striking each key with precision." Here "striking each key with precision" is modifying the entire preceding clause "the girl played the piano" - it is telling us that, while playing the piano, she is striking each key with precision. Notice, and this is the point of all of this, that we are not saying that the immediately preceding noun ("piano") is striking each key, rather we are saying that the subject of the preceding clause ("girl") is striking each key.

By the way, sometimes we see this:

"The girl played the piano, masterfully striking each key with precision." This is the same as before - the addition of "masterfully" doesn't change it because it is just modifying the modifier (telling us how she is striking each key with precision).

Back to the original sentence, C says:

"Modern critics are amused by early scholars, categorizing of Tacitus’s Germania as an ethnographic treatise."

"Categorizing" is modifying the immediately preceding clause "Modern critics are amused by early scholars", meaning that, in their being amused by the scholars, modern critics also categorize Tacitus’s Germania as an ethnographic treatise. Notice here that the present participle modifier preceded by a comma is modifying the subject of the immediately preceding clause ("modern critics"), not the immediately preceding noun ("scholars"). That's a big difference.

This still has a distorted meaning because we actually want the scholars to be the ones doing the categorizing. D and E correctly have the scholars doing the categorizing, but they are wrong because they have the critics being amused by the scholars (and which scholars? the ones who tend to categorize...) when instead we want the critics to be amused by the characterization itself.

I only make this point because present participle modifiers that are set off by commas are somewhat commonly tested on the GMAT, so we need to be really careful about what they modify.
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Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2014, 11:49
Even if you liked the structure of D or E, the modern critics are commenting on "early scholars" who did their categorizing in the past, not the present, so the phrase "who categorize" is a huge clue that those are not the way to go.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2014, 04:53
As the critics are surprised by scholars action options C,D,E are ruled out.
The answer can be either A or B
Plural of scholar is Scholars,hence to show plural possession, apostrophe is kept after the s.
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2016, 06:26
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Re: Modern critics are amused by early scholars categorizing   [#permalink] 30 Jun 2016, 06:26

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