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Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable

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Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Apr 2019, 15:08
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Practice Question
Online test bank question number : SC87460.01

Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets.

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
(B) so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them

Originally posted by study on 16 Jan 2009, 10:00.
Last edited by hazelnut on 25 Apr 2019, 15:08, edited 4 times in total.
Formatted the question.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2013, 06:45
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Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets

3 options have incorrect idioms/constructs:

* so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable
* gradual enough not to be distinguishable
* gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them

I think that the battle goes on between A and C.
* so gradual as to be indistinguishable
* so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished

I)Both have correct idioms.
II)Both are grammatically correct, and the meaning is the same.

So which should we pick? We have "indistinguishable" VS "they are unable to be distinguished". If you cannot eliminate an answer because of meaning/grammatical/structural errors, choose the one the conveys the meaning more efficiently. The first option is clearly more concise.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2009, 12:25
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study wrote:
Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets

* so gradual as to be indistinguishable
* so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable
* so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
* gradual enough not to be distinguishable
* gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them


Agree with A, which is idiomatic "so x as to be y" and meaningful.

No dispute for B, D and E.

C looks tempting but changes the meaning. "economic shifts" are neither able nor unable to be distinguished. They do not do that job rather they are indistinguishable for others i.e. people.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2009, 01:50
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IMO
I think enough not to is not correct; the question should read "Often major economic shifts are not gradual enough to be ..."
There is a different in meaning between so ...as and enough to


X enough to Y is used when the emphasis is on Y. "So X as to Y" is used when the emphasis is on X

1. "I am tall enough to touch the ceiling" implies that the focus is on the fact of being able to touch the ceiling.
2." I am so tall as to be able to touch the ceiling" implies that the focus is on the fact of being tall

more examples

1. The lion was so tame that the lionkeeper could enter its cage
2. The lion was tame enough for the lioonkeeper to enter its cage
3. It was such a clear introductory lecture that we decided to take the course
4. It was a clear enough introductory lecture for us to decide to take the course
5. sentence 1 suggests that the lion was very time, whereas 2 does not
6. sentence 3 suggests that the lecture was very clear, while 4 does not


option C is wrong because after able or unable the verb to be is considered wordy; you use the verb to be twice

be able to be ...
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2009, 01:54
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About E:

IMO the correct idioms with enough are
enough to and enough for
so E cannot be the correct answer choice
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2012, 04:35
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OA is A.

1. so gradual as to be indistinguishable
Option 1 correctly follows the idiom "SO X AS TO Y".
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 13:06
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A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
"so... as to be..." is a correct idiom.

B) so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable
"so... so that..." is not a correct idiom

C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
This one is tough, because it's not grammatically or idiomatically incorrect. "So... that" is a correct idiom. It's certainly wordier than A, and there also seems to be a disconnect in meaning. If something is "indistinguishable," then people are not able to distinguish it. Here, saying that the "shifts... are unable to be distinguished," then the lack of ability is on the part of the shifts, and not on the people distinguishing. This is a case in which passive voice alters the meaning slightly, and therefore makes less sense.

D) gradual enough not to be indistinguishable
"gradual enough" means something different from "so gradual." "Enough" implies a sufficient quantity, above a certain threshold - "I have enough money to by the new laptop." "So" is a qualifier meaning "to such a degree that." For example, "I have so much money that I could buy all of the laptops in the world." It doesn't imply any threshold.

E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them
Same issue as in D.

The correct answer is A.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 09:28
Why is C wrong ?

experts pls help
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 09:58
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rishabhdxt wrote:
Why is C wrong ?

experts pls help



Hello rishabhdxt,

I will be glad to help you out with this one. :-)

C. so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished

The portion they are unable to seems to suggest that major economic shifts are unable to do something. This definitely is not the intended meaning.


Hope this helps. :-)
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2017, 01:34
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Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable - Correct
(B) so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable - idiom issue - So...so that.
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished - the use of "unable" to describe something that's not actually an inability of the subject.
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable - redundant - not to be distinguishable is same as to be indistinguishable ; enough not to idiom seems incorrect
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them - idiom issue - enough so that is unidiomatic

Answer A
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2018, 09:01
study wrote:
Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
(B) so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them


D and E can be eliminated because "gradual enough .." changes the intended meaning.
Between A B and C,
B -So X so that Y is incorrect idiom
C changes the meaning of the sentence.

Hence Answer is A.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2019, 23:46
This is clearly an idiom based question. Look at all of the options to see which ones follow the proper idiomatic structure. The correct structure here should be “so x as to be y”. This means that B D and E can easily be discarded. Now the only options remaining are C and A. Both of these sentences are idiomatically correct, have no other grammar issues and convey the intended meaning. In this case, the best choice to make is to go with the shorter, which is to say more concise and efficient, one.



So, A is the right answer.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 05:59
Isn't they ambiguous in C ? daagh AjiteshArun
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 09:01
teaserbae wrote:
Isn't they ambiguous in C ? daagh AjiteshArun
No, not really. The they seems to quite clearly refer to major economic shifts.

Which nouns were you looking at?
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 20:42
AjiteshArun wrote:
teaserbae wrote:
Isn't they ambiguous in C ? daagh AjiteshArun
No, not really. The they seems to quite clearly refer to major economic shifts.

Which nouns were you looking at?


I though the they can refer to Financial markets
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 23:23
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teaserbae wrote:
I though the they can refer to Financial markets
That part of the sentence is a little "cut off" from the opening. For example:

The student was so happy with her score that she forgot to take her unofficial score report from the lady at the main desk.

Here she cannot refer to the lady at the main desk. It has to refer to the student.
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Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2019, 04:43
Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets.

A. so gradual as to be indistinguishable
B. so gradual they can be indistinguishable
C. so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
D. gradual enough not to be distinguishable
E. gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them


SC87460.01
OG2020 NEW QUESTION
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Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2019, 04:50
Bunuel wrote:
Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets.

A. so gradual as to be indistinguishable
B. so gradual they can be indistinguishable
C. so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
D. gradual enough not to be distinguishable
E. gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them


SC87460.01
OG2020 NEW QUESTION


A. so gradual as to be indistinguishable
So X as to Y is the idiom.

B. so gradual they can be indistinguishable

C. so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
Major economic shifts can't distinguish things....at least I hope not!

D. gradual enough not to be distinguishable

E. gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them
"Enough so that.." doesn't work together.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 17:00
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This is just kind of interesting: look at how GMAC is plagiarizing itself (and one of my all-time favorite questions) with the same answer choice structure:

(A) "so x as to y" - correct
(C) "so x that y..." (but then an error) - a tempting sentence structure but an incorrect answer
(D)/(E) "x enough that y..."

Just interesting - I haven't seen many cases where they go back to the same template this directly that the sentence structures of all the answer choices are this close.


The Official Guide for GMAT Review 10th Edition wrote:
Practice Question
Question No.: SC 88
The Emperor Augustus, it appears, commissioned an idealized sculpture portrait, the features of which are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an "artificial face."

(A) so unrealistic as to constitute
(B) so unrealistic they constituted
(C) so unrealistic that they have constituted
(D) unrealistic enough so that they constitute
(E) unrealistic enough so as to constitute


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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2019, 13:49
Hello Everyone!

This is a great example of a IDIOM question you might find on the GMAT! Let's take a closer look at this question, one issue at a time, and narrow it down to the correct answer. To start, let's highlight the major differences between the options in orange:

Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable at first from ordinary fluctuations in the financial markets.

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
(B) so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them

There are two major issues we can focus on here:

1. Idioms (so gradual vs. gradual enough)
2. Wordiness (indistinguishable vs. unable to be/not to be distinguishable)


Let's start by focusing on idioms because that's the type of question we're dealing with. Here is a quick reminder of the idioms we're using:

so X as to be Y
so X that Y


Let's take a closer look at each option and eliminate any that use incorrect idioms:

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable --> so X as to be Y = OK
(B) so gradual so that they can be indistinguishable --> so X so that Y = WRONG
(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished --> so X that Y = OK
(D) gradual enough not to be distinguishable --> X enough to be Y = WRONG
(E) gradual enough so that one cannot distinguish them --> X enough so that Y = WRONG

We can eliminate options B, D, & E because they don't use the correct idioms.

Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let's tackle #2 on our list: wordiness. The GMAT prefers options that are as concise as possible, so let's see which of these options is better:

(A) so gradual as to be indistinguishable
This is CORRECT! It uses the idiom "so X as to be Y" correctly, and it doesn't use any overly wordy phrases!

(C) so gradual that they are unable to be distinguished
This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the pronoun "they" isn't necessary here and could be confusing to readers. Second, the phrase "unable to be distinguished" is overly wordy - the word "indistinguishable" means the same thing in far fewer words!

There you have it - option A is the correct choice! It uses the proper idiom structure, and it's written using the most concise and clear language! If you can focus on the most common idioms found on the GMAT, you'll be able to answer questions like this quickly and effectively!


Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.
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Re: Often major economic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable   [#permalink] 02 May 2019, 13:49
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