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Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past

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Re: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2016, 11:36
egmat wrote:
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Hi Mugdha,

Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

Once again, I would say that you have done a good job in analyzing this one. However, the clause split for this one is not accurate. Let's look at the clauses in this sentence:

Cl. 1: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about
Cl. 2: how the human brain grows and
Cl. 3: how babies acquire language.

Since we cannot have a clause without an SV pair, the additional information cannot be identified as a clause because it does not have a Subject and a Verb.

I would never advise to skip the additional information completely while doing the PoE. The best way to answer questions where answer choices confuse us is to stay focused on the meaning of the sentence. You have understood the intended meaning of this sentence alright. Now let's compare that meaning with the meaning that we get from choices D and E.

Choice D: Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, - Per this choice, now the focus (main point) of the sentence is that Neuroscientists have amassed a lot of knowledge... However, per the original sentence, the focus of the sentence is that Neuroscientists are now drawing conclusions... This choice shifts the focus of the sentence completely. The main point of the sentence in Choice A is now an additional information in this choice. On this basis, we can eliminate this answer choice.

Choice E: Neuroscientists have amassed, over the past twenty years, a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, - Incorrect for the same reason as explained above.

So keep the intended logical meaning of the sentence as the main guide while doing the PoE.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha



This is what your response was in a previous post

Choice D: Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood: Incorrect. In this choice, "now drawing" acts as a comma + verb-ing modifier. The focus on the main information here has shifted from " are now developing" in the original sentence to "have amassed". In the original sentence, the action that is primary is "now developing" and "amassing knowledge" comes as an additional information. This choic reverses that order by making the main action additional information and the additional information into the main action. This is a clear shift in the intended meaning.


Can you please explain if the rule that you have explained before is valid for this question?
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Re: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2017, 09:43
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Quote:
Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years

There is some doubt about this structure that since having amassed is an adverbial modifier, it should modify the previous clause and since there is no clause before the said modifier, but only a noun, this structure is inherently wrong.
IMO, this is not a correct perception.
Now let's look at this structure.
Quote:
Having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about, Neuroscientists

Can we now argue that this structure is wrong because there is no clause before the modifier?
The point is the verb + ing modifier, which we assumed, as an adverbial modifier becomes an adjective modifier when placed in the beginning of the clause.
The issue in question---
1. Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years --- is actually --
--Having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years, Neuroscientists --
Therefore, per se, that part is legal.
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Re: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2018, 05:24
EducationAisle wrote:
iliavko wrote:
Thank you for the replies.

Does it mean that the comma after Neuroscientists is optional?

Oh no; without a comma, the having + past-participle structure is always incorrect on GMAT.

You might want to remember this. Let me know and I can dig out an official example in this regard.


Hi EducationAisle!

OA: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

Question: Usualy in GMAT SC "having ..." takes past perfect. But I also know that -ing modifier takes the tense of the main verb. Can we infer that in this case"having" is in present perfect, not in past perfect?
Otherwise how to justify usage of past perfect instead of simple construction such as: Neuroscientists, amassed a wealth..., are now drawing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About option D: Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

Question: Is the only problem of this option that it shifts focus from main action "are now drawing solid conclusions" to "have amassed a wealth of knowledge'? Otherwise the sentence sounds pretty (grammatically and logically) correct.

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Re: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2018, 23:04
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Hero8888 wrote:
Hi EducationAisle!

OA: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

Question: Usualy in GMAT SC "having ..." takes past perfect. But I also know that -ing modifier takes the tense of the main verb. Can we infer that in this case"having" is in present perfect, not in past perfect?
Otherwise how to justify usage of past perfect instead of simple construction such as: Neuroscientists, amassed a wealth..., are now drawing.

Hi Hero8888, you are correct! Having + Past Participle basically depicts an action that completed before the main verb in the sentence. Hence,

i) If the main verb is in past, Having + Past Participle acts like past perfect
ii) If the main verb is in present (as is the case in option A here), Having + Past Participle acts like present perfect

Quote:
About option D: Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

Question: Is the only problem of this option that it shifts focus from main action "are now drawing solid conclusions" to "have amassed a wealth of knowledge'? Otherwise the sentence sounds pretty (grammatically and logically) correct.

These type of Present participles (are now drawing solid conclusions..) should depict simultaneous result of the previous clause (For example: Peter met with an accident, sustaining severe injuries). Option D does not represent this scenario and is hence, incorrect.
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Re: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 11:08
1
Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one issue at a time, to find the correct answer quickly! First, here is the original question, with the major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

(A) Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the human brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are
(B) Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood over the past twenty years, and are
(C) Neuroscientists amassing a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood over the past twenty years, and are
(D) Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood,
(E) Neuroscientists have amassed, over the past twenty years, a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood,

After a quick glance over the options, there are clearly a few things we can focus on:

1. Where to place the phrase "over the past twenty years"
2. How each option begins (modifiers, non-essential phrases, verbs)


Let's start with #1 on our list: where to place the phrase "over the past twenty years." This phrase is meant to modify, or add more detail, to some part of this sentence, but which part? WHAT was done over the past 20 years? Let's take a closer look at each option, and figure out the best location for that phrase:

(A) Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the human brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are --> OKAY
It's clear that what happened over the past 20 years was researchers amassing a wealth of knowledge, so let's keep this one for later.

(B) Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood over the past twenty years, and are --> WRONG
This is misleading because it suggests that the phrase "over the past 20 years" is modifying "development from birth to adulthood." The research isn't over the past 20 years of someone's life - the research was collected over the past 20 years.

(C) Neuroscientists amassing a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood over the past twenty years, and are --> WRONG
Again, this is misleading because it suggests that the research covers the brain development over 20 years of a person's life, which isn't the intended meaning. It's supposed to say that the research was collected over the span of 20 years.

(D) Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, --> OKAY
It's clear that the research was collected over a span of 20 years, so let's keep this one for later.

(E) Neuroscientists have amassed, over the past twenty years, a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, --> WRONG
While this isn't grammatically incorrect, it does change the meaning of the original sentence slightly. By putting the phrase "over the past twenty years" in between commas, it's now a non-essential clause. By making this an "optional" phrase, we are saying that the length of time it took to amass this information isn't important. We would argue that it is important because it adds more detail to the idea that it took 20 years to gather all the information, and that neuroscientists are ONLY NOW figuring out what to do with all the information.

We can eliminate options B, C, and E because they place the phrase "over the past twenty years" in the wrong place.

Now that we're only left with 2 options, let's take a closer look at each one to determine which is the best choice. To make this easier, I've included the remaining part of the sentence at the end:

(A) Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the human brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

This is CORRECT! The phrase "over the past twenty years" is in the best location to create clarity and provide accurate information. The non-essential modifier, "...having amassed...to adulthood" uses the right punctuation and doesn't create any problems with verb tenses.

(D) Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, now drawing solid conclusions about how the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, it uses the present perfect "have amassed," which means that neuroscientists started looking for knowledge in the past and are still looking for it today. This isn't true. They collected all the information in the past, and they are done looking for it - they've moved on to drawing conclusions about brain development based on what they already found! Second, the modifier "now drawing solid conclusions..." sounds like it's in the wrong place, or needs to be worded more clearly to show that it's talking about the neuroscientists drawing conclusions. It's not technically wrong, but it could be confusing to readers.

There you have it - option A was the best choice after all!


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Re: Neuroscientists, having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past &nbs [#permalink] 23 Oct 2018, 11:08

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