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Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs

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Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2007, 21:03
15
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A
B
C
D
E

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  75% (hard)

Question Stats:

37% (01:07) correct 63% (01:25) wrong based on 386 sessions

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Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s first novel, but it does not read like an apprentice work.


(A) does not read like an apprentice work

(B) seems not to read as an apprentice work

(C) does not seem to read as an apprentice work would

(D) does not read like an apprentice work does

(E) reads unlike an apprentice work


Whats wrong with E??

https://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/05/arts/no-headline-079566.html

Originally published in 1950, ''Some Tame Gazelle'' was Miss Pym's first novel, though it does not read like an apprentice work.
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2016, 15:49
1
2
This is a very common and acceptable use of the word "like." It's not that different from "That looks like a crow" or "She sings like a professional." Check out this official question for an example of "as X does" or "like X" can be used interchangeably. That particular distinction creates a false split--all 5 choices in the problem start out just fine. proponents-of-artificial-intelligence-say-they-will-be-able-81789.html

In this case, however, the construction in C is actually incorrect. In this context, the word "read" basically means "appear to the reader" or "is able to be read." For instance, we might say that a story "reads like a cross between a romance novel and an investing manual" or "the manuscript reads well." For this reason, saying "seem to read" is redundant. It either reads a particular way or it doesn't. However, if we take out "seem," we are now saying that the book absolutely does not read as an apprentice book would. This means that it is NOT an apprentice work. The author's point seems to be that Pym was indeed a new novelist, but that her work didn't read that way. C doesn't convey that meaning correctly.
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 12:44
Hi GMATNinja mikemcgarry,

Isn't the original sentence trying to compare action?
-- XYZ doesn't read as ABC does. --> Shouldn't this be the correct choice?

By saying that "XYZ doesn't read like ABC" we are comparing the nouns XYZ and ABC. Isn't this wrong?

Regards.
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 17:46
3
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja mikemcgarry,

Isn't the original sentence trying to compare action?
-- XYZ doesn't read as ABC does. --> Shouldn't this be the correct choice?

By saying that "XYZ doesn't read like ABC" we are comparing the nouns XYZ and ABC. Isn't this wrong?

Regards.

Dear gmatexam439,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The short answer to your question is no. This is very subtle and hard to explain.

There are some verbs in the English language that are "doing verbs." All the verbs that have a direct object are "doing verbs," as are many intransitive verbs, such as "to walk" or "to strive." The verb "to read," in its common and ordinary definition, is a verb that takes a direct object and is a "doing verb"--a person reads a book. That's an action, and if we were comparing that to some other reader, we would be comparing actions.

This sentence does NOT use the verb "to read" in its ordinary sense. Instead, it uses a very sophisticated secondary meaning of the word. The idiom is
the book reads [adjective]
Here, we are not describing an action: instead, this is a "being verb," a verb that speaks to the objects state of being. "Being verbs" at least sometimes are followed by adjectives, that describe how the object is. For example, consider this sentence.
The book was intended to be serious, but it reads funny.
Here, we are describing the book itself, not an action. Rather than a single-word adjective, we could have an adjectival phrase or clause, that is to say, a noun-modifying phrase or clause.

Well, the phrase "like [noun]" is a noun-modifying phrase, and this is precisely why we typically use this phrase to compare nouns. Thus, we can follow "read" in this sense with "like"--this is a very typical construction in sophisticated writing.
This short story reads like a novel.
That sentence is 100% correct. Again, absolutely no "action" is taking place in this sentence: the entire sentence is describing the "being" of the novel.

Much in the same way, here's the OA:
Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s first novel, but it does not read like an apprentice work.
This is an astonishingly elegant and sophisticated sentence, and what's brilliant about it is that some less sophisticated readers, especially non-native speakers following simple rules, will be completely puzzled by it. This is exactly the sort of sentence that the GMAT loves.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2017, 12:17
Dear mikemcgarry,

Thank you for the explanation, but could you give some pointers about how can we infer whether a sentence is comparing action or noun?

There can be 2 grammatically correct choices such as "X plays as Y does" and "X plays like Y". How can we pick the correct choice between the given 2. Is there any rule for this? If not, could you please point out a good source that will help me in improving my understanding of the topic.

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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 12:49
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gmatexam439 wrote:
Dear mikemcgarry,

Thank you for the explanation, but could you give some pointers about how can we infer whether a sentence is comparing action or noun?

There can be 2 grammatically correct choices such as "X plays as Y does" and "X plays like Y". How can we pick the correct choice between the given 2. Is there any rule for this? If not, could you please point out a good source that will help me in improving my understanding of the topic.

Regards

Dear gmatexam439,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

You are correct that there often are two 100% grammatically correct ways to make a given comparison. You asked, "how can we infer whether a sentence is comparing action or noun?" That's a fantastic question, but your mistake is to assume that the answer to your question is a "rule." Many students, especially mathematically-talented non-native speakers, labor under the misconception that the path to GMAT SC mastery lies in some mythical complete collection of the "rules" of grammar and language. In fact, that is a complete chimera, and the rule-based approach to GMAT SC mastery is doomed to failure.

Let's talk about the brain for a moment. The cerebral cortex, the intellectual "thinking" part of the brain, has two halves, called hemispheres. The left hemisphere, or left-brain, is very logical-based and rule-based; it is linear, organized, and precise. The left-brain is very good at "differentiation," the process of telling the difference between two closely related things. Computers can easily do most right-brain rule based tasks. The left brain thinks in terms of clear, logical, step-by-step thought. The right hemisphere, or right brain, is the world's best pattern-matching machine: it matched verbal patterns, spatial patterns, emotional patterns, etc. The left-brain is very good at "integration," the process of seeing the overarching pattern that binds separate things together. The right hemisphere is involved in facial recognition, voice recognition, etc.--tasks that still are an enormous challenge for computers to master. The right brain is responsible for dreaming; it is used to appreciate poetry and for the capacity of imagination.

Many tasks use both brains. In math, the right-brain is used in something like algebra, which is very rule-based, and also differential calculus; the left-brain is used in the pattern-matching needed in integral calculus, as well as aspects of geometry and topology. In language, the clear rules of grammar, such as SVA, are covered by the right-brain, but the left-brain handles much of rhetorical construction as well as a number of subtle questions of meaning. There are no rules for meaning. Meaning and interpretation are firmly in the province of the right-brain. A mathematically talented left-brain thinking might ask for clear, step-by-step rules, but there aren't any. You have to develop the left-brain skills to get at this side of language.

For more on the hemispheric differences, in mathematical context, see:
How to do GMAT Math Faster

Now, for a left-brain dominant mathematically talented non-native speaker, how does this individual develop right-brain skills, i.e. the intuition about emotional impact and meaning in language? I have two suggestions.

One is to develop a rigorous habit of reading. When you read, you will see and understand examples in context: this kind of learning in context builds intuition slowly, especially those subtle intuitions which never could be reified as a rule. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

My other suggest is as follows. Search official question. If you find any in which you find it hard to tell whether the comparison is between nouns or verbs, then search for it on GMAT Club, add your question to the thread, and invite me to comment. It's through the discussion of individual concrete questions we can figure out what will help you understand this better.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2018, 09:24
mikemcgarry wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja mikemcgarry,

Isn't the original sentence trying to compare action?
-- XYZ doesn't read as ABC does. --> Shouldn't this be the correct choice?

By saying that "XYZ doesn't read like ABC" we are comparing the nouns XYZ and ABC. Isn't this wrong?

Regards.

Dear gmatexam439,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The short answer to your question is no. This is very subtle and hard to explain.

There are some verbs in the English language that are "doing verbs." All the verbs that have a direct object are "doing verbs," as are many intransitive verbs, such as "to walk" or "to strive." The verb "to read," in its common and ordinary definition, is a verb that takes a direct object and is a "doing verb"--a person reads a book. That's an action, and if we were comparing that to some other reader, we would be comparing actions.

This sentence does NOT use the verb "to read" in its ordinary sense. Instead, it uses a very sophisticated secondary meaning of the word. The idiom is
the book reads [adjective]
Here, we are not describing an action: instead, this is a "being verb," a verb that speaks to the objects state of being. "Being verbs" at least sometimes are followed by adjectives, that describe how the object is. For example, consider this sentence.
The book was intended to be serious, but it reads funny.
Here, we are describing the book itself, not an action. Rather than a single-word adjective, we could have an adjectival phrase or clause, that is to say, a noun-modifying phrase or clause.

Well, the phrase "like [noun]" is a noun-modifying phrase, and this is precisely why we typically use this phrase to compare nouns. Thus, we can follow "read" in this sense with "like"--this is a very typical construction in sophisticated writing.
This short story reads like a novel.
That sentence is 100% correct. Again, absolutely no "action" is taking place in this sentence: the entire sentence is describing the "being" of the novel.

Much in the same way, here's the OA:
Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s first novel, but it does not read like an apprentice work.
This is an astonishingly elegant and sophisticated sentence, and what's brilliant about it is that some less sophisticated readers, especially non-native speakers following simple rules, will be completely puzzled by it. This is exactly the sort of sentence that the GMAT loves.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)




Hi
Please throw some light on option E.why is option E incorrect?

Regards
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2018, 11:52
vineetgupta wrote:
Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s first novel, but it does not read like an apprentice work.


(A) does not read like an apprentice work

(B) seems not to read as an apprentice work

(C) does not seem to read as an apprentice work would

(D) does not read like an apprentice work does

(E) reads unlike an apprentice work


Whats wrong with E??


I fell for E, but i now see why A is the correct answer.

"Read", in this context, means "appears" or, more loosely, "seems". It shouldnt be taken in its usual verb sense, but as a verb that shows the state of the subject, Some Tame Gazelle.

Secondly, two comparison idioms are at play here:

X reads like Y
X reads as Y does

"As" is typically used when you intend to compare the action itself, while "like" is used to compare the subjects. I stand to be corrected though.

So, putting it all together...

D is wrong because it actually means

"Some Tame Gazelle does not appear like an apprentice work appears"

Not only does it break the idiom rule usage, it is redundant.

A sounds better as it says

"Some Tame Gazelle does not appear like an apprentice work.

This sounds better and previse

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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 03:46
The ‘does’ as the end of D is redundant. ‘seems’ is the wrong word to use here, so B is wrong too.



A is the clearest and most straightforward option. It also properly conveys the meaning of the sentence.
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Re: Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2019, 03:46
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Originally published in 1950, Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s firs

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