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New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2016, 13:09
thangvietnam wrote:
miaojunmaggie wrote:
New genetic evidence — together with recent studies of elephants’ skeletons, tusks, and other anatomical features — provide compelling support for classifying Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants as separate species.

A. provide compelling support for classifying
B. provide compelling support for the classification of
C. provides compelling support to the classification of
D. provides compelling support for classifying
E. provides compelling support to classify
call for explanation for official answer!!!
really thanks!!!

Happy New Year! :-D


I return to this question the third times. I hope I do not return to it the forth times.

though support to and support for do not appear in the macmillan dictionary, we have to agree that 'support to somebody" and "support for something" are good.

now , look at E.
to classify can not modify evidence because this modification is not logic. to classify can not modify support because it is not idiomatic. the pattern "noun to do" is an idiom . this means "noun to do" exist for a specific noun and verb. there is no "support to do", in which to do modify support.

in the pattern "noun to do" , noun has specific meaning relation with to do. this pattern is discussed in grammar books. we have to agree that we have to read this discussion before we fully understand whether " support to provide"is correct and this sc problem , though focus on meaning, also bear a hard grammar point the non native can not solve and the native solve without full understanding, solving with ears, not with grammar or logic.

willing to know more comment

Dear miaojunmaggie & thangvietnam,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, I guarantee that the OA is (D). I don't have a full OE, but I will share with you my reasoning.

The singular subject, "New genetic evidence," requires a singular verb, "provides." This means that (A) and (B) are out because of a SVA problem.

Much of the problem hinges on "support for" vs. "support to." This is one of these distinctions that is so obvious to a native speaker and it's so incredibly difficult to explain the nuance to a non-native speaker. As someone who writes practice questions, I am simply astounded by the extraordinarily high quality of official questions, that manage to test such subtle aspects of English.

When we are just taking about "support" and the person or institution or idea to which we are directing our support, then the most natural construction is "support for":
support for Donald Trump
support for Armenian Orthodox Church
support for an existentialist interpretation of Hamlet
support for the urban poor
support for the spotted owl
support for communal housing in Berkeley

If we are discussing support in general, this would be the default structure.

The structure "support to" is not 100% wrong, but it would only be used in very specific circumstances.
1) If the word "support" is modified by a personal pronoun and is the object of the verb "to give," then a "to" after the word would indicate the recipient:
I am going to give my support to her cause.
2) The word "support" is followed by a infinitive of purpose.
I give the Sierra Society support to demonstrate my concern for the environment.

The English language is filled with foibles such as this. It is impossible to get to a mastery of GMAT SC by memorizing some ideal complete set of rules. The only way for a non-native speaker to get to mastery is to cultivate the habit of reading. See:
https://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/how-to-im ... bal-score/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2016, 00:39
Hmm I wonder why some people picked E.

Do people ever say something provides support to something in real life?
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2016, 11:54
mikemcgarry, Is 'Provides compelling support for classification of' correct ?

mikemcgarry wrote:
Hi there! I'm happy to help with this. :)

First of all, the subject of the sentence is "New genetic evidence" --- what follows, set off by dashes, is a big prepositional phrase. The subject is singular, so the verb should be singular ----- "New genetic evidence . . . provides . . ." That eliminates (A) & (B).

Next, the idiomatic use of the word "support": in English, we say that one gives/shows support for something. That's natural and idiomatic. To say, "I give my support to something" sounds less natural, more like the kind of mistake someone learning English might make.

Thus, the best answer is (D), singular verb + "for" instead of "to."

Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :)
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2016, 13:45
jjindal wrote:
mikemcgarry, Is 'Provides compelling support for classification of' correct ?

Dear jjindal,

I'm happy to respond. Let's break this down.

First of all, it is 100% correct to say "to provide support for X." That is a correct idiom. People can provide support for other people or for causes, and ideas can provide support for other ideas.
The IT department provides technical support for the customer service representatives.
Classical Buddhism does not provide any support for capital punishment.


The participle "compelling" is an an intensifier used for logic "support" in a case in which something is an inescapable conclusion.
An impartial examination of the fossil record provides compelling support for the idea of evolution by natural selection.

The word "classification" needs the definite article in front of it in this context:
... provides compelling support for classification of .... = wrong
... provides compelling support for the classification of ... = correct
This is a 100% grammatically and idiomatically correct. It is a bit wordy, and this phrasing is more active & direct:
... provides compelling support for classifying ... = correct
Both are 100% grammatically and idiomatically correct, but the gerund construction in the this last example is rhetorically more successful.

Let's look at this in the context of the end of the sentence
.... provides compelling support for the classification of Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants as separate species.
This is an idea, the idea that "Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants" should be understood and classified as a separate species. Presumably, at one point, folks thought that all elephants were the same species. At some point, somebody had the original idea that "Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants" should be their own species. Any new idea in science is met with skepticism, because other sciences want to know the evidence behind some idea. Well, apparently, the subject of the sentence provided this "compelling support" by providing evidence that make the conclusion unavoidable.

Let's look at the whole sentence:
New genetic evidence—together with recent studies of elephants’ skeletons, tusks, and other anatomical features—provides compelling support for the classification of Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants as separate species.
Again, this is not the best answer, but this is 100% grammatically correct.
The "new genetic evidence" provided convincing proof---that is to say, it provided "compelling support" for this idea, the idea that "Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants" should be their own species.

Does the logic of the sentence make sense? Does this answer your questions?

Mike :-)
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New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2016, 05:39
Hello All,

Per my understanding, the reason for choosing option D has more to do with than just idiomatic expression.

Here, we have a clear split between 'For verb-ing' form and 'to verb' form.

We use the 'to verb' form to express intentions/purpose. In this question, it will be illogical to say that the 'new genetic evidence' had an intent to classify the forest elements...as separate species.

Thus, we can eliminate option E.

Thanks
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2016, 17:43
New genetic evidence — together with recent studies of elephants’ skeletons, tusks, and other anatomical features — provide compelling support for classifying Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants as separate species.


D. provides compelling support for classifying
E. provides compelling support to classify

Between D & E
"provide support to" conveys a different meaning. I provide financial support to my sister.
support to & support for has to be followed by noun.(as Provide help/assistance to)

Here idea is not to present intention. But to show that "you have enough evidence for classification"
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2018, 21:55
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Re: New genetic evidence together with recent studies of elephan &nbs [#permalink] 27 Aug 2018, 21:55

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