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Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw

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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2019, 20:31
jerrywu wrote:
Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.


A. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironwork tripled as a result of several improvements in blowing machinery and because coal replaced charcoal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore.

B. Over the course of the eighteenth century a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery.

C. With charcoal's being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.

D. The replacement of charcoal with coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore and several improvements in blowing machinery, the average output of ironwork tripled over the eighteenth century.

E. Charcoal being replaced by coal as the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, and several improvements in blowing machinery, which tripled the average output of ironwork over the course of the eighteenth century.


official answer in this problem shows us the concept of parallelism on sc. parallelism which contain the elements of the same form is easy to realize and accept. but we can have parallelism in which forms or elements are different but grammatical roles are the same.

yes. only the same grammatical roles/fuctions are need to have parallelism. this is the point inhere.

so, dont look for the same forms of elements but look for the same fuctions or grammatical roles of elements.
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 03:25
mikemcgarry wrote:
septwibowo wrote:
Thank you for your explanation TaN1213.

However, I think that construction "was due to" is fine.
Magoosh gave example in its course : "The delay was due to rain" and that is perfectly fine : due to modify the delay.

Here, in (B), :

a tripling in the average output of ironwork was due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore, in addition to several improvements in blowing machinery.


- "Due to" modify noun phrase : "a tripling in the average output of ironwork"
- A tripling was due to X, in addition Y.

Wdyt? mikemcgarry, need your clarification here :-)

Dear septwibowo,

I have many things to say in response, my friend. :-)

First of all, I want to acknowledge TaN1213 for an intelligent and thoughtful response. I completely agree with TaN1213.

Next, septwibowo: you got a brilliant explanation from TaN1213 and, rather than learning the deep point that this user presented, you presented a counterargument. One of the deepest questions any student can ask himself is, "Do I want to be right or do I want to learn as much as I can?" You see, it's a paradox: of course on test day, you primarily want to be right (although you can learn even there), but the way to get to that is by disattaching from a need to be right while you are in the role of a student, because being holding to a position of being right can prevent you from picking up a new subtlety.

In this GMAT SC problem, choice (B) is precisely the kind of incorrect answer choice that acts as a trap for non-native speakers: it's 100% grammatically correct but wrong. Virtually all the high level SC questions have at least one such choice. This is a classic predictable trap and you fell into it.

Yes, the "is due to" construction in (B) is 100% grammatically correct. There's absolutely no ambiguity about that: you and I and TaN1213 are in full agreement about that. It's true and also completely besides the point. Choice (B) is 100% grammatically correct but it's still wrong. That's the piece you are missing: you are focused on the grammar and missed that TaN1213's brilliant response was addressing other aspects of the sentence beyond the grammar.

The GMAT SC is NOT primarily a test of grammar. On the GMAT SC, grammar & logic & rhetoric all combine to support meaning.

The principles of good rhetorical construction can be hard for non-native speakers to appreciate, because much of it is intuitive--it's about the "feel" of the sentence. Here's one principle that I can articulate: when a sentence is focused on a main action, this sentence usually will be phrased in the most direct and powerful way when that main action is the main verb of the sentence.

Choice (A) follows this principle fully. Choice (A) is not only grammatically correct but also direct, clear, and powerful. Like almost all correct answers on the GMAT SC, it's an exceptionally well-crafted sentence.

Choice (B) is 100% grammatically correct but it's an embarrassingly awkward and punchless sentence. In particular, the main action of the sentence, "tripling," is congealed as a gerund subject, and the sentence is organized so that a complete non-action verb, "is," winds up as the main verb of the sentence. Any well-read native speaker instantly would recognize this as a poorly written section. The fact that you selected choice (B) as correct and were willing to defend it should tell you a great deal about the progress you still have to make.

Grammar has a lot of rules, although many of the rules have exceptions. Rhetoric doesn't have many rules--it's more intuition-based. A non-native speaker can develop this intuition by cultivating a rigorous habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


VeritasKarishma mikemcgarry GMATNinja

I rejected B as there is a clause after due to while we need a noun, is this correct.
Are below reasonings also correct
C with is wrong, charcoal's is wrong
D is a run on
E which is wrongly used neither the improvements nor the machinery makes sense but entire preceeding caluse is the reason.

Thanks in adavnce!
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 12:27
MAnkur wrote:
VeritasKarishma mikemcgarry GMATNinja

I rejected B as there is a clause after due to while we need a noun, is this correct.
Are below reasonings also correct
C with is wrong, charcoal's is wrong
D is a run on
E which is wrongly used neither the improvements nor the machinery makes sense but entire preceeding caluse is the reason.

Thanks in adavnce!

Consider the following examples:

  • The game was postponed due to rain.
  • Dave is cool.
  • Dave's success was due to his hard work.

In the first example, "due to" modifies the verb "was postponed" (Why was the game postponed? Due to rain). But using "due to" to modify a verb seems to be a no-no on the GMAT.

In the second example, we have a linking verb ("is"), and "cool" modifies "Dave". (A fellow named Dave may or may not have played a role in writing these sentences. :idontknow:)

In the third example, we have another linking verb ("was"), and "due to" actually modifies "success". "Due to" can modify a noun, so this is okay.

Similarly, in choice (B), "due to" actually modifies "a tripling", which is a noun. So the usage of "due to" in choice (B) is totally fine.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 21:10
GMATNinja wrote:
MAnkur wrote:
VeritasKarishma mikemcgarry GMATNinja

I rejected B as there is a clause after due to while we need a noun, is this correct.
Are below reasonings also correct
C with is wrong, charcoal's is wrong
D is a run on
E which is wrongly used neither the improvements nor the machinery makes sense but entire preceeding caluse is the reason.

Thanks in adavnce!

Consider the following examples:

  • The game was postponed due to rain.
  • Dave is cool.
  • Dave's success was due to his hard work.

In the first example, "due to" modifies the verb "was postponed" (Why was the game postponed? Due to rain). But using "due to" to modify a verb seems to be a no-no on the GMAT.

In the second example, we have a linking verb ("is"), and "cool" modifies "Dave". (A fellow named Dave may or may not have played a role in writing these sentences. :idontknow:)

In the third example, we have another linking verb ("was"), and "due to" actually modifies "success". "Due to" can modify a noun, so this is okay.

Similarly, in choice (B), "due to" actually modifies "a tripling", which is a noun. So the usage of "due to" in choice (B) is totally fine.

I hope this helps!


GMATNinja Thanks for the response!
Can we say what comes after due to must not be checked. For example in the example given by you Dave's success was due to his hard work hard work needs not to be checked whether it is a noun or not, waht comes before due to success was only needs to be checked for compliance with due to
I have also been checking what comes after due to as per notes correct usage of due to is as follows:-
noun + helping verb + due to + noun
So I was confused in option B of this question as what comes after due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore is not a noun but a clause, although what comes before due to is correct (noun + helping verb)

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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2019, 21:53
MAnkur wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
MAnkur wrote:
VeritasKarishma mikemcgarry GMATNinja

I rejected B as there is a clause after due to while we need a noun, is this correct.
Are below reasonings also correct
C with is wrong, charcoal's is wrong
D is a run on
E which is wrongly used neither the improvements nor the machinery makes sense but entire preceeding caluse is the reason.

Thanks in adavnce!

Consider the following examples:

  • The game was postponed due to rain.
  • Dave is cool.
  • Dave's success was due to his hard work.

In the first example, "due to" modifies the verb "was postponed" (Why was the game postponed? Due to rain). But using "due to" to modify a verb seems to be a no-no on the GMAT.

In the second example, we have a linking verb ("is"), and "cool" modifies "Dave". (A fellow named Dave may or may not have played a role in writing these sentences. :idontknow:)

In the third example, we have another linking verb ("was"), and "due to" actually modifies "success". "Due to" can modify a noun, so this is okay.

Similarly, in choice (B), "due to" actually modifies "a tripling", which is a noun. So the usage of "due to" in choice (B) is totally fine.

I hope this helps!


GMATNinja Thanks for the response!
Can we say what comes after due to must not be checked. For example in the example given by you Dave's success was due to his hard work hard work needs not to be checked whether it is a noun or not, waht comes before due to success was only needs to be checked for compliance with due to
I have also been checking what comes after due to as per notes correct usage of due to is as follows:-
noun + helping verb + due to + noun
So I was confused in option B of this question as what comes after due to the replacement of charcoal by coal for the fuel used in the smelting of iron ore is not a noun but a clause, although what comes before due to is correct (noun + helping verb)

mikemcgarry VeritasKarishma



There needs to be a noun (or noun phrase) after 'due to'. You cannot have a clause after 'due to'. In that case, you should use "because of'.

Here, you have a noun phrase after 'due to', not a clause.
'the replacement' is a noun and 'the replacement of charcoal ...' is the noun phrase.
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Re: Over the course of the eighteenth century, the average output of ironw   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2019, 21:53

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